Kathryn Hammond Intersectional 2005 Report

(10.22.05 - 10.23.05) U. S. Naval Academy
Eight of us went to Austin this past weekend to compete on Lake Travis in Kathryn Hammond. We sent two teams. A Skippers were Brendan, Scott H. and our B skippers were Angela and David. Crews were myself, Cherie, Christine, and Aaron, respectively. We all stayed in my dad's house and enjoyed some great breakfasts and barbeque saturday night. It was a good sized regatta with 11 boats on the line.

Conditions were extremely difficult. Wind was north-ish, and light...and often shut off completely. Shifts were often and ranged up to 90 degrees and once when it may have been a complete reverse. Only 6 races in A and 5 races in B division were completed. We were all very proud of Angela for getting a second in her first race. We all had our frustrations but hopefully learned a lot. I think the key was to stay close to the start line in clear air and to recognize the puffs and shifts as quickly as possible.

Racing was postponed until around 11:30 due to the approaching cold front. When the breeze finally came in, it hovered around 19 knots with puffs up to 25! Getting a decent clear start was important, but also was sailing flat and fast and not capsizing. The last B div race from saturday was completed as were two races for A. Due to the 2pm cutoff and "equipment problems" they did not complete the last full rotation and threw out the two A div races. As a small consolation, we were all very amused to see the "equipment problems" was actually a capsized committee boat. I have now seen it all. Bendan and I decided we were almost (but not quite) glad we capsized and lost our first place in the last A div race... because they would have thrown it out anyway (and I'm still undecided about which is worse).

Sailing in the big breeze was a welcome change from saturday, but it just kept building (and swamped then capsized the dinky little committee boat). Angela was worried about the big breeze for nothing because she got a 3rd place in the single B div race.

Long as our masts were in the air, we did better in sundays conditions than saturdays. Perhaps we all could use some more tips for sailing in ugly light shifty stuff... it's tough!

In all I hope to be able to say the team had some fun this weekend and went home with some good racing experience... especially in a larger fleet than many of use were used to.

See you guys on the water!

~Amber Tull