GOB Regatta '03

Sparkle Plenty - 1980 Mariner 36 (New Hampshire)

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Up GOB Regatta '03 Deale to Oxford '04 MYOG Rendezvous '04 GOB Regatta '04

Good Old Boat Magazine LogoOn the first two Saturday's in October, Sparkle Plenty participated in the Annapolis, Maryland Good Old Boat Regatta sponsored by the Shearwater Sailing Club and Good Old Boat magazine. This was the first race I had participated in as skipper and I must say, it was an exhilarating experience. I would like to thank all my crew members who raced and helped sail SP from Deale to Annapolis and back.

The first race was held on Saturday, October 6. Conditions were a bit extreme with wind gusts over 25 knots and a four foot chop. I had moored SP in Cove of Cork, a hurricane hole off the Severn River where I maintain a mooring near my home. We motored out of the cove, under the Severn River and Naval Academy bridges, joining many boats coming out of Annapolis harbor to various races. As we passed the spider heading out into the bay the wind blew up and the sea state grew. We let out the 130 headsail about half way while continuing to motor on a broad reach. Soon I found myself surrounded by J-Boats sporting Mylar sails. A radio report confirmed that we our race start location had been changed and we were heading for the wrong race.

Once we joined all the good old boats, it was quite a site: everything from 25 footers to 40 footers of every vintage. SP was sailing in the open fin keel class and we were scheduled to start in the next to last group. We made several long tacks out into the bay away from the committee boat to test the conditions and unfurled the main sail (SP has in-mast Hood furling system). Previously, I had been in some heavy weather with the Mariner and was confident of her ability. With a crew of six aboard, SP put her shoulder through the chop and once again praised her displacement.

The GOB is a "laid back" affair -- racing like it was back in the seventies. There hasn't been a protest since the first event was held back in the late nineties. With the heavy weather and equipment failures causing several boats to pull out of the race (about 50 vessels participated, 18 in our fin keel class) the committee broadcast the race letters and we plotted the course (A X M U). The course  used government marks from Green Can 1 SSE of Hacketts Point, north to Red 90  SSW of the Chesapeak Bay Bridge.

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