by David Paligo
“No Name Yet” #1049
So, I need to prep this SLOG with a little background. This is not so much about the Old Fox Regatta, which has been a standing regatta for many years, but about a Catalina Capri 22 and its rookie crew. A few weeks back I was searching the web for Capri 22 for sale and stumbled across one that was for sale out of Newark, Ohio. So, being a fan and owner of Capri 22s, I wanted to know why this one was up for sale. The owners, Jeff and Jen said they wanted to downsize because this sailboat had a spinnaker and they did not know how to fly it. Oh, music to my ears! So, we arranged to meet at Alum Creek and have a spinnaker lesson. The day of this lesson there was no wind at all so we launched the spinnaker and put the o/b motor in reverse to fill the kite. Using this technique, we were able to practice some launches, douses and end-for-end gybes. The owners were excited and this immediately developed into a new friendship.
So now, as Paul Harvey would say “Here is the rest of the story” … I heard about the Old Fox Regatta and called Jeff and asked him if he wanted to enter his Capri 22 in this 2-day regatta. His answer was we’ve never raced before but if you coach, then yes, so I suggested we go for the gusto, enter PHRF Spin Class and not race JAM. Jeff and Jen were hesitant so I told them I would find one more crewmember and let’s just go for it even if we come in DLBF every race. They agreed and submitted their electronic on-line application.
On Saturday the first warning was 1100 hours. As we set up the boat our goal was to stay 5 boat lengths away from EVERYONE. Our first start we were 5 days late to the start line, our second start we were only 6 minutes late to the start line and our third start we were only 1 minute late; what an improvement. We were so slow in that first race that RC sent out the mark boat and told us to motor back to the start line and they would finish us in place. Not bad as RC saw we were really trying, big smiles, having fun and great Corinthian spirit toward the fast and furious sport boats. I’m only going to say that RC saw our enthusiasm and then started ‘helping’ us get around the (shortened for us only) course a little faster.
Sunday met us with more wind and our newly seasoned crew looked forward to this day’s possibilities. We were engaged closer to the start line, we tacked better, had better windward and leeward rounding and our competitors started to cheer for us as we finished the races. BTW, in all our 8 races we finished dead last and had the biggest smiles in the entire fleet.
Below is video of our 3rd race on Sunday and us avoiding the hectic 9 boat scrum start line. Enjoy!