The offical write-up is below. But my thoughts first. Don Mohr, Mike Biggs, and me set off from Austin early to get to Bridgeland, just northeast of Houston, Saturday morning. With Don and Mike heading over from Georgetown area, we met up in Manor and carpooled in Don’s vehicle.
It was a good drive with good company. We arrived without incident after the mandatory stop at Buc-ees in Waller. This trip represented Mike’s first outing of this year’s series and Don’s first regatta with his new DF65. I might be corrected later but I think Don only had a couple of practice sails on this DF prior to this regatta.
One of the great things about this series is you get to see all the other participants on a monthly basis. I think this regular monthly scheduling is building a great rapport between the DF skippers of Texas.
Despite the auspicious start to the day, the first race brought calamity to Mike. An electrical gremlin felled the 115 and, “luckily” for the rest of us, Mike was relegated/promoted to photographer for the rest of the day. In Chuck’s report below is a link to Mike’s wonderful photos.
So on to my observations. The weather was perfect. mid-70s temp with a firm 8-10 mph wsw breeze over the course. Phil Rundquist had set us a nice course given the prevailing wind direction . We had 25 boats on the line most of the day which is a lot. So getting a good start is paramount to a good finish. This has routinely been a challenge for me as I’m still trying to place myself close to line without causing a traffic jam. I’m getting better and more confident to hold my line in the run-up to the start and still practicing the skills needed to “park”at the line. Our rule today was no dip starts so it was imperative to not cross the line in the last 30 or so seconds since I’d be required to go around the end marks to restart.
Once racing, I would find myself holding my tacks too long and making the course longer. Even with good speed, this kills one’s chances. But to be honest when the boat is moving well and in the groove it is difficult to convince myself to tack off that line. But when you have to keep putting in a couple extra tacks to clear the windward mark you begin to rue the the earlier choices.
Overall, I finished the day well for me at 8th out of 26. I had a 3rd and a 4th place finish with two throwouts of a 21st and 15th.
At this point in the season and its still very early, I’m placed 4th overall with 7 regattas to go. This is a result of mainly being present at the first three regattas. So perserverence matters a bit!
Below is an excellent write-up from Chuck.
Courtesy of Chuck LeMatheiu
What a fantastic day of racing in Houston at their great Bridgeland venue. A Texas DF series record of 26 skippers raced in beautiful weather in winds of 5-10 MPH!
Mike Biggs took 133 great photos where you can check out all the action: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwrBDJr
We welcomed yet another newcomer to the series Ken Weeks of San Antonio keeping our record intact of adding a brand new DragonForce 65 skipper to our series nearly every time we have a series race! We are now already up to 36 skippers participating in only 3 races!
Making his first appearance of the year, Chris Macaluso announced his presence with authority finishing every race first except for one. Chris was untouchable all day and considering we were racing with 26 boats on the line, and amazing accomplishment! No matter how far he was back or got stuck, Chris’s constant practice with the DF65 shows every time he races!
We had a good turnout from San Antonio, Austin , and Dallas with at least 3 skippers from each area and the Houston area folks turned out in big numbers!
We were pleased to see our fellow friend and skipper Bruce Huckaba show up, and not only did Bruce sail well he vaulted to 2nd place in the overall standings!
Fred Sheldon and Fernando Campoverde continue to battle it out for the Masters division title.
We also saw and appearance of 2 new DragonFlite 95s which many Texas DF Series skippers have purchased! We discussed after our race incorporating the DF95 into the series after we race the DF65 ‘s in the morning and DF95s in the afternoon!
The next series race is scheduled for April 9th in Austin at the Sun City Model Sailing Club. Hope to see y’all there!
(Photos Courtesy Mike Biggs/ Austin)