Sunday, August 30, 2009

Some pretty damn good sailors comin’ from little Rhody

Let’s hear it for Fleet 413! 

Andy Pimental is the current leader of the largest fleet (the Master’s fleet) with a 1, 3 in today’s races. Peter Vasella (ex RI pat) is in third with a 2, 3, with Scott following in fourth with a 2, 4 and Mark Bear nipping at their heals in 6th with a 4, 4.  Peter Shope is not far behind with a 5, 9 placing him in 13th. The Master’s fleet has been divided into two fleets due to the number of entries so these overall results are the combination of two circles and their finishes.

Conditions were brisk following the tropical storm passing. There was a late sea breeze fill around 3 pm. The sailors had sailed out at 11:30 am and waited around but when the breeze came in, it came in solid although pretty tricky with velocity changes across the course but generally, good planing and surfing conditions. As you can see from the first photo, when it died, it died big time on the way in.

Just to give you an idea of the level of competition in the Master’s fleet…the winner of the 2008 Laser Master Worlds in Australia was Jan Scholten (AUS) who won with a 1, 2, 7,1,8,2,1,3,1 but currently stands in 21st here in Nova Scotia with a 19, 6. The winner of the 2007 Master’s in Roses, Spain was Arnoud Hummel (NED) who now stands in 2nd with a 4,1….just “Google” him. Not to mention Andy Roy now in 5th, Terry Neilsen in 10th and John Bertrand in 20th - "Google" those guys as well...Olympians, World Champions and the list goes on.

Yup, tough group up here but Fleet 413 is hangin tough!  Actually, more than tough, we're leaving a mark!

Photos:  Fleet coming home at 7pm in no wind, that's not Rascal but Rob and Jenny's "bigger" dog Bailey, organization at it's best, local color, our new home here, Jenny and Rob, Scott resting after the 45 degree uphill!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Team USA

Ok, from the photo, it's hard to see who's who but you get the idea that the USA is well represented! Both young and old and all completely experienced... don't let the photo fool you!

The chatter at the team party was about the last minute entry into the "master" division- John Bertrand. Everyone was feverishly talking about the ongoing battle between John Bertand (USA) and Terry Neilsen (CAN) dating back to the 1984 Olympics in the Finn Class. In '84 Russel Coutts (NZL) took home the gold while Terry and John duked it out for silver. John Bertrand eventually swiped the silver leaving Terry with the Bronze. 

Do you  think the two will be battling it out on the (Master full rig) course?

To see the entry list click below:

Stay tuned... everyone here is waiting to see what tropical storm "Danny" will bring. Hopefully big breeze so I don't feel too bad about not sailing-ha!

Friday, August 28, 2009

St. Margaret's Bay - Gorgeous!

We are finally here and what's not to like! It is absolutely gorgeous here! The drive wasn't really all that bad - about 13 hours or so. Once we left the great state of Massachusetts and it's fabulous drivers (oye!), the traffic and pace became less hectic and once into Canada, even more relaxing and scenic. 

About 20 minutes from our final destination a rowdy young Canadian came flying up along side our truck, honking and giving us the peace sign, then the thumbs up. When we came to a stop he leaned out of his window with his big mop of hair and said, 'Are you all here for the Laser regatta?' Scott replied, 'Yes.' He came back with, 'That's AWESOME!' and another thumbs up. 

The St. Margaret's Bay YC is very cool and they seem to be a doing a great job of managing all of the boats and the competitors. The Masters World Championship has 295 competitors registered from 26 countries. The Standard Worlds have just wrapped up and if you look at the scores, the top US finisher was 33rd. It’s amazing to travel to the bigger world events, as you quickly see, there are a lot of great Laser sailors out there! Scott has checked out the Masters competition in his class and well, it's no different! There are some incredible sailors here including the 1st and 2nd place finishers from the 1982 Laser Worlds, Terry Neilson and Andy Roy. 

Scott has already been out on the water and the conditions were similar to Buzzards Bay as far as breeze but with a much steeper chop. Tonight we will see the other Fleet 413 gang at the Team USA party. So far Fleet 413 is well represented with Mark Bear, Peter Seidenberg, John Bentley, Rob Breslin, Andy Pimental, Peter Shope and “ex pat,” Peter Vessella. I will get a photo of the gang for you all!

Photos above: Flags flying at the YC, Scott rigging up and going for a sail, Rascal wanting to know how much longer 'til we get there and, our new accommodations right on the water!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Almost there!

Ok...we are on the way and what a beautiful ride. Scott spent most of the time on his phone and answering emails but once we hit the Canadian border, everything changed. We stopped at the tourism hut and got a bunch of maps (we didn't buy the Canadian deal for our GPS) and that was all it took...Scott began to slow down, he loved looking at the colorful brochures while I nipped at him to look up and help me out on where the heck we were going ... suddenly, our time in the car became a decompression zone, a time to reflect and a time to laugh. His/our humor began to show itself and the best was just around the corner! We were really tired and looking for a "pet friendly" place to stay (I am just too honest, not good at concealing the secret that yes, we are traveling with a pet.) Well, it turned out that the only opening was HO JOES! We both started to laugh, reflecting on our childhood memories of family road trips and Ho Joes (won’t get into that-ha). I got him laughing. Well, Ho Jo’s couldn't give us their fabulous suite due to "the pet" BUT, they had their "A" frame available! We took it. We loved it. It was great! Towels weren’t too scratchy!

Next stop...Margaret's Bay!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Laser Master World's #3 for the Ferguson's

Scott and I will be heading out soon to drive up to Nova Scotia for the 2009 Laser Master Worlds. We both competed in the 2005 Laser Master Worlds in Fortaleza, Brazil as well as the 2007 Master World's in Roses, Spain. After sailing the last two very windy venues at 5'3" and 125lbs, along with not wanting to put the practice time in, I have decided to sit this one out, bring the dog and be support crew for Scott. 

Since I am not sailing and know that I will struggle a bit with not being on the water racing, I thought that it would be fun to share the whole experience with a daily "blog" for friends and fellow Laser sailors. My sole comfort in not sailing is that the daily wind readings have been in the upper teens. If the regatta goes light...I will be tragically disappointed.

In preparation for the big event, Scott has been practicing hard when he can find the time in his very busy work schedule. I am constantly impressed with his intensity and drive. I always tell him that he has an extra gear that most humans don't. He is up daily at 5 am working and often late into the night with his various design projects. When he finds just a small pocket of time, he will often pack up his Laser and wheel it down the road, rig up and practice for a half hour only to have to take it all apart and haul it all back uphill to the house. I have done it alongside him many times (I am his light air training partner) and always dread the uphill home. When I asked him why he doesn't just leave it all at the yacht club near the ramp, his comment is, 'It's all part of the workout babe.' 

Between the hiking bench which I like to call, 'the little box of torture', the rigorous road biking, the time spent on the water, the sit-ups and push-ups and a careful diet, Scott has gotten himself down to a lean 185 lbs at 6'2" and is the strongest I have ever seen him. It will be interesting to see how he does.

Stay tuned for updates!

Photo above: Scott checking out his sweet blades tuned up by Andy Pimental of Jibe Tech