Wednesday, February 22, 2012


 I watched a recent MC Scow race with 45 boats in the start. I was watching from just above the windward mark. The wind was up a little with a few white caps, some of the guys doubled up on the boats and one boat turned over on the way up to windward.

At the first rounding of the windward mark, the first boat came in on port tack with about a 2 boat lead on the first starboard boat and the second boat also coming in from port just squeezed by. Then the confusion really set in. About half the fleet on port and half on starboard. The starboard guys that couldn’t lay the line were in real trouble. Port tackers dodging trying to find a hole to get through.

I am thinking that the bigger the fleet, the more important the START.

I have an old book by Manfred Curry. He was an American MD living in Germany and wrote the first book about sailboat racing. That was in 1925 and in written in German. That was a long time ago. Two years before I was born. My copy in English was published in 1933, the third edition.

The first half of the book is theory and the second half is racing. He describes the “safe leeward position” and among other things getting the good start. He says that if you are not over the line twice in ten starts you are not trying hard enough. Well, maybe --- that depends on the race, the competitors, your standing, how many more races in the series, etc. I have 27 posts on STARTING. Go way down on the left side of this blog and click on STARTING and they will all line up for you.

Wonders of the computer world.



  1. Where and when was that photo taken? Looks familiar. Might even have been there.

  2. I don't remember where I stole it, but I bet that is Tillerman out in front!

  3. LOL. It's not me. The guy leading is my New England sailing buddy David Frazier, but most of the other sail numbers are of Chesapeake Bay sailors. Those two clues (and a lot of help from Mr Google) enabled me to track down which event this was, where your probably got the photo from, and even who the photographer was.

    It was the first race of the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters at FIshing Bay Yacht Club. The photo is on John Bertrand's blog. (He won the regatta.) The photo was taken by John Deutsch who left this comment on my blog a few weeks ago.

    "You should really consider respecting the rights of the photographers who took those pictures... if they didn't expressly grant you permission to use them, then you don't have permission.

    As a photographer, it takes a lot of work and resources to get amazing pictures. For those who ask, I'm happy to allow use of my pictures, usually free, but on my terms. I don't appreciate when people take my pictures and using them without permission. "

    And I hadn't even used one of his pictures!

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