Halloween weekend provided a new venue and great sailing for FD sailors at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center for the National Championship Regatta. Over 3 days on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach, the fleet had a range of weather conditions, largely based on a weather system that came out of a southÂ easterly direction, moving east and then back to southeast as the weekend progressed. Winds ranged from ligher 7 knots up to mid-teens over the weekend, under sunny, warm skies.
Clearwater Community Sailing Center will be the site of the 2015 USA Flying Dutchman National Championship. The event will be held October 29 through November 1. Registration will be held Thursday and racing will commence on Friday, October 30. The Notice of Race can be found here.
Coronado Yacht Club in San Diego, California was the site for the North Americans April 17-19, 2015. An idyllic setting for racing it was indeed, with plenty of parking, open bay for racing and breeze starting promptly at noon, a civilized time to start racing.
The 2014 NAs proved to be three days of working through issues, arrangements and curious weather passing through the Tampa Bay area.Â Veteran PRO and FD sailor Dave Ellis ran the racing out of the St Petersburg Sailing Center, settingÂ windward/leeward courses relatively close to the harbor entrance.Â The changing conditions interacting with shore effects were challenging and put a premium not only on boathandling but also quick responses.Â The last weekend in April was in a transition period on Tampa Bay.Â During this time the Gulf water temperature is still low enough to allow sea breezes to develop on the Bay, but also bookend fronts that typify spring weather still influenced overall patterns.
Florida’s Gulfport Yacht Club hosted the Flying Dutchman Nationals on lower Boca Ciega Bay in their usual style of minimal on-shore amenities and great on the water racing. The fleet was smaller than some Nationals because of a scheduling conflict for the West Coast fleet. The quality, however, was very good.
A front moved into the Tampa Bay area early Sayurday morning and brought rain and plenty of wind – too much in fact and that brought on a postponement.Â Gusts well over 30 knots were reported on the Gulf and so plans to set of to race there were abandoned.Â At 1300 racing resumed in the light air that remained after the front passed through.Â Buzz and Kurt were the big winners in two of the three races, pulling in two firstplaces.Â The breeze showed much variability across the course so those teams that were practiced in boathandling and paid attention to conditions did well.Â
After six races on Boca Ciaga Bay Lin and Arthur have a commanding lead with 5 bullets. The rest of the fleet had good close and tight racing during which time winds were up to 14 knots gusting to perhaps 18 with the wind getting particularly shifty and gusty reaching the top mark. PRO Dave Ellis had planned to set the course to sail on the Gulf Saturday however with a front moving through and winds up to 30 knots racing was postponed and will probably sail on the bay again.
Santa Cruz Yacht Club has posted the Notice of Race for the 2012 Flying Dutchman North American Championship.Â Online registration is available on the same site.Â Key dates:Â The event will be August 2-5, 2012.Â After July 10 a Late Entry Fee will apply.Â Â The organizers wants everyone to know that all entries must be paid online in order for your registration to be completed.Â Check the NOR for the specific schedule.
The HUN 70 team of Szabolcs Majthenyi and Andreas Domokos are undoubtedly one of the most practiced teams in the International Flying Dutchman fleet.Â Their coordination and seamless maneuvering impressive and so fluid as to make sailing the boat effortless.Â But in the many years they have sailed together it is obvious they have worked through every maneuver in every condition. So studying their actions on the racecourse is a valuable activity for us all.
On Friday our container with all our boats and equipment left Genoa for the return trip to the US. On board was an additional boat belonging to Javier Valdes from Mexico, who plans on moving it out to Santa Cruz to participate in preparations for the 2012 Worlds.
The arrangements for all this can be difficult for the uninitiated, but Kurt Hemmingsen and his team from Agility Logistics is making it all happen without skipping a beat. Kurt, an FD sailor with the NorCal fleet, filled us in with some perspectives on shipping boats around the world.
How is shipping sailboats and working with sailors different from your usual projects?
Kurt: Shipping someone’s personal items is always nerve wrecking because I know how much the owners care for their FD boats and gear, and I know that the FD boats travel on a schedule to make it to the sailing events in time. Commercial customers apply a fair amount of rationale and have greater tolerance for unforeseen delay and schedule interruption. I am happy to say that I never had to tell a sailor that they couldn’t sail an event because their boat was left behind or delayed on schedule.
It is very typical that loading of boats into containers commence shortly after a regatta. We all want to use our FD boats longest possible and while they are on the water we have no use of them, so we try to plan it so FD boats are available for use as long as possible and on arrival as early as possible. This makes for a tight shipping window. I am fortunate that I work for a very large logistics company, Agility Logistics, with a global network which comprise of more than 550 offices. I have colleagues in every corner of the world to step in and help if containers are not moving as planned. We have Customs experts in proximity of all major sea ports. Because this is important to FD sailors, it is equally important to our team to make sure that their expectations are met.