Weather Halts Racing But Not Fun at the RRYC 2018 Junior Regatta
By Peter Porteous
Junior sailors from three Virginia Yacht Clubs and two sailing schools displayed impressive fortitude in the face of worsening rain, visibility, and gusting winds at the annual Rappahannock River Yacht Club’s (RRYC’s) Junior Regatta, held Saturday, July 21. When the Club’s Race Committee cancelled the day’s races at 9:15 a.m., many of the 41 sailors and their parents and coaches stayed on for the Club’s cookout — planning upcoming events and meeting new friends and competitors.
The sailors had made quick work of their racing preparations. Competitors arrived from the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club (NYCC), Fishing Bay Yacht Club (FBYC), RRYC, the Big Blue Sailing Academy in Norfolk, and Premier Sailing in Irvington. The yard soon filled with their boats, including 16 Optis (Optimists), with sailors in White (10 and under); Blue (11 and 12 years old); and Red (13 to 15 years old) fleets. Six sunfish stood ready along with the 16 boats in the Laser Radial fleet. And three boats readied to compete in the 420 fleet.
“We made the decision to cancel for the safety of the sailors,” said Principal Race Officer Mosby West. “While these competitions include some very experienced sailors, there are others who are much newer to it. There’s a wide variety of skills.” Mosby spent the previous day tracking a low pressure system sweeping up from the Carolinas. With three of four weather models forecasting gusts of up to 29 knots and a threat of thunderstorms, concern rose. The decision of the Race Committee “was pretty unanimous,” he said.
Despite the morning’s steady rain, laughter and conversation filled the Club’s back porch, as the junior sailors dried off and parents and volunteers of all ages mingled amid the sweet smell of brats and hotdogs being grilled by Mike Kennedy. The hot food went quickly, as did the chips, power bars, lemonade, cookies, and watermelon.
Event co-chairs Samantha Van Saun and Jen Resio of RRYC praised the 25 volunteers who, fortified with a fine continental breakfast, helped make the regatta possible. Samantha and Jen said they received numerous thanks and accolades, even after the cancellation, for the Club’s hospitality and organization. Many thanks to the following volunteers:
- Parking: Greg Kirkbride and Peter Porteous. With special thanks to Bruce Sanders for lending his field so we could keep all the cars out of our lot.
- Registration and Awards: Susan Richardson, Liz Jackson, Sandy Porteous, and Finlay Smith.
- Hospitality and Food: Jane Parker and Ed Peake.
- Launching: Colman Brydon, Greg Kirkbride, and Peter Porteous.
- Race committee: PRO Mosby West, Debbie Cycotte, Ian Ormesher, Tom Richardson, Darryl Resio, Gary Hooper, Sue Kirkbride, Mike Kennedy, Tommy Asch, Arabella Denvir, Mark Lay, Albert Pollard Jr.
For their parts, Samantha and Jen worked tirelessly to plan the event, buy supplies, and organize publicity and volunteers.
The next opportunity for fun on the water is coming up soon. Don’t miss “Messing About in Boats” — the RRYC Dinghy Regatta, August 18, on Carter Creek in Irvington. This event, sponsored by Premier Sailing, is open to all ages, all dinghies, and all capabilities. There will be food, family entertainment, and prizes “for all the best reasons.” Sing along with sea shanties and share in the joy that comes from friendships on the water. To enter visit www.rryc.org.
Remember what Water Rat said to Mole in the 1908 classic The Wind in the Willows, “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”