Chasing the Clearwater

Clearwater  Weta

I am the only Weta in the mid-Hudson valley, and the only dinghy of any kind that races in my club. So the fleet captain translated my Portsmouth handicap to the PHRF equivalent (141, same as a J30) and put me in the keelboat spinnaker fleet.

As you can imagine, in light wind on the typical windward-leeward course, I lose badly. But in a good blow, especially if the RC has chosen a triangular course, I do much better. In my best performance this season, I won by two minutes corrected time. Sure, this is not apples to apples, but it's great fun nonetheless. I have yet to persuade a keelboat driver to come for a sail--they are scared--though I've taken a number of the kids for the ride of their life. In July we had uncommonly good wind, mid-20s on a number of occasions, which produced some thrilling runs. I did not have a GPS or Speedpuck on board, but I estimate boat speed topped out around 20 knots. Even now, after three years, I am amazed at the Weta's stability when sailed aggressively.

Above is a fun picture--chasing the Clearwater, a replica Hudson River sloop, 106 feet with a 25-foot beam.

#440 "Bella"