Written by Tim Wright, Mark Whitehead
Editing Kathleen Whitehead
Photos by Paul McBride, B.B. Wright, Mark Whitehead
Layout Paul McBride
There was junk in Back Bay this week.
Fleet count held as eighteen skippers attended the October 20 Soling regatta. In past years, a steady breeze was the norm for fall, but this year, Mother Nature has been playing tricks on us. Winds have fluctuated from hard to nonexistent and from several directions, often in the same race. Case in point was Race 3 Tuesday when three of us were just feet from the finish and the wind completely died, leaving us to the mercy of the current without rudder control — a lesson on how to go from second to last in a hurry!
The weather cooperated enough so that nine races were completed, but most skippers sailed only in five so no throw-out this week.
Videos and Photos
- Back Bay Skippers Video (WMUR NH Chronicles)
- Back Bay Skippers YouTube Channel
- Latest Videos: Solings, US12s, Lily Pond
- Latest Photos: Solings, US12s, Lily Pond
- Photo Gallery
- Sheila Ryan Memorial Footy Regatta
- Awards for 2019 Season
- Tim Wright Wins CAN/AM Challenge 2019
- Lake Discovery Camp 2019
- US12 AMYA Region 1 Championship, Nashua
- Sasquatch Footy Regatta (Nor’Easter Footy Series)
- Skippers Spring Party 2019
Out on the Water
Another shake-up at the top this week. On the podium was Rick Lalley, who took the day for his last Back Bay regatta of the season. Of course, Rick’s been saying that every week for the last three! It’s a great way to end the season with four race wins and a second. Congratulations, Rick !
Tim Wright captured second place overall with the same number of wins as Rick Lalley, but getting tangled in a patch of dead wind in Race 5 cost him the top spot. Rick Laird earned third-place honors on the podium with one win, one second, and three thirds.
Completing the top five were Al Posnack in fourth, with Bill Malay and Rick Gates tied for fifth. Ending in sixth through tenth were Jay Burns, Denis Boisvert, Don McBride, Genie Ware, and Paul McBride.
The top three spots in Races 2 and 8 were dominated by “Ricks.” That’s Rick Lalley, representing Thomaston, Maine; Rick Laird of Boston, Massachusetts; and Rick Gates, representing Nashua, New Hampshire. From the building class of 2020, Genie Ware did a fantastic job taking second in Race 3.
On Thursday, October 15, we had a good day with eight 12s, a Soling 1M, and a Soling 50 rigged as a Marblehead. To say the wind was fickle would be an understatement. The changes in direction and velocity were extreme, and contributed to exciting racing with significant changes in positions throughout the races. Sometimes the gusts were a little too much for the 12s, then the next minute there would be nothing, followed by a gentle breeze from the other direction. This kept up all afternoon. It made for some very entertaining, challenging sailing.
Five of the sailors finished the day very close to each other. Paul Wallace, Rick Laird, Jim Opie, Don Cundy, and Paul McBride were just over one point apart in the final results. The numbers show how close and skilled the sailors are becoming. Tim Wright, John Simms, and Don McBride were at the top of the scoring but faced constant challenges from every member of the fleet.
While it would have been nice to have a steady wind with little variation, we also enjoyed the challenges that today’s weather threw at us. The racing was competitive but fun, and the sailors were supportive of each other, as always. There were a few rescues due to extreme conditions but nothing that a kayak couldn’t handle.
Some of our sailors will be leaving in the near future. Please know that you will be missed.
The US12 regatta on October 22 was almost perfect. The sun was out, the temperature was in the high 60s/low 70s, and the wind, while light, was mostly cooperative. We managed to get in nine races with eight different skippers and Anthony Quinn sailing in three of them. He brought Tosca, who requires a full-time handler, but Skip Koehler offered to hold Tosca’s leash so Anthony could sail. Don McBride came but didn’t bring his US12. Instead he brought an electric lobster boat. Its passenger was B.B.’s travel moose. Mrs. Moose got to ride around all afternoon in the lobster boat, but probably didn’t hear the comments of the passing spectators. One didn’t realize there were lobsters in Back Bay. Neither did we!
Tim Wright was tough to beat today, although it did come down to the wire in a number of races. John Simms was a strong second, with six second-place finishes. After that, it was really close. Everyone had at least a third-place finish. Bob Brennan, after his strong performances in recent weeks didn’t have the same magic today but did get a third in one race.
Jim Opie had three third-place finishes. Bruce Wilhelm has really improved and had a second, a third, and three fourths. He is no longer bringing up the rear. Kurt Clason took time out from his busy schedule to sail and managed a third and two fourths. Paul McBride had a second, a third, and consistency across the board. Anthony had a second as well.
Ellen Koehler came along with Skip and enjoyed having time off to chat with sailors, former neighbors, as well as B.B. Wright and Betty Brennan. Don Opie also came today and loved sitting in the warm sunshine. He’s been doing a lot of raking at home. Betty was kind enough to take a US12 group photo – a good day for all to enjoy being out by the bay.
Join Us if You Like
Probably only one week left. But please maintain at least that six-foot distance. Bring your camera for the show but also bring and wear a face mask. Sailing always begins at 1:00 p.m. on Back Bay at the Lehner Street/Glendon Street municipal parking area, weather permitting. Solings sail on Tuesday, the US12s compete on Thursday. Wednesdays are available should a Tuesday or Thursday regatta have to be canceled.