With the passing of yet another wild and crazy storm, the Toms River felt like an early fall day for 16 E Scows to race our last pre-season regatta. Our BBYRA summer series begins next week.
With a civilized midday start and three races planned, PRO Chip Hillyer raced us up in the top of the River. My guess it was to get us to imagine what Lake sailing is like and prep us for Nationals. And he was right because it was a real shift from our sea breeze drag races that typify sailing on the Bay.
Racing Saturday helped those who connected the puffs as they shifted from the ending NW front and then the refreshing SW blasts. Sometimes it was better to leave a lift with pressure to get positioned for the next phase.
Race one- Bobby Koar was top jockey on Faster Horses and always seemed to be in the max breeze. He made some huge gains on the runs by shifting modes quickly between ripping along in high mode, then going low when that phase was ending. Following from a distance was Russ Lucas and his Shimmer team, just sneaking by a tight 6 pack of John Brown, Mac Feaster (and Brendan Hoagan). Jeff Bonanni and the new kid, Kyle Rogachenko, and the grand master, Dick Wight.
Race two- This really felt like Lake sailing and Shimmer was able to hit a few shifts that were based more on going up the ladder rungs, than compass angles. This let them find the last nice puff into the weather mark and skate away from the pack on the runs. Jeff Bonanni, sailing so well had bad luck as his nice lift along the north shore just kept getting nicer and nicer until he had been pin wheeled into the middle of the fleet. There was never an option to change and just bad fortune. John Brown and the Demand boys pressured Shimmer all race and came in 2nd. Coming in hot into the finish and getting solid 3rd was Bill Warner Sr. Bill is always around the top group and sailed a great run to finish fast.
Race three- Jeff Bonanni sailing Girls on Film, had his game face on and was not to be denied in race three. To get back at the River for the bad luck in race 2, Jeff hugged the south shore the entire first beat. I swear I think he went inside a few pilings just to stay further south. It worked and he schooled us all with a monster win. Dick Wight sailing his new steed, Rossinante, was on fire and led Shimmer into the finish. The breeze was up to 14 and a fast and fun Regatta.
Russ Lucas and his team of Colleen Kelly, Mike Dutton and Clay Johnson won with 2,1,3. The fleet was all within a few points and this bodes well for the Eastern Fleet. It’s going to be quite a summer, which is needed after we got Sandy-Blasted last fall.