Do you ever wonder why you see sailboats out in the rain? It could be because the crew has a destination to get to within a certain timeframe and sailing takes longer than driving a straight course by speed boat. Or it could also just be that many sailors, like golfers and fishermen, try to perform their respective sport as much as possible.
Shadow, sets up the starting line as the boats gather nearby to begin checking in before the first warning shot is fired to signal the countdown before the recent Friends of the Bay benefit race.
On Wednesday, June 29, the earnest sailors at Sagamore Yacht Club once again ventured out to race in the rain. At about 1700 hours there was almost no wind and it started to rain, when just hours earlier there was 20-25 knots of wind. Nevertheless, the racers ventured out knowing that wind can be a somewhat unpredictable force. By the time they approached the starting line a southwesterly wind started to fill in, but so had the rain, which, of course, did not dissipate until the race ended. It was depressing in the beginning for the participants who had only anticipated a few quick thunderstorms and got wet because they did not have all of their rain gear, but the wind continued to fill in from 3 knots to up to 10 knots and everyone's mind began to focus more on sailing optimally.
In the JAM 1 division Ranger had its first win of the season and beat the first place ranked Luff Story by 40 seconds on corrected time; she actually crossed the line over two minutes ahead of Luff Story. Ranger stayed on Luff Story's tail throughout the race trying to block the wind from gathering in her sails. She managed to obtain overlaps at two of the marks that allowed her to squeeze between the marks and Luff Story. In the JAM 2 division Lord Jeff, captained by Centre Island Mayor Jack Williams was the winner.
Past Commodore Greg Bradley and captain of Waterfront commented, "Jack sailed a very good race and appeared to stay dryer than us." Waterfront placed second and BoxTY came in 3rd. In the Spinnaker 1 division Maverick was the only boat, since she had no real competition she automatically placed 2nd. Several people commented on how fast Slapshot sailed. She won the Spinnaker 2 division followed by Commanche in 2nd, Dauntless Frog in 3rd, and Cosmic Bandito who slid into 4th place. Cosmic Bandito erred by judging the tide wrong and leaving the pack. She headed in a different direction than the fleet on the downwind runs from the orange mark in Oyster Bay Cove to flashing green 5. She ventured off to the Centre Island shoreline, but if she had stayed closer to shore in Cove Neck and also on a straighter line to the flashing 5 mark she may have faired better.
Later that night when land lovers back at the clubhouse asked several racers why they still raced in the rain, they seemed to all respond with responses like, "Why not?" or "Because there was a competition." It appears that the sailors accepted the rain even if some were a little disappointed that they got wet, but all were satisfied that the wind picked up, they had a good sail, and their was some hot food to munch on back at the clubhouse.
For more information call Sagamore at 922-0555 or visit www.sagamoreyc.com.