Monday, April 27, 2009

Gerry Brown Memorial Regatta - Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association

About 8 hours after I arrived home from France (I got in around 2 a.m.), the Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association was holding the annual Gerry Brown Memorial Regatta for Cancer Research. This is a fun one-day regatta held at the Baltimore County Sailing Center at Rocky Point Park in Essex, and the official season opener for the BABA summer regatta series. Basically the deal is you put $10 or more in the kitty for cancer research, and you get to have a few races with your friends. It's a win-win situation. Luckily we had some nice, hot weather, which I was really ready for....and no wind, which I had about enough of, but luckily I don't have to sail the RS:X.

The best thing about the BABA regattas is that there is a big local longboard fleet, which means I get to break out the old Mistral One-Design for fun light-wind racing. There are a variety of boards in the fleet, including Equipes, F2 Lightnings, more One-Designs, Fanatics, and one or two that must be at least 20 years old but still work great. Although I was completely exhausted still from Hyeres, I got to use all the pumping technique I had worked on so hard. Plus, all the shifty Chesapeake wind makes for some great no-stress tactical practice.

I had to find all the pieces to my board before the race, and luckily I had put everything together in my parents' basement so I didn't have to look too hard. The track was sticky, so I borrowed some silicone lubricant and sprayed it down. Unfortunately the silicone became like an oil slick all over my deck as soon as a few waves washed over my I was sliding around my board a lot during the races! Most of the silicone slick did end up washing off by the final race. To add to the equipment entertainment, I was using an old sail with a really stiff mast because my best gear is now in Europe. During the last race I noticed a 4-inch slit in the main panel of the sail, near the leech. I wasn't sure how it had happened, but for a moment I thought that it would be a great idea to file for redress. To my vast disappointment, I had won all the races so it wasn't necessary after all.

For most of the racing, the wind was 3-5 knots. Puffs were coming down on the left for most of the races, but the starting line was favored near the boat end. During the last race, the wind went right and eventually shifted south for the afternoon. A great regatta was had by Colin Pitts, who smoked most of the fleet on his Equipe and gigantic 11.6 Formula sail. A few members of the fleet had consistent results, while others were getting warmed up and had finishes in both the front and back of the fleet. A notable improvement in the last race was made by Fan Pat, who had struggled near the back in a few races. She had a solid start on top of the fleet and clear air the entire race, and finished third. Overall the regatta was really enjoyable for everyone. Many thanks to the race committee, Marc Rosen and Aimee, for running four good races, and to everyone who helped organize the event.


  1. Do I detect a slightly ironic tone in the second-to-last paragraph? ;)

  2. James, you did in fact detect a touch of irony!