Last week I sailed in the 2004 Around Long Island Regatta. I have previously sailed in the race two years ago.
When I could during the race, I kept a detailed journal that I thought I would share. I’ll post it segment by segment as I get it typed up.
29 July 2004, 0925 – Aboard a Brooklyn-Bound B Train.
I’m on my way to crew in the 2004 Around Long Island Regatta, a 3 – 4 day sailing race on a 190 mile course that goes, well, most of the way around Long Island. I’m headed toward Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to meet up with *Diane*, the 30 foot Beneteau sloop I’ll be sailing aboard. Bob, the captain, Russ, another crew member and Marc, Bob’s son, sailed Diane from her home port of Huntington, Long Island yesterday. They had to start at the ridiculously early hour of 0330 yesterday to make the tide at the notoriously tricky Hells Gate and then sail through New York Harbor to make Sheepshead Bay in daylight. I’ll be joining them there along with Arch, the last of the crew. The course for the race is pretty simple. The start is off Rockaway Point, the western tip of the Rockaways. From there we’ll sail east through the ocean along Long Island’s south shore to Montauk Point, the end of the south fork of Eastern Long Island. Once we round Montauk, we’ll turn northwest through Block Island Sound towards Orient Point, the end of Long Island’s North Fork. Once we pass Orient, we’ll head west down Long Island Sound toward the finish in Sea Cliff, a small town in Hempstead Harbor on the North Shore of the Island, about 10 miles east of the Queens Border. Right now by B train is crossing the Manhattan Bridge and I’m looking at a trim sloop powering down the East River. Perhaps she’s one of our competitors making her way to the start. I sailed the ALIR aboard Diane in her last campaign in the race two years ago, with mostly the same crew. Bob, Arch, Russ and myself are returning and Mark will be our fifth this year. The ocean leg at the prior race was sailed in a stiff east wind that seemed to come right off Montauk, so we had to beat our way back and forth across the wind and heavy waves. Our fifth crew member, Diego, last time got violently seasick before the start, and once we had crossed the line, collapsed into a bunk, where he lay immobile for the more than 24 hours it took us to reach Montauk. Once we rounded the Point, we put up the spinnaker and sailed into calmer seas, he popped cheerfully out of his bunk, apparently none the worse for wear. For whatever reason, thought, he’s not doing the race with us again. This year the forecasts are for southerly winds of 5 to 15 knots, with 3 to 5 foot waves in the ocean. This should mean that most of the race will be on a steady reach in manageable seas. Temperatures should be in the 70s and 80s, with partly cloudy skies. There are scattered thundershowers possible on Saturday, the third day of the race, but no rain called for before that. If the predictions hold – and you know how likely that is – it should be nice conditions for a race. In the 2002 race, we finished in on Saturday afternoon, a bit more than 48 hours after our 1420 Thursday start, and came in fourth in our division on corrected time. This year we’re in Division 4, a division of six boats scheduled to start at 1420. We’re hoping to do better than last time, but we’ll see what the course brings.