A long weekend during the last weekend of April was used by by CRSA to hold our first ASA 101 of the year. Julie Mitchell and Craig Guy (of Meadville, PA) were the two students who not only passed ASA 101 with flying colors but had their first experience of long distance lake racing on KY Lake during Saturday's Riddle Cup.
The weekend began on sunny Friday @ 9:00 am. We took Bad Kitty out of her slip off to discover points of sail, anchor practice and work on some general sailing skills. By the early afternoon we were anchored in Sled Hollow having lunch on sandwiches and such Karen had made for the group. In addition to our students we had a guest participant and class observer Matt Larson who traveled down from Meadeville, PA (60 miles from Lake Erie) to take ASA 101. During the afternoon we hoisted sails, sailed off the anchorage into mid KY Lake. It was a good opportunity to observe lots of commercial traffic and study the lateral navigation system with primary and secondary channels. About 3:00 pm the sky began to darken and we put the bimini up just in time to avoid being completely drenched as we sailed Bad Kitty (Bene 285) back to her slip.
As soon as we docked the skys dried up and spirits raised.... well we dried off and raise our own spirits. It was a wonderful day even with the rain.... any day of sailing is better than a day at work. Friday night we dined at Grand Rivers' own "Patti's 1880". The food and ambiance there are always an experience.
Saturday morning came too soon as we veered from the traditional ASA 101 schedule to participate in the 2012 Riddle Cup. This year's race was going to be ~35 miles long. The race started at KY Lake dam and the turn was at the Eggers Ferry Bridge. Well the turn is near where the bridge was! Earlier a large cargo vessel went into the wrong channel and carried a section of the bridge away leaving about a 100ft gap between the spans. The state is working to rebuild the span by Memorial Day.... I wish them good luck.
We had a good start. The wind came from the West/Southwest for the day. So we had a beat down and a reach/broadreach back. We got to fly the spinnaker for an hour or so, an exceptional experience for this group. Luckily Julie Mitchell had lots of experience with them on smaller boats and this helped immensely. The weather on Saturday was pretty warm and sunny. We all were a little sunburned at the end of the day. Saturday evening we had dinner at GTB club and talked about our experience. We knew we had a shot at placing as there were only four boats in the spinnaker class.
On Sunday morning we went to the awards ceremony and found we had placed second in the spinnaker division. We were and are pleased with our placement even though only two boats finished the race. Well, someone had to take second in a two boat race. If you have to be beat, having a j-boat beat you is better than a stick in the eye.
I am very proud of our accomplishment. The race took about 7 hrs for the crew to complete. We had a good time, we learned a lot about sail shape and tuning. We had lots of on the water time to discuss all aspects and try different things.
After the awards ceremony we went out and finished up on MOB drills and docking.
Congratulations to Julie Mitchell and Craig Guy for completing ASA 101 and competing in a strenuous race. To all, job well done!