DWI- July 17th-22nd

Hi there!

I’d like to add Dinghies Whidbey Island to the race calendar up here; it fixes to be the premier event for sailing in the PNW.  Last year was the first year of dinghy racing, and this year we’d like to have 7-10 boats on the line.

Whidbey Island is a ferryboat ride away from Seattle, and is well- known as “summer camp for grownups”, with bands, volleyball tournaments, alcoholic beverages, and comisserating with other sailors. 

The racing will be July 17th-22nd, and should be very well run by the race committee.  The website for the racing is here.

Davis Island Regatta Results

March came in with some vigor (at least for one day) as the FD fleet joined other classes at the Davis Island Yacht Club recently 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.

Davis Island

We are trying again this year to participate in the Fireball & Friends Regatta at the Davis Island Yacht Club.  This is a good venue on the other side of Tampa Bay NE of MacDill AFB.  The location tends to provide better wind this time of year and Davis Island YC has an active racing community and race management group.  We would like to make this a regular deal.

2011 Midwinter Championship

The hot team at Midwinter Championship: Lin & Maarten

FD teams from as far away as California, the Northeast and Ohio converged on the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for a three day weekend of sailing and get togethers. We shared the bay Saturday and Sunday with the Snipe fleet.

Conditions ranged from 2nd grommet for a lighter team on Friday, to lighter the rest of the series, but in the end seven races had been ably run by the SPYC race commitee. There were the usual current and particulars of a north breeze that St. Pete is famous for, with dividends being paid to those selecting the correct (usually left) orientation to the strong flood current upwind.

Upwind Sailing in Light Air


Early on in the 2010 HPDO Willem and Maarten are trying to keep the boat going to weather in lighter air, before the breeze filled in.  PhotoBoat’s shot here shows pretty respectable air flow over both sails.

Telltales are not straight back as the wind is just too light.  Maarten is sitting to leeward which allows Willem to stay high and see what is going on.  But still there is a bit of induced heel that will help reduce drag a bit.

Early Spinnaker Retrieval

From the February, 1957 Trapeze, here is a clever arrangement to stow a spinnaker.  It’s difficult to imagine not having a continuous arrangement for such a key piece of FD gear.  But then there are still many high performance dinghies that still use bags rather than socks.  In any event, wrap your heads around this one:

Double Harbeck

These pics are of a double Harbeck trailer.  At the time it belonged to Lin, but now resides in New York with the Gorbolds.  I was about to construct an aluminum version of the dolly (see elsewhere) and this was to give me a perspective on the balance points Harbeck worked out. 

The First Annual Spin Pole Regatta

Due to such late notice, the only three boats that made it down for the weekend were URI boats. Once we realized that this was going to be an in house event we simply invited everyone we could think of to come down and swap into the three boats, with 10 people coming down over the weekend to give it a try. Unfortunately, an old repair gave way, limiting us to two boats and the whaler for spectating and picture taking. Despite the set backs everyone had a great time and enjoyed sailing in Newport. Look for us again, about the same time next year. 

   Chris and Kate 

NY400 Recap

With challenging winds, current and local traffic, part 1 of the NY400 FD Championship completed after two days of racing.  The third day of racing for the first regatta was canceled on Thursday due to 30+kt winds on New York Harbor. This resulted in first place for the van der Pol brothers,  Bas and Marc of the Netherlands.

President’s Note

Welcome to the new USA Flying Dutchman website!  We are pleased how it has turned out visually.  But more importantly, the entire site is filled with features that will hopefully involve all class members, as well as friends of the FD class.  We thought long and hard about this project before starting.  Just coming up with a bright shiny and new website would be nice, but hardly worth the effort.  We have very specific goals with this new design which are:

  • Help fleets grow with an integrated set of organizing tools
  • Foster a community with dynamic information and idea sharing
  • Build an extensive, search-able body of FD knowledge on many subjects over time