The HPDO is one of my favorite regattas. Two years ago, it blew dogs off chains. This year it was light. But still great racing and great boat porn.
Here is quick first summary. We will have some pics later, I’m sure.
- Awesome Race Committee. Well done Sandy and his RC team. Truly exceptional. Squeezed in 7 fair and good races on Long Island Sound with a high pressure sitting overhead. Forecast was 5 knots. Sandy hunted out a small breeze zone, set up 0.7 mile legs, moved windward marks and start line at breakneck speed and got us rolling. As soon as our last boat was across the finish, the new start line would already be set, windward marks dropped and Sandy would roll right into the next sequence. In 10-15 knots of breeze this would be really good RC work. In this weekend’s conditions, 4-9 knots with new breeze directions always threatening, it was nothing short of miraculous. Five races on Day One and Two races on Day 2. Day 2 was if anything even more challenging for the RC. Postponed for just the right time, and as a breeze started to roll towards us, the sequence started just allowing two races for the Vipers before the breeze faded and swung like crazy…”Okay, you can go in now”. MVP of the regatta was definitely Sandy Weil.
- Best Exchange of the Skippers Briefing: Skipper: ” Sandy, you cannot foil Moths in less than 7 knots” Sandy (not a diminutative man) ” I can confirm that I cannot foil a moth in 7 knots or 15 knots.”
- Winner – Jason Carroll on Argo. Ruthlessly consistent.
- Newcomers did really well. Luke Porter from Nova Scotia in his first ever Viper regatta, with a new boat delivered in June finished 7th counting a 2nd in Race 4, a 3rd in Race 5 and a 4th in the final race. Peter Bauer from the Vanguard 15 class has owned his boat for less than 9 months came third overall, chasing Brad and tied on points going into the final day. Cameron McKnight, Peter Beardsley and Richard Prieto, all had great regattas. In all, seven out of the top ten Vipers have bought their boats this year.
- Day One. Provided you were careful how you got there, the left paid. The right looked tempting because of of a promise of less tide. But succumbing to temptation sometimes led to purgatory. Brad ” It always felt great on the right, until you tacked and tried to sail back to the fleet on starboard. Man, that was hard coming out of the right”
- Day Two . I really can’t offer a lot of insight into what worked, other than keeping the boat rolling, finding clean lanes and trying to stay in clear air, uphill and downhill.
Just a great time. Great to get together with the other High Performance boats. As usual lots of boat porn. My favorite this year was a Drop Dead Gorgeous all wood varnished Fireball parked on the front lawn (Somebody buy that boat!!). On the other end of the spectrum, a brand new 5-0-5 completely tricked out.
If you have not sailed this regatta. Put it on the bucket list. Its part great racing, part social gathering of folks who like fast light boats, and part concours d’elegance show on the lawn of the latest ideas in high performance sailing.
More coming later with some pictures………………