Bay Shore Tuesday AugusT 7, 2018 Race Results

Bay Shore Mid-Summer Invitational #4

Unofficial Race Results

Course: Lucky #13 (what could possible go wrong)

Distance:5.8 nm (2 miles would have sufficed)  

Wind Direction: SW, W, NW Wind Speed: More than we needed 

Race Committee: John Mendolia (part time, smart move)

Position   Division   Yacht       Captain

1.            PHRF        Merry Ann - Cook/Burns

2.            PHRF        Full Circle - Manko

3.            PHRF        Lady in Red - Drossos

DNF for all the 11 smart people who retired early. We believe that the following boats were racing last night but did not finish. If this information is not correct, please let us know. Thank you.

Jolly Mon - Ahern

Sugar Magnolia - Grover

Pandemonium - Sebouhian

Southern Accent - Gathard

Integrity - Figueroa

AleboatII - Winberry

Jubilee - Russo

Rhodes - Phillips

Snoopy - Deruvo

Leprechaun - Connor

Czech Mate - Dennerlein

The weather forecast for last night's race called for clear skies and SW winds at 15 knots. Perfect!

Here is the reality of what we experienced aboard Lady in Red last night. The race course selected was "Lucky #13" (Start @ 1, 6p, 11s, 10p, 3p, Finish @ 1) At the start of the race, the wind was SW at 15-20 knots true. Lady in Red had her first reef tucked in, and the crew was busy keeping her on her feet in the occasional gusts.  The fleet was making its way toward the first mark when we noticed the sky getting really dark toward the north, but the sky over us was just slightly overcast. Then there were some sightings of lightning off in the distance. Shortly after most the fleet had rounded buoy #6, there was a bolt of lightning and instantaneous thunder that appeared to be 100 yards to our port. It certainly got the attention of everyone on board.  I'm sure the rest of the fleet had a similar reaction. At that moment a couple of boats decided to retire while the rest of the fleet continued racing. The bay gradually became darker, but it wasn't due to the setting sun. The gloom of darkness from the north was gradually making its way south.  That's when we all knew that the predicted weather forecast was very wrong. As most of the remaining fleet was making their way from buoy 10 to 3, the lightning intensified but the wind speed remained the same. To give you an idea of the frequency of lightning, the lightning detection system at Long Island MacArthur Airport measured more that 500 lightning strikes within a one-minute period. By the time we rounded buoy 3 at 8:07 pm, the bay sky was completely void of sunlight and the temperature rapidly began to drop. We quickly furled up some of the genoa in anticipation of some stronger winds but little did we know what we we in for. Over a period of a few minutes, the wind speed rapidly increased from 20 to 35 knots and heavy rain began to fall. For those of you who wear eyeglasses like I do, you can appreciate how difficult it is to see when your glasses and instruments are covered with water and wind-driven rain is hitting you square in the face. The wind continued to build.  The rain intensified to the point where all of the shoreline lights completely disappeared from view. We knew that we were now in the area where the Fire Island ferries make their final approach into the Bay Shore Marina, and we were on high alert for their presence. Occasionally I was able to clear the water from my glasses enough to see the wind instrument showing 40 plus knots of true wind speed. With great difficulty, my crew managed to roll in the remainder of the genoa as we worked our way to the finish then waited out the storm for what we hoped would last for just a few more minutes. The fleet experienced worsening conditions for the next thirty minutes. The maximum wind speed that I recorded was 60 knots.


At one point I was saying to myself, "Why are my feet so warm" I thought I may had peed myself. Just kidding. Sometimes humor helps in situations like this. I noticed that we were heeled over so much that I was standing in bay water up to my ankles while the port rail got buried in the highest gusts. We sailed west for another 10 minutes under reefed main alone. Visibility was to the end of my nose.  We were concerned that if we tacked back east, we may be sailing into the remaining boats who might be approaching us. We sailed as far north as we could while staying safely away from the shallows to the west of the Brightwaters Canal to avoid the other racers and ferries.

The wind finally subsided enough for us to drop the main and motor back to our slip in the Bay Shore Marina. We saw Full Circle entering the marina basin ahead of us, and Merry Ann was already tied up alongside the bulkhead by Nikki's By the Bay restaurant. I understand that they were already having drinks at the bar. We were anxious to find out if everybody was safe. We started making phone calls and driving by the Bay Shore Yacht Club  and Long Island Yacht Sales to do a boat count. I checked the Raceqs program to follow the tracks of the boats that were running the app last night. What a great safety tool this was as I was able to see two boats that we lost touch with. Glad to see that Aleboat made it though the bridge without hitting it and Sugar Magnolia ducked into the Brightwaters canal for temporary shelter. 

A few boats had sail and equipment damage. Most importantly, there were no human injuries.  We are all very fortunate that nobody was hurt. I have a suspicion that Duncan Burns, the fleet chaplain sailing on Merry Ann, may have put in a few good words for the fleet last night. Thanks for that.

The lyrics, "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" in Kelly Clarkson's song "STRONG" perfectly sums up the race tonight. Fortunately there were enough adult beverages, good food and exciting stories to share at the post race get together to put the exclamation point on this (insert your preferred adjective here) evening.

Stay safe! Hope to see you all next week.

Ted Drossos 

s/v Lady in Red

Gary Sebouhian

s/v Pandemonium