Broken Masts, Collisions, Capsizes!
Sunday’s one day Lido 14 SCYA Midwinter’s turned out to be an eventful day. Leading up to the event, for the previous half century for the Lido Class, we have had a two day event. Now we are lucky to get a single day.... Sunday the 17th of February. The reason for the change; the club no longer wanted to support a fleet of such small numbers. 2018 had a lowly turnout of just 4 or 5 boats. With the club running outside classes like Cal 20’s, I-14, and Lasers, the club didn’t want to move resources into the inner harbor for a tiny handful. How could you blame the club?
With an active fleet Lido at ABYC, and the help of a vocal Class President, we were able to muster almost 20 preregistered boats. The preregistered fleet provided the need for the club to come through.
The weather forecasts leading up to the event were calling for breeze on conditions, ranging (depending on your source) from 12 to 36 knots, with rain possible too. As Cole and I got ready to depart Arroyo Grande for our four hour trip south, I had trepidation as to what we might see from the weather Gods. Apparently, a number of other preregistered boats were skeptical about the conditions as well, as they failed to make a showing. In the end, we had 14 boats line up. But that’s okay, that’s part of racing. We are back in a Building Phase!
Racing was split into A and B fleets, with building wind keeping the skippers and crews in the maxed hiked position and with their hands full. There was at least one mast failure, a couple collisions at the marks, and a capsize, so attrition throughout the day was hefty. In the end Cole and I kept the boat upright, we tried to stay out of trouble by avoiding any risky situations, and we worked to minimize maneuvers. Just keep the boat upright and sailing. The breeze was at about 278 degrees coming right from some of the larger homes on the bay’s shore, making for shifty breeze. The shifty breeze was easy to over hike the boat, and then get caught in an auto-tack or header situation forcing the crew to claw in from the hiked position. In those squirrely conditions it was great to have an athletic 13 year old crewing. I never heard any actual wind speeds, but there were good white caps on the bay and I would guess wind was ranging in the upper teens. Add in the rain and it was an interesting day with not a dull moment.
I hope the pre registered fleet is a sign of some new momentum for the Midwinter’s Regatta, as well as the rest of the year’s regattas for the Lido 14. Dust those lidos off, air up the tires, lube the wheel bearings on the trailer, join the Class Association, and hit the road. Come join the fun. There is plenty of good camaraderie, and great tactical sailing in our Lidos, so long as we keep the boats upright.
Next Reggatta- Harry Wood, March 24, Balboa YC