Saturday, April 29, 2006

Open Rule

I drove up to Pasadena, Maryland this afternoon to watch a portion of the Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Around the World Race). The Volvo is a multi-stage sailing race around the world. The most recent leg was nonstop from Rio de Janeiro to Baltimore. Today's race, which counts for points in the race standings, was an Inport race, looks like leeward-windward or a triangle, in Chesapeake Bay north of the Bay Bridge. The boats are all nearly identical, conforming to the Open 70 Rule.

The course was quite far off. The boats were hull-down (hulls not visible since they are beyond the horizon) the entire time, so I figure they were between 4 and 8 miles away. The boat movistar walked all over the fleet - she was so far ahead, she didn't have to make any tactical maneuvers. She just made for the mark and trimmed for speed. The other boats, in the pack, were more interesting. The 2nd and 3rd place boats seemed to get in a tacking duel towards the end. And the boat that was in last had a great rounding of the leeward mark to surge ahead into sixth, which she seemed to hold onto to the end. I took some photos, most through my binoculars, so the quality is not too great. But it was fun. I may even go over to Annapolis next weekend to get a closer look at the boats.

I didn't catch the finish, since I wanted to get back to Alexandria to run some errands. Specifically, buying the makings of a potted vegetable garden. I now have two cherry tomato plants, one cucumber vine, a watermelon, and a bell pepper. It's all very exciting. They should all be dead by next weekend.

A schooner, with two of the Open 70s in the distance

At the leeward mark; At the far left is the eventual winner, movistar

The bulk of the fleet heads for the windward mark; movistar is off the frame on the downwind leg

It was a good day to be on the water, be it on a giant Open 70 or a sturdy little Laser Posted by Picasa

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1 comment:

Kelly said...

It was a beautiful day to end the race! Not too many white caps, I am surprised, I thought it was pretty windy yesterday.

My next big purchase will have to be a sailboat!

Good Luck with the veggies! Hopefully your green thumb is much better than mine.