WOW did I meet a lot of great people at the 2015 Nationals. Here's some reporting from Larry Geller and Ken Scott -
Eight Corsair 750's raced as a one design fleet in the 2015 Corsair Nationals hosted by the Pensacola Yacht Club this past weekend, with boats coming from as far as South Florida, Texas and even California!
My friend Ken Scott and I raced Third Tri 2 a Sprint 750MK2 as the only two-handed crew in the 750 fleet. We were gambling that the lighter boat would be faster in light air, and hoping that we did not get too much wind to handle. We felt very fast coming into the regatta, and believed that we had a chance to compete for a top spot - IF we got a few lucky breaks.
Races one and two were distance races - unusual for most classes but lots of fun on a Corsair. The first race saw the fleet starting on a tight reach in strong winds, with boats deploying screechers and later spinnakers as the wind dropped and moved aft. We knew that a good start would be key. We found a good slot and got ahead of everyone and were all smiles - until we got called over early! So much for lucky break number one! As we headed back to re-start, we watch the fleet flying east at high speed and knew we had a lot of work to do in order to catch up. Fortunately we stayed patient, trimmed constantly, and fought our way back to third place by the finish, following Randy Smyth on Blew Bayou and Bob Hodges on The Dark Side.
The second distance race was a spinnaker run back to Pensacola Bay. This was our best start of the regatta, and we led the 750 fleet for most of the race. Phil Styne and Steve Marsh on Speedster (who had my son Joe as crew) kept constant pressure on us, and passed us with only about a quarter mile to the finish!
Races three and four were buoy races inside Pensacola Bay in moderate air. The course was a bit unusual, with the fleet being required to round the leeward mark to port (which was also the pin end of the start line) and finish upwind. In race three, we had a good start, great speed upwind and were in third place at the top mark. While the boats ahead of us chose to sail hot angles, we took a deeper course and pulled ahead by a few boat lengths coming into the finish. We ran into some traffic rounding the start/finish pin, and had to go behind a boat from another fleet before finishing. Meanwhile, Blew Bayou hooked around the mark and beat us across the line – by only 8 seconds! So much for lucky break number two!
On Sunday, the fleet did 4 buoy races. In race four, we had another good start and a nice lead into the windward mark as the breezed started to drop. We were in a close race with The Dark Side on our way to the finish when we gybed into a big hole, and watched three boats sail past us. So much for lucky break number three! After a short postponement, the sea breeze started to build, and we had 10 – 12 knots for the last three races. We continued to battle for position in every race, and finished strong, taking second place in races seven and eight.
The racing among the top 4 boats was very, very close, with several races being decided by seconds. The final results put us in third place, ahead of Speedster and behind Blew Bayou and The Dark Side. All of these boats deserve a lot of credit for their skill, effort and consistency. We look forward to racing them again, knowing that sooner or later the breaks will come our way.
Larry Geller/Ken Scott
To see more photos from the 2015 Corsair US Nationals & Rendezvous - By Stuart Schaefer Photography CLICK HERE >