The 2014 North Americans will be held April 25-27, at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center in downtown St.Petersburg, FL. Many know that three FD Worlds have been held at this site, 1962, 1997 and 2006.
For those who have not heard, after a long and successful tenure as President of the U.S. class, Tim Sayles has handed the reins to Buzz Ballenger of Santa Cruz, CA. Buzz is known worldwide as an expert sparbuilder, boat builder and competitor in dinghies and keel boats.
By Lin Robson
For many years we have held the FD Midwinters at SPYC in downtown St. Petersburg. Due to some scheduling and other reasons we moved the regatta site this year, to a place I had not sailed out of since a teenager.
Every year over Columbus Day weekend in October, the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, hosts the HPDO. HPDO is the acronym for High Performance Dinghy Open. It is a regatta that has become a big fixture in the Fall on the East Coast, with many dinghy classes in attendance. In fact several classes held their North American championships at the regatta this year. They throw a nice dinner and gathering afterward. We had the pleasure of seeing a few FD sailors from years past, it was good catching up with Guido Bertocci and others.
Hurricane Irene had several effects on the regatta held in Kingston, Ontario this past weekend.
After racing Friday night, NED 308, the team of Willem and Maarten, had to return to Connecticut to prepare for the storm. Their home is in Darien,CT, right in the expected track area .
We did have two good days of racing, with beautiful, but on the light side breeze conditions. Saturday morning all of the weather data was pointing to a rainy and very breezy day Sunday, so the decision was made to break down and not sail the last day of the weekend. All the data I saw the next day indicated that was a good call, winds with gusts in the thirties.
After all the stories and images before coming to Garda, I’d have to say in this case the anticipation could and did not exceed the reality. As all those attending know, we sailed in one of the World’s most beautiful places.
Racing could be a very one sided affair tactically, although in some races the unapparent side held advantage. I was struck by the emergence of more teams sailing at very high levels, with no one equipment approach holding dominate. In the end it was the best prepared packages and tactical decisions on a difficult race track that carried the day.
One note about the starts, I would like to see going forward a tougher stance by race commitees on using and enforcing the black flag. There were too many premature starters that went undetected. Enforced black flag starts keep starts legal and save time in the end.
Richard and I did not achieve our goals, but the process was challenging and we did have some results we were happy with considering the limited time we had to sail together. Now it’s back to the gym and refocus on Santa Cruz.
Great scenery, people and racing during a work week, that’s a really fine way to go!
More later as bandwidth gets better,
Photos courtesy of Caroline Kramer
With all that is going on in everyoneâ€™s life these days itâ€™s sometimes hard to keep sailing schedules aligned and on track.
Fifteen years ago, much of the U.S. fleet was preparing for our National Championship in Canandaigua, NY. During a warm up at the race site for the regatta, the person I was planning on sailing with encountered a health problem that kept them from continuing in the regatta.
Fortunately at that time Richard Phillips, well known to everyone in the class, was touring the U.S. and had stopped by the regatta site for a look. He was quickly recruited to sail. We had a good series, won that year by Mike Loeb and Guido Bertocci, with some of the top positions decided in a dramatic last race.
Now, again very fortunately for me, Richard has agreed to sail with me at Worlds coming up soon. Seems that sometimes good things can come around again!
Looking forward to seeing and sailing with friends from around the world very soon now.
March came in with some vigor (at least for one day)Â as the FD fleet joined other classes at the Davis Island Yacht Club recentlyÂ for their Midwinter regatta.
The event actually started as the Fireball Midwinters, but over the years other classes have been invited to join. The regatta is now known as Fireballs and Friends. DIYC is a very active, sailing oriented club that hosts many noted regattas each year.
We are trying again this year to participate in the Fireball & Friends Regatta at the Davis Island Yacht Club.Â This is a good venue on the other side of Tampa Bay NE of MacDill AFB.Â The location tends to provide better wind this time of year and Davis Island YC has an active racing community and race management group.Â We would like to make this a regular deal.