Sunday, August 4, 2013

J/105 Rockland-Castine Regatta Champion

J/80 and J/32 ready to race in Castine Race (Castine, ME)- Two great days of racing took place this past weekend at the 3rd Annual Rockland Castine Regatta hosted by Rockland Yacht Club.  In all 32 boats made it to the line for the start on both days. There were two cruising classes, three racing classes, a shorthanded division, and a multihull division each sailing a 20 mile course, to and from, Rockland and Castine Harbors.

Day one was the sleigh ride to Castine with a 10 to 20 knot WSW breeze that was reasonably consistent throughout the race.  KEEMAH, the J/105 owned by Don Logan, in racing class two was the second boat to finish.  It was not the day for the big boats as they were never able to catch all the way up to most of the smaller boats.  Day 2 would be another story completely.

Day two started off with a whimper and finished off with a bang.  The weather intelligence provided the race committee with a forecast for some wind although it didn't look like it just after the starting sequence had begun.  A nice 5 knot northerly a filled just outside Castine harbor and the race committee anxiously started the race on time.  However, that wind proved to be a fluke and very light air commenced for the rest of the starting sequence.  Luckily a nice 1 knot+ out-going current kept most of the boats moving towards the goal of Rockland harbor while the whole fleet waited for a southwesterly wind to fill for a great upwind leg back "home".

The wind did fill to about 10 to 15 knots and provided some large oscillations between 200 degrees and 250 degrees during the race.  The boats that hit the shifts just right each time made huge gains, however, if you got caught on the wrong side it was hard to recover.   The shifts only took place every 40 minutes or so, which created a wait and see, patience game.  The out-going current meant that you didn't need to go to a shore but boats would go to each side of the course and create some major leverage of about 1 to 2 miles at times. 

The larger boats were able to catch up with the fleet on day two much better and the first boat to finish was racing class 1 boat, J'AI TU, a J/35 owned by Gary Bennett and skippered by JB Turner.  The J/105 KEEMAH won the overall by 1 minute and 35 seconds. Congratulations to KEEMAH and Don Logan's crew on a second consecutive Overall win of the Rockland Castine Regatta.

On Saturday a party of over 175 sailors took place a Dennet's Wharf restaurant. Which became really interesting when the power went out due to a small squall that went through Castine just after everyone had hit the docks and were cleaned up after racing.  The Dennet's staff was great and kept everything on schedule cooking with head lamps in their kitchen and serving all the sailors on time.  Just about the time dinner was over the power came back on and the band was able provide great music for dancing until the sailors couldn't take it any longer.      

On Sunday a party under the tent of the Rockland green was a perfect end to a great weekend with a full BBQ with burgers, dogs, chicken and all the fixings and some great salads to top off the experience. 

Rising Tide Beer was enjoyed each day with their "Spinnaker" and "Maine Island Trail Ale" brands providing some great refreshment to the crowds of thirsty sailors.   For more Rockland Castine Regatta sailing information