September 14, 2007

Rendezvous Recap

The second annual rendezvous of the Chesapeake Alerion Fleet was held on August 19. Six Alerions, owners and guests gathered on the Tred Avon river off of Oxford. The regatta featured two races sailed in "moderate" conditions for August (i.e. less than 8 knots of wind) under picture-book skies. The after party was again hosted by the Goodliffe's at their home on Plaindealing Creek.

Four boats from the area, Frolic (Paul and Susan Rohrkemper), Jessica (Bud and Kit Hughes), Kertsis III (Don and Anne Kerstetter) and Miss Judie (Don and Judie Goodliffe), were joined by two western shore Alerions, Ergo (David Cochran) and Resilient (Bob Spann and Beth Whiteley). Guests Ken and Pat Goldmann and Paul Bolon crewed on Miss Judie and Ergo.

In the inaugural race, Miss Judie was first to cross the line and headed off towards Oxford on starboard, followed closely by Kerstis and Resilient. The other three boats headed for the far shore on port tack and found better air. Jessica was first to round the windward mark, followed soon after by Frolic and Ergo. But Kerstis's unpainted bottom proved to be too slippery for the rest of the fleet as she glided by on the very slow and hot run to the downwind mark and held the lead to the finish.

By unanimous consent, the second race was a short reach and reach. Again, Miss Judie took the starting gun and held the lead at the gybe mark. After briefly surrendering the lead to Frolic and Jessica, she bore down and sailed through to leeward to win. She was also winner overall with a 4-1 record.

The group couldn't wait to get the Goodliffe's waterfront cottage to cool off in the pool. After a cookout and libations, Don ferried the western shore contingent back to Oxford in his 1931 Chris Craft while Jessica and Frolic set sail for home in 15 knots of southwest sea breeze. After beating down to Benoni Point, both boats eased sheets for a superb sunset sail to their home docks. Where was the wind when we were racing?

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