Blackbeard Sailing Club Turkey Trot Regatta

Photo | Judy Hill

November 27th, 2023

Eric Frank invited the Mid-Atlantic Wētā Fleet to Blackbeard Sailing Club in New Bern, NC for the 2023 Turkey Trot One Design Regatta scheduled for 1 day of racing on Saturday 18 November. This was my second trip this season to Blackbeard’s. It is a great location nestled in a nice gated community on Upper Broad Creek just off the Neuse River. It was the Perfect weekend!

Three Wētā sailors participated and, after rigging our boats, we all got together with some additional friends on Friday night for dinner in town. It was a great evening enjoying each other’s company and chatting about everything from the weather, to motorcycles, to troubles at sea, to Edward Teach’s intellectual acumen, to New Bern as the state’s first capital.

Race day began in the usual way with a 10:00 skippers meeting. I was again impressed by Blackbeard Sailing Club’s appeal to young sailors. There were 29 boats participating and teenage and younger sailors were well represented in the 420 and Sunfish fleets. Despite fears of cold November sailing, the temperature was in the low 70’s with a steady 8-12 kts of wind from the mainland. The day before had been very calm, so it was going to be pretty flat seas. The parade of boats sailed out Upper Broad Creek to the Neuse River.

The 14 Sunfish started first, followed by 420’s, then San Juan 21s, with the Wētās last. The first race was about 4.4 sailing miles in 12-ish knots of wind with calm seas. It was a triangle followed by a windward/leeward, followed by an upwind finish halfway between the windward and leeward marks. The conditions were great for the Wētā and we finished well into the Sunfish fleet.  The winning Wētā almost caught the winning Sunfish despite a 15 minute head start. Wētā rooster tails were reported by some monohull sailors.

Race 2 and 3 were shorter windward/leeward courses. Race 3 was very tight for 2nd and 3rd. Mike Willette had closed on Eric during the last downwind and really made up ground on the turn upwind to the Start/Finish line. None of the Wētā sailors could tell who crossed first.

By Chuck Carroll

Photo | Judy Hill

Photo | Judy Hill

Photo | Judy Hill

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