|Posted on September 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM|
Manchester Yacht Club and the US Eastern Megabyte fleet hosted the traditional and as in past years outstandingly organised One Design Weekend including the Megabyte East Coast Regatta. Megabyte Fleet Captain Northeast Schuyler Glidden again pulled out all stops laying on not only a great event, but outstanding sailing weather, great catering and memorable get-togethers. The warm up Friday dinner served as tactical preparation, so those staying away to catch an early night missed out on some finer points. Ten participants including travellers from Western Massachusetts and Baie d’Urfe/Montreal (CAN) were on the line to face two very different days on the water.
Saturday saw a freshening breeze that settled in at 20-25kts with gusts hitting 28 kts under sunny skies. Racing on the inside in Manchester Bay, depowering, staying upright, capsize recovery and sailing fitness were key to success. The challenging conditions suited some well and tested various equipment beyond breaking point. After four action-packed races, several breakages including a lost top mast section/sail, and several cracked gudgeons, racing was abandoned for the day after lunch on the water. Relaxation at the poolside in the afternoon gave those tired muscles after the carnage of the morning’s racing some rest. The evening centered around an outstanding dinner at the yachts club which was crowned by a fireworks display on the - by then again calm - water (admittedly we ‘crashed’ someone else’s wedding).
Sunday and day 2 saw light breezes around 5kts and sailing outside in the open ocean in somewhat shifty conditions that favoured, well timed starts, a tactical approach with the focus out of the boat, boat speed and hedging helm’s bets to not get forgotten on one of the shifts. Six races and lunch on the water rounded off great sailing. New and old rigs sailed together and the results were a mix of the two, with the general consensus that the new rig fared better in the lighter conditions, while the old rig did well on Saturday in the heavy air. As the fleets build up more experience with the new rig, we will all learn more.
Prizegiving on Sunday afternoon saw James Hogg from Canada, runner up in the 2010 North Americans, narrowly beating off Marc Poirier and Potter Hodgson from Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA at the end of the 10 race series. The travellers enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the Manchester-by-the-Sea Megabyte fleet. Thanks to the race committee, crash boat crew and foremost to Schuyler Glidden whose energy and organisational talent made the regatta again a great success – we all look forward to 2012 and seeing all of you Megabyte owners and those still thinking about it on the line.