2007-04-12 / News

Frostbiters enjoy a cold Easter

By John Horton

The frostbite sailors were greeted with cold and windy weather on their next-to-last racing day of the season. An intended cancellation notice didn't go out due to an email glitch and the six sailors who showed up decided they would go ahead with the race because they were already there.

With the gusty west winds and a forecast for 15 knots and higher, the race committee of Dick Allphin and George Rice set up the course south of the Conanicut Marina in the lee of the land hoping to get protection from the wind.

The sailors buzzed around the race committee boat in the strong breeze as Dick Allphin gave the three-minute whistle for the first start. All six boats lined up neatly along the start line at the ten-second whistle, with almost everybody having clear air and going fast. However, the good-start feeling quickly faded as shifty gusts crossed the course from the north and south leaving sailors spread out chasing the last gust. With the 50-degree gusty shifts, sailors could tack and barely change course and look very good, or they could be sailing away from the mark, which happened often.

The windward mark presented another challenge because there was no wind. Some sailors drifted to the mark, while others sped into the mark riding a gust. Fleet positions changed considerably as sailors rounded the mark. The winning tactic for the downwind leg to the finish was to be lucky, get to a gust first and pull away. The sailors were appreciative of the race committee for sitting out in the wind and cold for seven races.

Martin Keen was the winner of the day with consistent good boat handling. He had four first place and three second place finishes. John Horton won the last three races and earned second place. Final results were; Martin Keen, 10 points; John Horton, 17 points; John Quinn, 24 points; Joe Logan, 29 points; Rob Salk, 31 points; and Henry Siegal, 36 points.

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