Friday, May 10, 2013

American YC Spring Series Update

J/44 one-design offshore cruiser racer sailboat(Rye, New York)- As a right of passage, it's hard to beat the opening of the Western Long Island Sound Spring series hosted by American YC.  With such gracious and accommodating hosts, it's hard not to have a fun time sailing in this eponymous regatta within sight of the famous New York City skyscrapers and skyline off to the West, not too mention the spectacular sunsets offered by such an extraordinary vista.

As many veterans know of this series, the weather can experience rather remarkable extremes.  Sometimes a frigid 45 degrees, blowing 15-25 kts NW with hammer-blow puff-lines in a classic "blowing dogs off chains" scenario or simply unbelievable "shorts & shades" late spring conditions in the 70s with a gentle sea-breeze wafting gently over Long Island in a metronomic shifting pattern with puffy white clouds, 6-12 kts of breeze and not a worry in the world about how you're going to sail the race because it's so outrageously beautiful.  Thankfully for many, this past weekend was the latter, not the former.  In fact, this coming weekend might have even better sailing, though the wind might be an issue with a weak offshore High pressure dominating the weather proceedings.

After the first weekend of sailing, the thirteen strong J/105 class are having some great competition with some new faces amongst the leaderboard in the largest class at the AYC Spring Series.  Sean and Susan Doyle's KESTREL are currently winning, posting a solid 2-2-4-2-1-1 for a mere 8 pts.  Nipping at their heels are veteran J/105 sailors from Cedar Point, George and Alex Wilbanks, on board REVELATION. With a 6-1-3-1-2-2 tally they're only one point back! Kevin Grainger, winner of the third race on Saturday, stands in third with 14 points. Tied for fourth is the new AYC junior team sailing KINCSEM and Harald Edegran/Jeremey Henderson aboard CONUNDRUM.

Speaking of KINCSEM, there's a "new KINCSEM" on the block, a beautiful one-design J/44 that is the new project for that fabled sailing pair- Joerg Esdorn & Duncan Hennes- unaccustomed to being the "newbies on the block"!  They're learning fast from the many veterans of J/44 one-design racing.  Currently, the ring-leader of the lot, Jim Bishop on his famously sea foam green GOLD DIGGER is leading.  He's followed by RESOLUTE (Don & Rick Rave) in 2nd, VAMP (Len Sitar) in 3rd, MAXINE (Bill Ketcham) in 4th and BEAGLE (Phil Gutin) in 5th.  Looks like Joerg and Duncan have a bit of tweaking to go to penetrate this fortress of experience in front of them!

Further on the one-design activity going on at AYC Springs, the J/109s have been tossed into the IRC 3  Division with the J/122s.  Currently, the J/109 ranking sees SKOOT (Jim Vos) in 5th, STORM (Rick Lyall) in 6th, PAX 3 (Bob Siegel) in 7th and MELODY (Alan Tannous) in 8th.  The J/122s are lying 3rd and 4th in class, respectively, with Steve Furnary's PATRIOT leading the WINGS syndicate in 4th.

In the IRC 1 class, the province of the big, exotic boats from New York and Connecticut, the J/133 ANTIDOTE sailed by Ron Richman is hanging tough in 6th overall.

The weekend forecast looks unbelievably nice, with winds blowing in from the easterly quadrant for the most part-- a good and bad thing for Long Island Sound since the island can heat up so fast and so hot that it can prevent any form of easterly gradient flow from ever touching Long Island Sound!  Fingers crossed the PRO's can sneak in some good racing!   For more American YC Spring Series sailing information