"Charlie's Angel Survives Jet-14 Spring "Thaw" Regatta in Lake Norman

Above: A tack gone bad turtles Charlie's Angel (in background) as Frank Bajowski tries to recover from an unfortunate spinnaker run in #1145 at the 2005 Spring Thaw.  All survived to sail another day.

The last weekend in April is traditionally the start of the Jet regatta schedule with the Lake Norman (NC) YC Regatta..   This year, we were about two days ahead of beautiful warm weather, and were treated to some wild rides instead, in 15 to 20 kt winds. Pictures are at www.lakenormanyachtclub.com/News/Images2005/Jet14Regatta

 On Sunday, even Charlie's Angel, for the first capsizal of her career,  succumbed to an off-balance tack, possibly caused by an ill-timed lull, and slowly rolled to windward, and then not so slowly turtled.  In one picture, she lies there in the distance, patiently awaiting rescue an hour or so later  - through the good graces and selfless response of  wet-suited BARRY SAUNDERS and  FRANK BAJOWSKI,  and the unswerving attention of a super Race Committee. THANK YOU ALL!

 To Anita's and my delight, the crash boats had appeared immediately, having had plenty of practice aiding all the other Jets, except one, during the two days. The water was quite warm (nearby power station) considering the date.  Later, back in the LNYC clubhouse, hot showers, a roaring fire, extra rations of rum and a delicious lunch provided by our wonderful hosts, former HSC member Tom Grace and Paula Pacheco, made for a fine trophy ceremony.

 Lessons learned: (finally, after many years!)

 1.  Flotation:  Recently 2 1/2 more cubic feet of Home Depot's pink styrofoam had been stuffed into the flotation tanks of 1129.  After an hour plus, there was absolutely no danger of sinking, but I may add some more anyway.

 2.  Clothing:  I had on 7 layers of various sweatshirts etc etc due to the 40 something degree weather and brisk winds.  There was no way either Anita or I could get up on the hull with the extra 50 - 100 pounds of wet clothes.  Dry suits may have a customer coming!

 3.  Centerboard preventer:  Chris MacMurray's Jet has a shockcord arrangement to lesson the chance of the board retracting when capsized, as happened here.  I'll be trying it, and maybe transom flaps like a few Jets have.

 4.  Alternate righting technique:   At least one Jet, I think Karen's,  was self-righted by attaching a line to a jib cleat, pulling it over the inverted hull and then slowly pulling on it to right the boat, as catamarans do.  We'll try it this summer!

 5. Capsizing is slow.

 6..  70 - 80 degree sunshine, 8 to 10 kt breezes are great..... but we'll be back at LNYC next year no matter what.. It's a great place to sail.  

 C Engler 1129

Posted 4/29/05