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Greg Griffin Wins Orange Peel Regatta

posted Mar 24, 2017, 4:21 PM by Thistle Class   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 4:47 PM ]
Orange Peel Regatta Recap by John Norton:

"Wow, what a great weekend we had. As everyone knows I haven't been doing a lot of sailing but this past weekend reminded me why nothing beats sailing in a regatta over the weekend. Why you ask... well for me

1. Road Trip- who doesn't like getting away.
2. Sailing - who doesn't like that
3. Competition- who doesn't like that
4. Beer- besides my wife who doesn't like that.
5. Seeing old friends and making new ones - who doesn't like that.
6. Sunburn- not supposed to like it but it's a guilty pleasure.

Need I go on.
It was a fantastic weekend. Friday was a bust. We had a little chalk
Talk and tried to sail but there really wasn't enough wind to do much.
I was hoping to get a couple of starts and short races to gel the team
(Howard, Kaitlyn and Me) and gets some rust off me and the boat but we
had to settle for gelling in the bar singing irish diddy's. We may have
gelled a weee to much.
Saturday morning yielded cloudless skies and shifty westerly. Our first
start was okay, we broke the cardinal rule of going left after we said
pre-start we wanted to go right but we were in good company but they
were ahead enough to get some shifts first and velocity first that they
stayed with the right side but we didn't. Nothing like being deep at
the first mark of the first race of the regatta to demoralize the crew.
We hung in there but on a light downwind leg did not communicate well
and lost more boats. A 19 out of 23 was in the books. Our Optimistic
Goal on the ride down was Top 5. Race 2 the wind came up a little more
and we had a decent start We basically followed rule 1 and kept the boat


pointed toward the mark and sailed as fast as we could. We did okay
that race and finished 9th, helping to lift our spirits. Race 3 start
we were in trouble at the start, I was approaching on port, could not
find a hole and the velocity picked up and the wind swung left favoring
the pin, we were headed toward the boat with no hole to tack into All I
was thinking was S#@t,S#@t,S#@t,S#@t! Ask the crew because I guess I
said it also. I just prayed for something to happen because I wan't
going to be able to take the Wrath of Kaitlyn if I had a third row
start. Well don't you know the starboard boats could barely make the
line so there was just enough room for me to start on port a hair late
down near the boat. With all the speed from the broad reach, we shot
out to a pretty clear horizon, there is a God. We sailed well that
race, I tried to go fast, Howard and Kaitlyn fed the info. and tactics
and we finished 7th. Good enough for 10 after day 1

Sunday we woke up to light wind in the parking lot but whitecaps on the
river. Oh Boy, haven't done this in a while. It was just about 60
degrees and some forward crew from other boats who were going to be
coldest hesitated a bit. We sailed out in conditions I hadn't seen in a
little while, only to have my ability questioned by my forward crew.
It was one of those mornings, no need to raise the jib before the
warning, the wind is steady and big. So we reached back and forth, got
soaked and waited for the 5 minute gun. Oh and it was a Triangle
course, I didn't even know they did those anymore. Big air gybes always
fun for spectators not so much for 56 year old skippers. We had a good
start, poked out to boats around, hiked and sailed as best we could.
The fast crews were around us and we were holding, ok. Enough sailing on
starboard, we have a lane let's tack. Ooops, John Dad, dropped the
tiller, another refrain of S#@t,S#@t,S#@t,S#@t, back onto starobard,
good news, no fouls and only lost 4 boatlenghts and found ourselves in
decent shape at the weather mark, We do a W-L-W-R-L-W triangle so it
was no problem setting the chute on the 2nd leg for dead downwind. We
sailed as fast as boats around us which was good. We did not sail as
fast as top crews, but not surprised with our limited time together and
practice in these conditions. Back upwind we hiked then off to the
reach. Thanks goodness the reaches were broad and we had no problems.
We finished 7th again. 2nd race Sunday the wind stayed up. Nothing
fancy here stated conservative with a times start on Starboard coming
into the line from behind and below the RC boat. Again we held with
everyone, to my surprise, dropped the tiller one more time and finished
9th so results 19 9 7 7 9 for 8th place.
Given our average of 8 in the first race and we would have been 6th
overall , 1 spot from our goal. John or Dad was exhausted but very
pleased.

John Norton
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