By Erica Beck Spencer, Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team
Wrapped a wonderful District 1 Championship with 12 teams racing in quaint and historical New Castle, NH, just next to Portsmouth. The regatta held one berth for the 2019 Miami World Championship. Mental Floss from Long Island joined the competition, but the majority of the competitors were local or from Maine. On Saturday the conditions were light, almost too light to race, but the Race Committee was able to get off two races. In the first race, local knowledge paid, and the two locals who went left toward shore rounded the windward mark way in front of those who went right (the majority of the fleet). Andrius Keturakis with Bad Dog finished first and Caleb Sloan with Blue Scoop finished second. In next and last extremely light air race three, boats from Maine took the 1-2-3 spots. Carter White’s team YouRegatta pulled off a bullet, followed by Erica Beck Spencer’s team, the Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team, followed closely by Andrew Carey’s Mr Hankey.
Knowing that we were only going to get one good day of racing in and had to be off the water by 1530 on Sunday, the Race Committee made the decision to start us at 1000. Sunday morning arrived, and the chilly breeze made many of us think about wool socks and winter hats. The forecast was for a high of 58 F, the breeze was on, and so were the waves. The breeze ranged from about 12-16 knots, and the waves were as large as 6-8’ but averaged around 4’. This made it super challenging to drive the boats upwind; even the most experienced drivers struggled. The Race Committee was able to get off six races on Sunday, some of them short like dinghy courses, and for those of us who couldn’t get off the starting line, sometimes seemed too short. Six races with little time in between each race made it seem a bit like a blur to the competitors but Carter White’s team, YouRegatta, hammered the fleet all day. With eight races, they had a total of 11 points after the drop—5 bullets! Aidan Glackin’s team from Lloyd Harbor on Long Island finished in second place. The Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team finished in third and qualified for Worlds, as the top two teams had already qualified. Finn Hadlock’s team, Boreas, and Andrew Carey’s team tied for fourth, but Finn broke the tie breaker.
To give you a sense for what the conditions were like when the breeze and waves were on, we spoke to Aidan Glackin about driving upwind. Aidan is consistently one of the top Corinthian sailors at events. He said, "We experienced some of the toughest driving conditions on Sunday. The large seas and diminishing wind made it incredibly difficult to drive. It took us most of the day to realize the genoa would back wind when you were coming down the wave and load up going up the wave; you really had to concentrate on driving straight and not chasing the telltales." Tough driving conditions for sure.
Overall, Rob Pruyn, Lenny Cushing, Peter Follansbeeand and the rest of the team of volunteers did an amazing job pulling off a great event. From the looks on people’s faces and the number of teams that stuck around for the awards ceremony, it is clear that all are looking forward to going back to race there again another day!
Photos are at https://photos.app.goo.gl/LVLWURihQomwwRKVA. Complete event details are at http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/16528#_newsroom.