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for the birds

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t-birdst-birdsThe 2016 T-bird regionals were a huge success (again), no wonder why this event has been so well attended for years, actually decades. Personally I flew in for the regatta from Connecticut, looking forward to reconnecting with the family. My dad, who has been sailing T-birds for months shy of 50 years, in fact sailing the same T-bird for months shy of 50 years, kindly prepared the boat, unloading cruising gear from a recent 3 week tour of the islands and making sure it was fully loaded with just as much beer and “health food” for the long weekend.
When we arrived in Port Townsend under blue skies the linear dock was alive and “for the birds,” years of close competition leaving many of the skippers and crew on a first name basis. It seemed like everyone knew Fred, and he knew them, some since they were in diapers. Ours was a family boat, as is so common in the class, grand-daughter on the bow, “kids” in the middle, and parents in the fantasy land at the back of the boat.
The next two days were straight from the picture book. PRO Eric Rimkus ran 7 perfect races, all under blue skies and just the right amount of breeze. Square and open starting lines, square legs of just the right length, and back-to-back starts with just enough time to catch one’s breath made the regatta a diamond-in-the-rough. The combination of subtle currents and a few wind shifts made for a complex race course. While a few boats were often near the top, because the class has so many skilled and experienced crews, no one boat dominated at the gun. Swan (Gary Davis), Predator (Craig Burnell), and Skylark all pulled down bullets.
Next year the fleet will host the inter-galactic championships. Its none too early to reserve your waterfront view. – Anarchist Grant.