I don’t usually write up a report for the series regattas, but this regatta seemed to need some discussion.
It’s very early in the sailing season and you would expect some signs of “rusty thumbs” and “creaky boats” with the first race of the season in any class. However, I have to admit I was tempted to rename this regatta “…the US1M Breakdown and Rescue Regatta”.
As you might expect, skippers got to the pond early to check their boats out and everything seemed to work well on shore. But once boats got on the water, the situation changed for the worse. We only had one race in before rescue was needed, and not just one boat. The initial issues seemed to be loss of signal out on the course, but there were also unexpected battery issuesas well as some rigging issues. Oh yeah, one skipper dropped his transmitter in the water while tuning. During the first hour of racing only three races were completed due to rescues and repair holds. Some skippers were able to get their boats back on the water as racing continued. However, the troubles didn’t stop there as some skippers continued to have range/signal issues.
Initially the winds were fairly strong, but as the racing continued the course was shortened a little to accommodate lighter winds and make up some time, but the course sailing was still slow. While boats continued to drop out, the good news was that some of the skippers who had electronic or rigging issues, got to re-enter. Then came race 10, when to everybody’s horror Jerry Leach’s US1M sank (I have to say it!) like a rock, just before the start.
The race was abandoned and a search party was sent out. Since the time was now about 2:45pm, the RD ended the regatta so people could focus on recovery. Sadly the boat was not found, but the search will continue again next week, with some sophisticated electronics, and hopefully we will have a recovery.
It was a harsh day of sailing with crazy winds, a lot repairs and a lot of attrition; ending with everybody’s worst nightmare. What can I say, there’s always next week!
I really hope we find Jerry’s boat!