Hopefully, those of you who were there found Warren, Ian and I on Saturday night when we were handing out over 150 sailing calendars -- thanks to everyone who had great things to say about APS and shame on all of you for not offering a drink to any of us in exchange.
When we weren't on land handing out free stuff, getting in line for a tasty rum drink or taking in the sights of CooterFest 2009 (it's an unfortunatley named turtle festival that was the theme of the Charleston River Dogs game that I went to Wednesday night -- the 5th inning "Catch a Cooter in Your Pants" contest was a little on the nose though), we were actually out on the water racing.
Ian was aboard the Melges 24 Wild Child, taking 8th in a very competitive 31 boat fleet. After their throwout, the Wild Child team never dipped below 10th in any race. When asked for a comment or two from the circle, Ian was quoted as saying: "I'm busy, leave me alone... I'll write something when I get a chance".
On the outer Offshore circle, Warren and I were battling it out in PHRF C on the Beneteau 10M L'Outrage and the Donovan 27 Remedy respectively. The first day brought stiff winds and relatively confused seas, bringing my weak ass stomach to the back of the boat a couple of times. No pictures of that, mercifully.
The boys on L'Outrage love the heavy stuff and they jumped out to an early lead with a strong 2, 1, 1 on the first day -- Remedy struggles a bit in the breeze and we clawed our way to a 4, 5, 6 to sit in 5th place at the end of day one.
The second day was moving day for us as the breeze came down to about 8-10 knots -- we captured a 1, 2 in some really fun racing as five or six boats were all in it right up until the finish of each race. Warren and L'Outrage kind of got hosed after winning the first race of the day when the Race Committee ended up throwing that race out due to the conditions. After that, they pulled down a 4 and a 3 to end the day a point out of first place behind the J/29 Seefest.
The last day was also fun with a nice 12-15 knot breeze and close racing. Almost everyone screwed up the start of the first race, either getting boxed out like we did or getting a jump on the race before they should like L'Outrage. When all was said and done, we clawed back for a 2nd place finish while L'Outrage held their ground and remained a point back for the top of the podium.
While we basically had third place wrapped up, it was the ol' bottom of the ninth, two outs for Warren -- and they hit a home run walking away from the fleet for a first place finish. Unfortunately, nobody else could get between them and the J/29 and L'Outrage finished a tough but hard-fought second.
Overall, it was a great regatta with some really good competition. They had to drag me kicking and screaming onto the plane back to rainy Annapolis yesterday -- I'm officially announcing to the powers-that-be that I'll be happy to take the lead and start APS Charleston as soon as possible. I'm not sure that I can give much of a justification beyond loads of nice people, attractive women and cheap beer, but I'll come up with something...