The warm, sunny south we were all expecting was anything but warm and sunny the weekend of the US Nationals. But it was windy. Plenty windy.
A NorEaster greated those who travelled to Hampton for the event, the first US Nationals held on the east coast for several years. The weather discouraged all but a few keeners from going out for the practice racing that was scheduled for the friday. Pat looked discouraged AFTER the practice sail, and spent much of the night rigging a new mast in Barb & Henry Amthor's garage while the rest of the fleet had a few cold ones and watched. Ooops!
The low pressure system responsible for friday's wind continued to sit parked just offshore for Saturday. After a bit of deliberation two of the fleets present for the Hampton Trapeze Regatta - the 5o5 and Fireball - decided to give racing a shot on Saturday morning. The other two fleets - Mobjacks and Hampton One Design - were nowhere to be seen. Winds were in the high teens with gusts to 35 knots being measured. Making it even worse, a wind bend meant that the wind direction didn't exactly agree with the wave direction (we were in a supposedly sheltered location!). There were tales being told of sailing downwind into the face of a 3 to 4 foot chop. Not a day for pleasure sailing! Most of the Fireball fleet ventured out of the harbour to check out the conditions, and most returned soon after (after a swim or two). Four boats actually completed the one and only race held that day.
Sunday looked like it was going to be a repeat of Saturday. Some teams, deciding descretion is the better part of valour (or whatever that expression is), didn't even bother rigging. But those who went out found that while the gusts were still strong, the weather had moderated somewhat over the previous day. Four races were held, with about 6 Fireballs going the distance. Virtually everyone that raced (or attempted to race) over the weekend suffered boat damage of one kind or another. But it was a Nationals afterall - you can't stay ashore just because there's a bit of a breeze!
|Rob Levy / Mike Nalecz||Montreal PQ||(3),1,1,1,1|
|Henry McCray / Mike Thompson||Charleston SC||1,(3),2,2,3|
|Pat Crump / Nick Sellars||Atlanta GA / Toronto ON||(4),4,3,3,2|
|Dan Lawrence / Giles Oland||Norfolk VA / Nova Scotia||(DNS),5,5,5,5|
|Stephanie Marler / Etienne Portalance||Montreal||DNS,(DNF),4,4,4|
|Alan Boeve / ?||Boulder CO / Charleston?||(DNS),7,7,7,DNS|
|Mike McEvoy / Steph St Jeans||Ottawa ON||(DNS),6,6,6,DNS|
|Gary Van Tassel II / Pat Edwards||Seaford VA||2,(DNS),DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Jeremy Kennedy / Josh Hevenor||Ottawa ON||(DNF),DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Gary Van Tassel / Antica Locker||Seaford VA / Ottawa ON||DNS,(DNF),DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Phil Locker / Tom Egli||Ottawa ON / Montreal PQ||(DNS),DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Bill Miller / Bret Stapels||Denver CO / Norfolk VA||(DNS),DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Jane Leichter / ?||Lancaster PA||(DNS),DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Mark Mathews / Kevin ?||Norfolk VA||(DNS),DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS|
|Dave White (2 boats?) / Jefferson-Morgan High School||Jefferson PA||(DNS),DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS|
For the 5o5 point of view on this regatta, read http://www.sailing.org/int505/99hamptonrep.htm