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Regatta Summary by Ted Corning


Duck Island Yacht Club 

2008 JY15 CT State Championships

Saturday August 2, 2008

Westbrook, CT



It appeared early as though thunderstorms might miss and the Duck Island Yacht Club would be able to pull off an un-interrupted regatta this past August 2nd. Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, the storms converged forcing the boats to shore after only one completed race. Following a very wet and windy light show, from the safety of the club house, the boats were able to reconvene on the race course and complete the regatta sailing 4 more races for a total of 5 which then allowed for a drop.

Conditions while racing featured light to moderate breeze from the east to southeast with an increasing ebb tide providing for some interesting tactical scenarios. Out of the blocks fast with a bullet were Kristin Connell and Tiffany Skinner (2857). Joe Healy (3205) with his light air specialist Alex fought back hard to finish 2nd by staying generally right upwind and left downwind. The next race was abandoned as the storms closed in, which was great luck for the eventual regatta winners Ted and Andrew Corning (1203) having been over early in both "pre-storm" starts.

The well timed break was followed by a brief light northeasterly and then racing continued on a course set a bit closer to Duck Island with a breeze clocking right putting the eventual windward mark to the east. Although the pressure might have been a touch better on the right, as in the first race, the left side seemed to have a favorable "current river" flowing west to east which brought the port layline closer. Downwind the consistent play was to hold high on port for current relief as long as possible before gybing for the mark and crossing the teeth of the current. Whenever boats tried to test the low road downwind it generally fizzled out farther down the leg.

When three races were completed the Cornings held a one point lead over Kevin and Birgit Gillman (2414), each team having returned with a 1st and 2nd in races 2 & 3. Kristin & Tiffany were another point back in 3rd followed by Joe and Alex in 4th. Race 4 had Seth Olson and Julie Haesche (3205) getting the bullet with Healy 2nd and the other contenders fading. The Amendola’s (1979) made their late return in race 4 with the help of AAA (keys locked in car?) to finish a strong 3rd. Going into what would likely be the 5th and final race Olson was 1st , Healy 2nd, Gillman 3rd, Corning 4th , Connell 5th but along with the 5th race would come a throw-out so anything was possible.

Despite a boat-end favored line Corning and Connell both opted for the safer mid-line start and played the left side up the beat. The port layline came quickly in the strong current and both were almost bow to bow as they rounded with Connell on the inside in first. Both gybed immediately at the offset mark and held high on port but when the boats behind began pressing low Connell gybed out leaving the Cornings alone on the left. The later gybe to the mark paid again for the Cornings and they were able to fend off the Amendola’s to win the final race and with that also a tiebreaker with the Gillmans for the regatta. Joe Healy and Alex were 3rd overall, Seth Olsen and Julie Haesche 4th and Kristin Connell and Tiffany Skinner 5th.