Hung off of a Lightning class district championship, the Fireball North Americans were hotly contested in a primarily light-air series. The sea breeze never really kicked in all weekend, although those who went out to the ocean for a pre-regatta sail on Thursday got treated to some great wind and waves. Friday's conditions were at least full trapezing for all boats, with winds probably in the 10 to 12 knot range. Two races were run, with the top 4 boats repeating their positions in each race (McCray, Crump, Boeve, and Locker in that order). Saturday started light, and got lighter with a threat of afternoon thundershowers. The RC ran 3 races, with the last being shortened in very light variable conditions. Positions were now starting to get mixed up, and with Crump winning 2 of the 3 races it was really looking interesting at the front of the fleet. The wind really started to blow around dinner time, and we all looked forward to the next day's sailing.
Sunday began gray and overcast, with the temperature only in the eighties. A shower greeted us prior to the first race, but unfortunately there was only enough wind for marginal trapezing. And large lumpy swells left over from the previous night's wind. Still, it was another set of challenges to deal with and interesting sailing. Henry wrapped up the regatta win by taking both races that day.
Thanks are in order to Pat and Henry for organizing the regatta. Its been a long time since the North American's were held on the US East Coast, and I'm glad to see that there is now enough of a fleet presence to make it practical. Unfortunately turnout was lower than expected, with some obvious missing Fireballers. On the plus side, a local turned up (the McKims from Wilmington) that no one was expecting. Welcome to the fleet! It was great to see 3 boats make the trek from Colorado, especially new keeners Dan and Mary who did the 36 hour drive TWICE this year, the first time being their roadtrip to the midwinters. They had a moment of glory by leading for the complete first triangle of Sunday's first race, and I'm sure we'll be seeing more successes from them in the future. And Bill Miller continues to inspire, still sailing these silly boats at 75 years of age. His post-regatta plans seemed to include driving around most of the US (again) on his way home. Other notable roadtrips were 3 boats driving down from Ottawa (with Steph & Gary searching for water after overheating in the wee hours of the morning), Fee doing the long distance drive overnight by himself to get there from New York, and Gary and Jeff driving down from Vermont. The Carolina Yacht Club itself is wonderful, with great facilities and hospitality. Its a wonderful example of what a dinghy club can aspire too. Sailing in the open ocean was a new experience for me, and I'd never have believed that such a uniform expanse of water would have such localized wind bends and shifts across an area the size of the racing triangle. Only the top three boats seemed to consistently figure out which way to go on any given leg, and all were able to dig themselves out from poor starts and work their way up through the fleet. Congratulations to Henry & Mike, Pat & Andrew, and Alan & Luther for taking home the hardware. Maybe next year a Canadian will get some!
Psssst - don't tell McEvoy we nearly lost his boat off the top of the double when the rear rack fatigued outside of Syracuse...
|Pos||Sail #||From||Skipper||Crew||Pts||Individual Races|
|1||USA14700||Charleston, SC||Henry McCray||Mike Thompson||7||1;1;(3);1;2;1;1|
|2||USA11451||Winston-Salem NC||Patrick Crump||Andrew Oleksiak||10||2;2;1;2;1;2;(4)|
|3||USA14558||Boulder CO||Alan Boeve||Luther Tatge||16||3;3;2;3;(7);3;2|
|4||CAN14678||Ottawa ON||Phil Locker||Ian Maclaren||26||4;4;5;4;4;(9);5|
|5||USA10145||New York NY||Phil Mitropolous||Phil ?||32||(7);6;6;6;3;4;7|
|6||CAN13890||Ottawa ON||Mike McEvoy||Jason Phillips||32||5;5;7;5;(8);7;3|
|7||USA14490||Denver CO||Bill Miller||Mark Miller||35||6;(7);4;7;6;6;6|
|8||USA14666||Denver CO||Mary Wood||Daniel LeMier||46||(9);8;8;8;9;5;8|
|9||USA6083||Burlington VT||Jeff ?||Gary Godberson||48||8;9;9;9;5;8;(12)|
|10||USA6381||Wilmington NC||George McKim||Devin McKim||60||(12);11;10;10;10;10;9|
|11||CAN5250||Ottawa ON||Gary Branscombe||Steph Serre de St Jeans||69||12;10;12;11;12;12;(13)|