Cinco de Mayo
Slow and Glassy, One and Done!

report by Richard Johnson
For months, it has been blowing hard on the Neuse River.  It seems like the past 7 months have just been the tail end of the Hurricane.  And yet, the one quiet day happens to fall on the date of the Cinco de Mayo Regatta at Blackbeard Sailing Club. How quiet was it?   It was napping quiet.

It was hot to boot. Temps in the mid 80's with high humidity.  So not a great day to park your boat on the Neuse. Despite all that it was, it was good. We had 4 Wayfarers.  Evan and Yukako came in Friday night.  Michele and I dragged the Black Skimmer to the club on Saturday morning.   Phil and Cathy came winging in on Saturday after a long Friday.  Annette, her husband, Dave, and Aussies, Axl and Siena (dogs) and Epiphany rolled in last but not least.  She and Peter Thorn got the boat assembled in plenty of time.

Cinco de Mayo is a low pressure regatta. It is one day only which makes for nice tune up day.  Despite the conditions we did get one race off.  The first race was to begin about 11:30 but probably started somewhere near 12:00 due to a wind shift and course change. Despite the best efforts of the race committee, the start line was skewed to port.  With the wind from the NW, starting at the pin end would get us closer to the center of the river and cleaner air, we hoped. The goal was to get to the pressure, then tack for the mark.  Behind us, Annette and Peter had the same idea, as did Evan and Yukako behind them.  Phil and Cathy started closer to the committee boat and tacked off onto port early to try and catch a lift off the marsh and or a header and tack.

All seemed to be going well on the first leg except the wind was quickly dying. We were moving, but it was slow. Michele and I made it to the windward mark first but there were two San Juan 21's trying to round and not having any success. As a result we had to go way around them, and by the time we had done that, Evan and Yukako had caught us.  Annette and Peter were just behind them.  About this time, we heard horns for a course change.  Michele and I focused on keeping our air clean and heading to the finish despite the fact there was a committee boat on the course, which we passed.  As we crossed what we thought was the finish line, we did not hear a whistle. Evan and I immediately realized that the course had been shortened and turned to try and get back to the real line. 
Annette and Peter turned in time to finish first. Phil and Cathy were well on their way and  took 2nd.

Peter Thorn/Annette Grefe  W276

Phil Leonard/Cathy Leonard  W864

Richard Johnson/Michelle Parish W10893

Evan Trudeau/Yukako Kayashima W10945

It is a good lesson to learn early in the season. Phil explained  it to me afterwards. It made perfect sense then.  After that race, we floated for two hours and then headed in.  For me, a quiet day on the water was what I needed.  At other times I would have vetched about the conditions but sunlight, southern warmth, and a nap, are never a bad thing.