Tag Archives: Hampton Roads 2011-2012 Frostbite Series

Hampton Roads Sailing: April 29

Another great season drew to a close for the Hampton Roads Sailing Fleet with some great conditions and great competition. Wind hovered around 10 knots out of the North for the afternoon with some fairly flat conditions, so the racing was fast and fun.

ODU alum David Tunnicliffe returned for the finale and quickly turned the motor on. It’s great to watch someone work the shifts and the waves the way David does, and his skill turned into a top finish. Neil – where were ya????

Mike Moore got his licks in, too, taking a race. Mike also provided the laughs, turning a spectacular toll tack into a roll over while trying to leebow David.

“I saw him coming and I thought to myself: I’m going to make this really good. I gave it a good roll, but I slipped and just couldn’t get to the top,” Mike said.

The regulars were joined by ODU freshman Andrea Luna, making a first appearance with the fleet. She rigged up a radial and showed you don’t need more cloth to go fast – taking a handy second behind Dave in the first race.

It is only fitting to extend a big thanks to Old Dominion University Sailing for all of their support for the fleet. Mitch, Charles, Kara, we can’t do this without you.

Here’s wishing everyone a great summer season. See you in the fall when we pick it up again after the Long Distance Race and the Neptune Challenge.

Following are Sunday’s results:

Pos. Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Total
1 David Tunnicliffe 1 1 2 1 1 6
2 Mike Moore 4 3 1 2 3 13
3 Robert Suhay 5 2 3 3 4 17
4 Ron Thompson 3 4 5 4 2 18
5 Andrea Luna 2 5 4 5 5 21

Hampton Roads Sailing: April 15

Sunday turned out to be some of the best racing of the season, with strong winds out of the southwest at 8 to 14 knots. The tide was running out pretty hard which made for a fairly calm surface. Speeds were pretty fast and we took advantage of the conditions by setting a reach marking and running modified Olympic courses with a downwind finish. The reaches turned out to be pretty exciting and a lot of places changed hands with perfect surfing conditions delivering extra speed to the well-placed – and pumped – boat.

It was a five-way match up for most of the day, with ODU’s Zach Runcie joining in late as sixth-man (and ringer).

The racing was very tight, and the scores show it was really anyone’s game. Som strong gusts coming in put everyone in the drink at one point or another, and I have the ignomany of walking the boat across the line in the 4-foot low tide, having capsized within reach of the finish as I tried to hold off a charging Andrew Newbold – then did a double flip trying to right the boat fast to hold off the others. (I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your servers.)

Ron Thompson, who always pegs himself as Mr. Inconsistancy, turned in the most consistent performance and edged Mike and me by a point.

A note to racers: There are only two weekends left in the series, so get in on the fun and warm up for the summer. There are charters available through ODU.

This Sunday will also see ODU on the water in force fot the MAISA regatta. We will be running our series upriver a bit toward the Lafayette. If anyone has a little powerboat we can use for committee that would be greatly appreciated.

Pos. Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Total
1 Ron Thompson 3 1 2 3 2 11
2 Robert Suhay 2 5 3 1 1 12
3 Mike Moore 1 2 1 4 4 12
4 Andrew Newbold 5 3 4 2 3 17
5 Jaclyn Hollander 4 4 5 5 5 23

Thanks again for everyone who came out and made the event a success. Ian, thanks for doing RC duty. And thanks again to Old Dominion University Sailing for making it all possible.

See you Sunday, 4-22. Robert Suhay

Hampton Roads Sailing: April 1

Ron and Greg

Well, we are into the home stretch, with only one month left in the series, and the eighth weekend saw the return of several Hampton Roads stalwarts: Richard Biggs, a series regular who was away for a few weekends; Ron Thompson, who just a week before had a solid 5th place finish out of 22 at the Cap City Regatta; Aaron Applegate, who continued to move up the fleet with some very nice finishes and good starts; and Greg Lanese, who reminds everyone looking for adventure this fall to keep the Ocean-venue Neptune race in mind.

And once again, the wind made a pleasant appearance, too, bringing about 8 patchy, shifty knots to the course out of the north and northeast. At least the water was warmish (shorts weather for the frostbite hardened) and the air temperatures climbed up into the 60s. It was the kind of day where you had to stay in the pressure, and the pressure kept moving around. But that made it kind of exciting, with a lot of lead changes and a lot of names in the winner’s circle – if only for one of the five races.

