The 2018 TRYC Spring Series continued with a lot fewer sailors but no less fun! The race committee consisted of Max Achtau, his daughter (Elizabeth), and Alex Rogachenko who intended to send off six races. Due to growing winds, though, the race committee called the day after the third race. It was a 40 degree day and the wind was blowing 25-35 knots making for a lot of hard work. Boats were being pushed to their limits. For example, Ryan Enot's vang cleat ripped right out of his mast! A total of five boats ended up going out, four of whom ended up with similar points. The youngest sailor-my nine year old brother Cole Martin- started the first race which was good enough to win him 1st place in white fleet. Ben DeFonzo ended up winning the day with six points, just overcoming Teddy Martin, Ryan Enot, and Everett Botwinick who all tied for second place with eight points. Teddy Martin was able to pull off the second place having a score of a 4,3,1 - a tie-breaker decided by the last first place of the day. Right behind him was Ryan Enot with the same score of a 1,4,3. Finally Everett Botwinick had a score of a 2,2,4, without a first place giving him fourth place. A big thank you to race committee for being out in such harsh conditions and getting the races off. I would also like to thank the parents for being out there to help keep us safe and Toms River Yacht Club for welcoming the opti fleet and for generously providing us with somewhere to warm up.
A few tips that help on days of heavy wind sailing is being mentally and physically prepared in addition to making sure your boat is in top condition and equipped and rigged properly. The sail ties, vang, and sprit should be very tight unless you are light and need to crack the sprit to depower. Also, if it is really windy you can pull your centerboard up 5-6 inches, and it will make your boat easier to hike. It is also important to have the proper gear to sail in the weather that you are dealing with so you can stay warm and avoid injury. A dry suit and a warm under layer are beneficial in this type of cold, windy weather. It is also helpful to get the Atlas lobster gloves that are waterproof and warm. When you are sailing in heavy wind, it is important to be physically prepared. You should be circuit training, running, and on the hiking bench as often as possible when off the water. Finally, it is really important that you are mentally prepared and have a positive mindset. I know because I have experienced this myself when I was younger. I can remember looking at the water and the enormous white caps and telling my dad that I didn't want to go out. However, if you turn those nerves into excitement and energy you'll get out on the water and you wont think about the waves or the amount of wind, you just do it. Then, there is no better feeling than when you are coming in after a wild day of sailing in high winds and low temperatures and knowing you conquered it.