Tuesday, May 5, 2009

J/24 Worlds -- Day #1 from our Racing Rigger



When I woke up yesterday and looked out my bedroom window, the first thought that crossed my mind was "Wow, it would suck to have to sail in this weather...".

Apparently, I wasn't the only one with that thought as our store was PACKED with folks looking for base layers and other warm items when I got here around 8:30am.

But our "racing rigger", Jarrett Hering, isn't a pansy like me. He suited up, stared Mother Nature in the face without blinking and threw down in two races against some pretty talented competition at the J/24 Worlds. Okay... that was probably a little dramatic for the conditions. It's not like he was rounding Cape Horn in a 60-knot squall -- but it still sucked.

Anyways, good luck to Jarrett and the kids on USA 5350 today in what should be challenging conditions -- NE winds at 5-10 knots are forecasted.

In case you're not familiar with Annapolis, that forecast translated into Chesapeake Bay speak means: the wind will come from a cone extending 50-degrees in either direction of due North with pockets of sloppy disturbing hatred and loads of current (sounds familiar to a few nights at the Cougarfish, doesn't it?).

Oh, and being the trooper that he is, Jarrett got off the water and took some time to write-up his thoughts on Day #1 for us. Even more inspiring -- he typed it up on his phone... which is waaaay more dedication than anyone here at The Stern Scoop is used to seeing.

Day #1 at the J/24 Worlds
By: Jarrett Hering
Annapolis, MD

To say that today was wet would be a slight understatement. Cold, rainy, breeze up around 15 knots, precipitation, more rain, tough competition... and did I mention the rain?

Even though the weather was just north of miserable, the sailing was amazing. Multiple world champs were on the humongous start line (82 boats x 24ft = gigantic line) and finding a lane with clear air was nearly impossible. End up on the second or third row at the start and your looking at rounding in the 70's at the windward mark.

Breeze was pretty steady with a shift late in the second race that helped the left pay as it did most of the day upwind anyway. Playing current and tide is also typical for Chesapeake Bay sailing.

We had a decent first race. Got off the line and had clear air. Made good decisions downwind and ended up with a 19 for that race. Second race was tough. 3 general recalls and in that race we finished deep with a ZFP. Damn! Well there's LOTS more sailing this week and room for improvement.


Today I was geared up for the torrential downpours and stayed quite comfortable. I made some recent purchases and with my Musto MPX Gore-Tex Race Smock and matching Musto MPX Gore-Tex Sallopettes I stayed dry.

I also liked my Ronstan Sticky gloves, wool hat and my Rocky Gore-Tex socks -- all were an absolute necessity. I was all "gucci'd" out with my base layers too: Patagonia Capilene 1, Capilene 3 and Capilene 4 up on top with Capilene 2 leggings on the bottom. The only time that I got even a little chilly was on the ride back in after racing.

World's Day #1 is under our belt and I got a few of the newbie jitters out. Learned lots and looking forward to more tomorrow. I am however, NOT looking forward to my 7:30am appointment with the wetsuit and cold water to clean the bottom... Brrrrr.

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