Schiffsratten NY30 Long Distance Race Begins

NY30 LDR Race 1

Woots to Rossini Ralfo and Schiffsratten Yacht Club for organizing the New York 30 Long Distance Race. It’s the first major event of SrYC‘s 2013 sailing season, and it kicked off last Saturday from the Travertine raceline.

The Regatta series consists of four long-distance events for Trudeau New York 30 sailboats. Each event takes place on a different Saturday between now and March 2, and the entrants compete as two-person teams, with one sailor serving as Skipper for all four rounds with no crew substitutions.

In order to focus the regatta on fun and decrease the stress of competition, the regatta is designed as a time-trial series rather than a fleet race.  You can get all the details on the Schiffsratten Blog or at the SrYC clubhouse in Pslande. There are no official judges and the team Start times are staggered. The ultimate regatta winner will be be the team with the lowest combined lap time total for all four races, with no ‘discards.’

NY30-TeaserSaturday’s opening event used the Blake Sea raceline  in Travertine. The course was a counterclockwise loop around Nautilus City, and the boats were powered by a 19 knot wind blowing from WSW (255°).

A total of five teams showed up to compete:

Cachondos Los Marinos – Skipper: Ralfo Rossini / Crew: Gaia Rhapsody
Dance Fanatics
 – Skipper: Jimboo Shelbyville / Crew: dustysamy Andretti
Hey Macho Man’s – Skipper: michiya Yoshikawa / crew: Silver Sands
Kazenojin Seiringu – Skipper: Chaos Mandelbrot / Crew: Jane Fossett
Vita Bella – Skipper: Armano Xaris / crew: Hay Ah


Any large regatta series can anticipate technical problems getting off the ground,   and this one proved no different. Since these were time trials, Chaos and I agreed to start first, testing out the sims and the course. Well, the old Travertine race line had other ideas, and it took us three attempts before we could finally coax a Start Time out of the taciturn target. 🙂 (Actually, we were grateful for the extra practice runs.)

Kudos to Hay Ah, who showed up later in the series and took charge of the race line dilemma. She sank the old one and rezzed a temporary one in it’s stead. It had that ‘new start-line smell.‘ 🙂

Kazenojin SeiringuAlthough the conditions were fairly good on the race course, Chaos and I sustained an early, rather severe crash. The skipper’s last words were “OMG, were going to hit a four-corner.” As usual, he was right and we did; as a consequence we were both squirted out of SL like a pair of watermelon seeds. That sidetrip sojourn and the subsequent sign-in and set-up sadly cost us six extra minutes…

The rest of the race actually went rather nicely, and it was pretty great tracking the other competition teams as they followed us, completing the circuit. However, on the final stretch to the Finish, the fates conspired against us. As discussed in my previous post, as we crossed Barbarossa we slammed head-on into a submerged mine. It cost us time, damaged our self-esteem, and will likely end up being a discussion point in future psychotherapy sessions.

RalfoPerhaps due to the head trauma incurred and the general disorientation, or maybe the fact we didn’t look at the map… we ended up with another problem. We sailed from Barbarossa straight across the finish line, missing the very last buoy (cough). All I can say is that it was a very-tiny-buoy indicated by very-tiny-letters on the very-tiny-chart shown above. 🙂

Actually, I admit it was the only buoy on that chart, so it probably should not have been that hard for us to see it. 🙂

Anyway, once we had crossed the Finish Line the mistake became apparent, and we discussed it at some vexatious length while waiting for the rest of the staggered teams to complete the course. I mean, I admit I’m not the brightest beacon in the fleet, but the fact that both Chaos and I forgot about the only mark on the course seemed a really silly screw-up. 🙂

Macho Man

Actually. our level of team embarrassment quickly got much worse as we watched the Macho Man and Dance Fanatic teams cross the line with great, nearly flawless runs. To his credit, Dance Fanatic’s skipper  Jimboo Shelbyville was even able to control himself; he only called Chaos and I “Losers!” once. 🙂

armanoHowever our mood suddenly improved a few moments later, when the Vita Bella and Los Cachondos Marinos teams came barreling across the Finish line. Both Armano and Ralfo forgot to round that last buoy too! (and remember, Ralfo made the chart 🙂 )

When all the boats were in and the salt spray cleared, it turned out that more than half the teams had messed it up. I’m not sure what that says about our collective skill, but the sailors on the buoy-less boats accepted their penalty time with humility, grace, and humor.

Here are the Official Round One time scores, as posted on the Schiffsratten Blog. It’s quite remarkable to note that  Armano Xaris and Hay Ah’s Vita Bella team finished in First Place, despite receiving a six minute penalty! Woots, thats pretty fast sailing! 🙂

All in all, the event was a good start to the Long Distance regatta series, full of great sailing, some harrowing moments, and lots of good laughs. And the best part is we get to do it again on February 9!


One response to “Schiffsratten NY30 Long Distance Race Begins

  1. sounds brilliant

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