2008 C15 North Americans at Half Moon Bay
by David Rumbaugh
This years NACâ€™s were scheduled for August 14-16, 2008 in Half Moon Bay, Ca. I was very excited to come back to Half Moon Bay to race the NACâ€™s. It was the site of my first NACâ€™s back in 2003 when I crewed for Kevin Wasbauer. My crew (Anne Newton) and I were a little nervous for this yearâ€™s regatta, because we had not been in the boat together since the 2007 NACâ€™s held in Long Beach, Ca. Fears of being a little rusty were floating around in my head the week before the regatta. Starting a new job the week of the NACâ€™s did not allow me to head to HMBYC until Friday night, so that would mean missing the Syd Corp series and a chance to check out our boat speed compared to the rest of the fleet before the event actually began.
The Syd Corp series on Friday turned into a 5 race day that saw some tight racing and close finishes at the end of the day. Four points separated the first 4 places, with Alex Fishman sailing with his father Steve Fishman earning the win with 7 points. One point behind was Kiersten Vance, and Vincent Paternoster who both finished the day with 8 points a piece. Kiersten won the tie breaker over Vincent by winning the final two races of the series. Three points behind was Kevin Wasbauer with 11 points for the series after taking a leave of absence from C15 racing for over a year due to the birth of his first child.
Starting Saturday I knew that these other 4 boats had the boat speed to cause some trouble for Anne and I. We hoped that with 6 races scheduled today we could get into our grove early enough to allow ourselves to shake off the rust. Winds were between 4-10 throughout the Championships, which is a range that we feel very comfortable in. Race one started and like we had thought Vincent was out in front of the fleet showing great upwind speed. Luckily for us on the run downwind we were able to catch up and pass Vincent by the bottom mark. We held on for the win in race one, followed by Vincent P., Alex F., and Kevin W. Race two we started out fast and lead at every mark, followed by Alex F., Vincent P., and Kevin W. Race three we wanted to go to the right side of the course after the start but Vincent made sure that we were not able to. He continued to bounce us out to the left hand side of the course which opened it up for Alex and Steve Fishman to take a flyer out to the right hand side and a huge lead at the top mark. They finished first, followed by me, Vincent P, and Kiersten V.
Lunch time was here. All the boats headed back to the beach and what awaited us was the surprise that really made the weekend special. The HMBYC really put in extra effort this year to make things nice for the racers. They not only had people making breakfast to order during the mornings before racing, they provided sandwiches in the clubhouse and soup right out of the kettle cooked over an open fire! It is these small tokens that the yacht club provided to everyone that really made this a special event and one that people should not have missed.
Back out on the race course after lunch proved that Anne and I had the boat speed that we needed for this regatta. We won the fourth race followed closely by Kevin W, Alex F., and Vincent P. Kevin was happier with the jib I let him borrow and the changing of his mast rake during the break. Race five again allowed us to leg out on the fleet and it was no surprise that behind us at the finish was Vincent P., Alex F., and a new boat in the top four Charlie Q. The last race of the day (race 6) started and Kevin W. was over early and had to go back to restart. Anne and I were able to get out in front and we enjoyed watching Alex F. and Vincent P. battle each other for second place. We won race 6 followed by Vincent P., Alex F., and Kiersten V.
After the first day or racing we had a solid lead on the fleet with a score line of 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 (for 7 points) followed by Alex F. with 15 points and Vincent P. with 16 points. Kiersten was in fourth, with Ryan S. in fifth. Due to being OCS in race three, one that he did not know about, Kevin W. was in sixth place but in reach of fourth and fifth with a solid Sunday.
Sunday brought out the same type of hospitality from the club like I mentioned from Saturday. Breakfast at the club was hot off the stove and a real treat for everyone. We needed to stay conservative and not make any big mistakes to hold on to the lead at this Championship, and our second consecutive crown. Race seven showed that we just had more boat speed than the rest of the fleet and we cruised to a win followed by Alex F., Kevin W., and Ryan S. breaking into the top four. With Vincent in fifth this race, that allowed Alex some breathing room in his fight for second overall. Race eight was a battle for the top boats going to the weather mark, but what we didnâ€™t see was Jeff stokes going farther to the left than anybody else. He rounded the top mark behind Anne and I, which might have something to say about the changes he made to his rig and rake that morning. At the finish it was Anne and I followed by Kevin W., Jeff S., and Vincent P. Alex finished in fifth which allowed Vincent to catch up in the pointâ€™s race for second. With this win, Anne and I had secured our second Championship title in a row.
At the start of race nine we were watching the battle between Alex and Vincent for second place. Alex had a total of 22 points and Vincent had 25 points. As the race went on we were in front of the pack followed by Alex F., Kiersten V., and Vincent P. At the finish it was Anne and I, Alex F., Kiersten V., and Vincent P. Kevin W. ended the regatta with a fifth and with a solid day of 3, 2, 5 he has pulled himself ahead of both the fourth and fifth place boats. Alex had indeed done enough to take second place finishing five points ahead of Vincent P. A special thanks needs to go to the HMBYC for their outstanding hospitality, race management, and overall regatta success.