Fall Soling Bowl Championship- Meltemi's report
written by Karin Olsen Campia on October 31 of 2021 and read by 149
Archive photo from USA 798 Andrew Dize here sailing with Sturr and Hidalgo
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Thursday's long distance race took place up the Severn River. The light winds mostly blew from the east. The downwind start began in very light air and it was important to honor all government marks, unless you wanted to push your boat off of the sandy shoals! The three boat fleet did a fine job navigating the river, rounded the island in Little Round Bay and raced up wind to the finish under a bridge span that was showing little to no current.
Friday, 10/29, was a blow-out, literally. A strong front came through with breezy conditions in the 35-45 knots range with gusts 50+. The cold rain and high winds made any racing impossible but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants who gathered at SSA for the traditional Fall Bowl Oyster and Chowder fest at 4 pm. The group wore warm clothes to brave the elements while libations, conversations and good food was had by all.
Saturday morning, 10/30, started off in a light easterly with temperatures in the low 60's F. The wind slowly, but surely, began to build to a steady 15-18 knots out of the south, directly up the Chesapeake. The short, choppy waves rolling up the Bay made sailing on starboard tack challenging and on port tack smoother and more enjoyable.
The starts, with 6 boats on the line, were mostly favored on the committee boat side. This made the aggressive fleet duke it out for the best boat-end start position. The racing put a premium on boat handling and crew work. The courses were short windward-leewards, twice around, about 3/4 of a mile in length, to assure that the RC could get in 4 races. All finishes were downwind. The offset mark was a mystery to a couple of the leading boats in the first race, as it was positioned far to the right of the weather mark and downwind. They wound up with DSQ's. They did not make that mistake again.
The conditions allowed for moments of surfing which made some positions change downwind. The racing will continue into Sunday with a forecast for partly cloudy conditions in the mid-60's with winds out of the southwest.
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