Monday, November 7, 2016

If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait a Minute

The calm after the storm
(Photo by Bernadette Levesque)
New England's ADHD weather put on a virtuoso short attention span performance in Barrington this week.  The atmosphere threw everything but snow onto the race course, making conditions challenging for the 11 sailors who braved the elements.

The rain that pelted most of southeastern New England miraculously avoided the immediate area around the Barrington Yacht Club before race time, so all of the boats were bone dry, at least at launch time.  Oscillating north winds wobbled and puffed their way down the river for the start of racing.  The outgoing tide enticed skippers to avoid the current by going to the right, where the swirling winds near shore made progress almost impossible.  Skippers who went right saw huge leads evaporate as they were nearly unable to beat to the mark.

Then the squall came. The winds increased from 12 to about 30 and the skippers were pelted with rain. Those on the downwind run had a sleigh ride, and even some upwind sailors were planing. Some skippers got caught in irons and simply slid backwards down the course and one capsized.

After the squall, the sun came out but was too low in the sky to offer any real heat, but it made up for it by giving us a spectacular pink sunset.

As for the racing, Andy David cleaned up, taking the A Fleet and over all honors, and getting his first first of the season.  Newcomer Fischer (Sorry I don't know his last name) cleaned up in the B fleet, and in fact came in 5th overall. Starting next week, he will be competing in the A fleet.

Racing continues next week. Early weather predictions are calling for temps in the high 40s and 10-12 mph winds. Sounds perfect.

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