Chris Chadwick owner of the J80 Church Key sent us a guest post about last weekend's J80 East Coast Championship in Annapolis, Maryland. Ed and I had so much fun sailing on Church Key and it's always sweeter to win when you sail with friends. It was also a nice change to not be photographing the regatta and sailing instead! Check out Sara Proctor's SailFastPhoto images for some great shots from the weekend.
Well, back to Church Key…As I said, she’s not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she gets the jobdone (sort of like a German Sausage maker…) and she is very loved by her family.
The forecast for the weekend was sketchy. Friday would be chilly, with a nice breeze from the Northeast that would slowly diminish. Saturday we were to be besieged by an early winter Nor’easter…and then Sunday was just cold, with even shiftier conditions from the Northwest. The first day of sailing was intense. Church Key scrambled to make the first race after a last minute outhaul fix on the way out. Firebolt, owned by Bill Hunt, sailed a great first day. Through four races they ended the day in first with 11 points. Will Crump, sailing on Jeff’s Boat and our crew on Church Key were right on Firebolt’s heels in a tie for second (Will was winning the tie breaker with two bullets) at 13 points. John White was 5 points back sitting in 4th. At the end of the day, we took a good look at the impending storm and made the smart decision to postpone sailing forSaturday. Seeing the weather that hit, this was an incredibly smart call!!
The last day of sailing started with freezing temperatures and shifty winds. We got out to the race course and commenced race one of the day. Our team talked prior to the start and decided we were going to sail our own race and stay clear of everyone at the start. We went for the boat end at the start and were given the opportunity to push Will Crump over the line. This wasn't the plan, but it didn't hurt us either. Though not our greatest race, we scored a 5, better than the 2 boats in front of us going into the day. Suddenly we were sitting with two points in first and John White had moved into the second position. The second race we were launched. Ed and Becky kept us in the wind and Tom did a great job on the jib to keep us driving through increasingly shifty conditions. By the end of the second leg, we had a nice lead and played cover for the remainder of the race. The 3rd race continued with our goal of consistency. The wheels stayed on and we were able to work the shifts nicely. We finished with a 2nd. At this point the wind had shifted drastically and the current was strong. The Race Committee attempted to shift the course and get one last race off. They finally were able to start a fourth race, but the shifts were so drastic that the committee decided to abandon the race and call it a day. We had won the regatta with a solid 10 point lead!!!
See you on the water soon!!!