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Hampton Roads Sailing


by Robert Suhay, Nov. 13, 2011


"You promised epic and that's what it was, EPIC," said Leon Garber, as weary and waterlogged sailors were packing up the gear and licking the wounds Sunday afternoon after the home opener for Hampton Roads Sailing's fall regatta series at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. What a day for sailing on the Elizabeth River and for dinghy sailors at the south end of Chesapeake Bay.


A total of 17 Lasers were on the line for the first race of the day. The wind began at the top end of the forecast, with 14 to 15 knots as boats headed out around 11 a.m. By the time the second race was completed, conditions had built to 25 knots, according to NOAA reports from Norfolk International Airport. On the course, the wind was puffy, with a few big holes, too, and conditions choppy.There was a fair amount of upside down sailing -- especially on the downhills -- and the old guard was fairly thankfull for the heavy wind workout at the Master regatta which was a comparable challenge. The course was a windward leeward over about a half mile. The first race was once around. The second race, the longest of the day at twice around saw several boats abandon, so the course was shortened to one lap for a final sprint.


The crowd was an excellent mix of young and old, hardcore and novice. Hampton sailor Neil Ford made a glorious return to the Elizabeth with a first place finish for the day, scoring 2-1-1. Neil had attended a few of last year's regattas and proved he was a boat to beat, and he held up well with some smart corner round tactics. "Get to the mark, stop and get your #@%* together," Neil explained to a lot of head nodding. Your narrator trailed with a 1-2-3 finish and McKay Hannah (sailing a radial rig) took third for the day with 13 points. Like some of Sunday's football, her score did not reflect how truly competitive she was, constantly fighting in the front of the race. The third and final race of the day still saw 12 boats start. It was a great kickoff to the series and there was plenty for a long bull session during the clean up.


A big thanks goes out to Jonathan Romero, Leon Garber and Charlie Murphy who ran the race committee. And to David Tunnicliffe for taking on crash boat duties.


My computer is still on the fritz, so I do not have an attached word file, and I couldn't do anything about the type, but here are the results. If there are any misspellings or incorrect scores, please let me know and I will make the corrections. Conditions were a little tough and water stains made reading a little tough, too. DNS and DNF were scored as 17.


Please enjoy the attached pictures snapped by Jonathan Romero. The first shows most of the fleet just after a start. and the second shows some of the carnage on the track.


REGATTA ONE _Nov.13_2011

Sailor                            Race1     Race2     Race3      Total

Neil Ford                      2             1            1               4

Robert Suhay                1             2            3               6

MKay Hannah              3             4            6               13

Mike Moore                 7             5            2               14

Charlie Knape               9             3           4                16

Conrad Roos                6             6            5                17

Alexander Hannah         5             8            8                21

Jaclyn Hollander            13           8            7                28    

Gray Kiger                    4             DNF       10             31

Eric Roos                      8             DNF       9               34

Richard Biggs                11           DNF       12             40

Graeme Alderman         15           DNF        11            43

Aaron Applegate           14           DNS        13            44

Eric Siegel                     10           DNS        DNS        44

Glenn Atherton               12          DNF        DNS        46

Dean Bethel                    DNS     DNS         DNS        51

Elizabeth Spaetzel           DNS     DNS         DNS        51


Thanks again to everyone for making the regatta such a success and for helping with the setup and cleanup duties. And thanks again to Lisa for taking the time to prepare the cocoa and cut up oranges for everyone. You're the best.


Robert Suhay


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