2006-04-06 / News

Frostbiters enjoy warm spring weather

By John Horton

Shellback dinghys race Sunday at East Ferry. Photo by Nancy Logan Shellback dinghys race Sunday at East Ferry. Photo by Nancy Logan Six sailors showed up for dinghy racing on last Sunday's warm and sunny spring morning.

The wind was 15 plus knots in puffs, the top range for sailing Shellbacks in cold water. Shellbacks are not self-bailing so if a puff of wind catches you by surprise you tip too much and the water splashes over the low side and you swamp.

Then you are done - wet and cold - and you must be towed in. Nobody swamped, but several sailors were bailing the water out of their boats.

Dick Allphin and George Rice, the race committee, set up a windward leeward course off of the town beach at Shoreby Hill to provide shelter from the wind gusts blowing over the island.

The sailors decided that the committee's boat was the favored end of the line to start. The starts were crowded and aggressive with four to five boats sailing fast, all trying to be at the committee boat at starting whistle. While blowing whistles, the race committee also had to keep their heads down in order to not be hit by the sail booms of the boats as they all converged at the starting whistle. Only one boat gets the perfect start.

The winning tactic for the first four races was to sail away from the beach on port tack after the start and pick up a wind shift and then tack back towards the windward mark on an advantageous angle. In the eight races held, the order of rounding the windward mark was the same as the order of finish. Nobody was able to pass anybody downwind despite many boats being overlapped at the finish line. Some finishes were so close that the sailors did not know who beat whom until the committee posted the results.

Results for the day: Martin Keen was the day's winner with a low score of 16 points. Second was John Horton19 points; third, Terry Jones, 28 points; fourth, Joe Logan, 29 points; fifth, Henry Siegal, 38 points; sixth, Winston Knight, 38 points.

Return to top