The Seaford Yacht Club in Seaford, Virgina holds an annual New Years Day Race on the lower Chesapeake Bay. This year the weather was sunny, about 44 degrees F with winds 14 gusting to 20 knots out of the SW. Located on the south west of the Chesapeake Bay meant the fetch was short and more importantly the waves were too. Just about a perfect day for a sailboat race. Pictures were taken aboard "Molly Waldo" the Committee Boat where we will start the race and time the finishes.
All boats have a PHRF handicap. This allows smaller boats to compete against larger boats. The handicap is multipled by the total miles in the course and the result are the seconds deducted from the elapsed fish time of that boat. Todays race is about 11 nautical Miles. All boats start at the same time.
The Solstice crw makes ready and reviews the strategy. Each boat passes the committee boat to see what course number is posted. A list of courses is provided before the race and the number selected by the committee for the race is displayed. No one knows which course will be selected before they arrive to the course.
At Noon on January 1st 2015 the final flag falls and the horn sounds. The commiittee boat and the Red navigation marker determines the start line and today it will also be the finish line..
Solstice is exactly on the line after the start with Smoke close behind. No boat jumped the start so the race is on.
The first leg of the race is a down wind leg and boats fly main and head sails "wing on wing"
As the boats sail off the committee waits for the finish. The course will run in an "x" with connecting legs back to the start. This requires the crews to sail on all points of the wind. This downwind start will the a head wind finsih requiring the boats to tack back and forth to make the finish.
Wihtout a chase boat we wait for the fist boat Solstice to cross the finish line. Solsyice starts with the smallest handicap.
"smoke" crosses second!
Highlander crosses for 4th place.
Querencia makes several tacks to cross the line.
The Finish line!
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