By Ezra Smith
Sorry to take so long for the write-up-we just got back from the Cassidy's Bay regatta...So it was a lot of fun-we ended up with 10 boats, hailing from Toronto, Ottowa, Newport, and Hayling Island, England. Tracy and I split the regatta with Doug and Louise Walker from England. Friday was the distance race which was held in a light southerly and rainy conditions-not ideal or epic in any way, but sailable. Doug and Louise sailed this as we wanted to give them the chance to do the full tour of the bay, and they walked away with it, besting 2nd place Sorta and Price Club from Ottowa by several minutes. After racing everyone came to our place for a BBQ feast (after last time lets say I over ordered by just a bit!) and a good sampling of our sponsor beer Block Island Blonde.
Saturday we had sunny skies and 8-10 kts from the SW and thunderstorm warnings. We got one race off and were about to go for number 2 when the race comittee called it and told everyone to head for the harbor immediately. As we got under the bridge and were making our way up the Goat Island seawall things were starting to look really ominous and then all hell broke loose-45 degree shift with the first gust of about 18 kts-I am proud to say nearly every boat set there spinnakers at that time! Then it got really bad-waterspout and all, 0 visibility and tons of lighting, so everyonde just ditched and waited it out. Luckily everyone knew what to do and with the help of our safety boats everyone got in fine (even the trhee boats that were directly under the bridge when it hit. Sat night we had the classic Newport experience of drinks at Zelda's followed by pasta by the pound at Salas' followed by......
Sunday we faced very hot temps and very light westerly breeze-the most challenging direction in Newport because it comes directly off the heating land. We got three races off before the time limit, 2 in pretty marginal stuff (crews on the foredeck) and the last in a nice 10-12 kts once the tide changed and the seabreeze started working.
Final results had Jason Lemieux and his crew Graham from Toronto winning just in front of Sorta and PC. In third was Avram Dorfman with Matt Noble crewing on Fri and Sat and Matt Noble and his 49er partner sailing on Sunday. 4th came Doug McGhan and Matt Davidge from Ottowa and 5th the Smith/Walker combo (Doug and I struggled in the really light stuff on Sunday while Tracy, Louise and the girls had a wonderful beach day in Wickford!)
Thanks to our great PRO Matt Hill for making the most of some really challenging conditions and to our sponsors for the event-Block Island Blonde beer, the RI State Yachting Council, West Marine, Mac Designs, Yarrowsport and Team one Newport.