Chesapeake Soling Fleet Kicks Off 2021 Sailing Season
written by Andrew Paul Dize on May 28 of 2021 and read by 268
USA 798 - Joe Hildago, Skipper Andy Dize, Matt Sturr
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SSA's Chesapeake Soling Fleet braved the new post- COVID world on May 22 and 23 with their first regatta in 18 months, the Soling Spring Series. Let's call it 'the Post-COVID Spring Bowl.' Six Solings registered and 5 competed over 2 days of hot and unusual spring weather. All skippers and crew have taken advantage of getting vaccinated and were happy to get their boats back on the water.
Saturday greeted the sailors at Area A with an 8 to 10 knot northwesterly breeze and 85 degree temperatures that steadily built to 93 degrees throughout the day. Say it ain't so - August has arrived in May! The fleet completed 3 two-lap windward leeward races before the wind decided to die. Karin Olsen Campia was the clear winner of the day with Eddie Trevelyan (St Michaels) and Alex Yakutis (Eddie's cousin from San Diego) crewing USA 857. Finishing 2-1-2 they were going to be tough to beat for the weekend. PRO Pat Fitzgerald's Race Committee did a commendable job keeping the race course square to the wind in shifty and light air conditions.
On Sunday the Soling fleet enjoyed a steady northwest wind of 10 knots and a variety of gusts and shifts which built throughout the day. USA 798, Andy Dize and Joe Hidalgo, this day a two-some, jumped out to a lead in Race 4 only to see it evaporate at the finish with USA 852, Henry Thomas, Mike Udel and newcomer Ton Zwaard taking the gun in the same form of their Race 3 run for the rhumb on Saturday (see results). Sunday did not open well for USA 857 as they took a 5th place and put the fleet a bit tighter for podium positions. Race 5 had a steady breeze of 12 to 15 knots, a tough go for double-handers - also including USA 828, Joe Van Gieson and Jeff Connolly. Karin and her skilled crew got a good start, played the shifts much better than race 4 and, with improved crew work, marched off to another win in race five. Copycatting USA 852's closing strategy in races 3 & 4, USA 798 played an advantageous right side shift to stay in the race on the second windward leg to finish second and snookered USA 852 to a standing third at a point down. The final Race 6 was a dogfight drama for a series second with Howard Vickery and Joe Van Gieson jealous for a piece of the action. In Race 6 fresher winds kept up the pace with few shifts -- much a repeat of Race 5. USA 857 notched the win in a solid breeze and USA 852 edged out USA 798 in a series tie for second place with an extra bullet. A special thanks to the Race Committee for doing a super job in helping to make this regatta fair, memorable and fun.
Results show great competition fleet wide. Everybody got a nibble and nobody was perfect as follows:
See complete results
Takeaways: Having weathered the hard loss of our beloved Stuart Walker, the Chesapeake Soling Fleet is growing once again. Howard Vickery in USA 835 had a new Soling owner/club Member, Steve Kline, as crew. We hope to get his vintage boat put together for the next event in July. Will Turner will be back from Houston in his newly acquired USA 831 and USA 799 has re-joined the fleet with a new owner, Geoff Gales. Now at 8 boats, the Soling Class is again establishing a strong presence at SSA and welcomes newcomers to join our fleet.
If all holds on the COVID front, the 2021 Soling North Americans in Annapolis will be a go in late October 28-31, 2021
The winner of the event Karin Olsen Campia has written her article about the event click hear to read it at
Karin's article on soling.com
Former Olympic Champion in 1984 Eddie Trevelyen wrote his report, returning to the class after 37 years out of the Soling:
Eddie's article on soling.com
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Great to see the fleet sailing again
May 28 of 2021