Photo Finish

We ran windward leewards again on a half-mile course, with downwind finishes. This is a really convenient setup for the committee, since it involves setting only two marks, the winward and the pin/leeward mark. And the downwind finishes make for some very interesting battles and close calls. The photo above shows another hotly contested battle at the finish line. Greg Lanese took it to finish third, but it was so close that Ron Thompson and I, who were leeward of the line and watching the action, though Richard had taken it. Oh well, next time, Richard. It was a good race.

There is an excellent video of the racing posted on YouTube by Lisa, who did the honors as race committee and brought her camera along. Check it out here if you have a moment. It’s short.

Pos. Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Total
1 Robert Suhay 1 2 2 3 1 9
2 Andrew Newbold 2 5 1 2 2 12
3 Ron Thompson 6 1 5 1 3 16
4 Greg Lanese 3 3 4 5 5 20
5 Aaron Applegate 4 6 6 4 4 24
6 Richard Biggs 5 4 3 6 6 24
7 James Shook 7 7 7 7 7 35

Thanks again for everyone who came out and made the event a success. And Lisa, thanks for doing RC duty. And thatnks again to Old Dominion University Sailing for making it all possible.

Hampton Roads Sailing: March 18

We had some more excellent racing Sunday on the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Va., with the wind gods delivering a (fairly) steady 8 to 10 knots from the North, warm air and water and party cloudy skies. Ace Mike Moore returned to the fleet after a vacation in the BVIs (“It seems so long ago now,” Mike said) and shook off the dust in no time to put together a string of firsts and the low score for the day. Nice job Mike.

Hampton Roads speed demon Ron Thompson also felt the temperatures had climbed enough to get back in the saddle. He joined the crew to clear the rust before this coming weekend’s Cap City regatta. (Both Ron and I will be heading up to D.C. And hope you can join us to represent HR. Details of the regatta and the SI are attached below.)

Ron had some excellent races, and after saying he just didn’t have enough left in the tank to do race 6, he went ahead an won it. Of course, there is a back story. I was able to leebow Ron in the previous race to take a place form him. Ron was paying me back by pinning me out to the left – and we just happened to sail into the pressure and favorable current that put us both out in front by a country mile at the weather mark. I got inside Ron on the downwind leg, (we were running half-mile windward leeward courses with a downwind finish) but in trying to box him out at the leeward mark, pointed to high. Ron was able to get some clear air to leeward and forced me to tack out – giving himself the lead again and a clear victory. Nice job Ron. And I get schooled again.

The fleet would like to extend a welcome to Mark Newbold, who came out for the first time this week, stepping in for his son Andrew who was busy running the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach along with Neil Ford and David Tunnicliffe. We missed them on the water, but are happy for their success on the roads.

Race regular Aaron Applegate also made a return after some illness and family obligations. Aaron has been steadily moving up the ranks and put together solid tactics, speed and boat handling to hang tough in all of the races, stealing a place from overall winner Mike Moore in a squeaker on the line in the last race. Way to hold him off, Aaron.

There is an excellent video of the racing posted on YouTube by Lisa, who did the honors as race committee and brought her camera along. Check it out here if you have a moment. It’s short.

A reminder to the fleet: There will be no racing at ODU this sunday, March 25 as I will be heading up to Washington for the Cap City regatta. Racing will resume the following Sunday, April 1.

The results from Sunday (regatta 7 in the series) were as follow:

Hampton Roads Sailing: March 11

Onboard with Robert Suhay

Another light forecast. Another great Sunday of sailing. What started looking like a skunk turned into an excellent morning session with series favorite Neil Ford racking up another bundle of firsts in 6 to 8 knots of southerly winds that provided great tactical sailing.

The series was a little light on racers this week, with only three able to attend. Vacations-smacations. But know you all were missed. Andrew Newbold also took a bullet with smart tactics on the course. There is an excellent video of the racing posted on YouTube by Lisa, who did the honors as race committee and brought her camera along. Check it out here if you have a moment. It’s short.

We look forward to the whole group returning to the water. The air and water temperatures are climbing fast. The water isn’t even cold anymore. Neil wore shorts over a springsuit this weekend and didn’t suffer so far as anyone could tell.

This Sunday coming up is looking very good too, with temperatures in the 60. And there is still a call out for the weekend of the 24-25 for those who want to organize a trip up to DC for the PRSA regatta. I am planning to go and I believe Ron Thompson is as well. The more, the better though. Represent, Hampton Roads.

Pos. Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Total
1 Neil Ford 1 1 1 2 5
2 Andrew Newbold 2 3 2 1 8
3 Robert Suhay 3 2 3 3 11

Hampton Roads Sailing: March 4

Getting ready to frostbite

I was sure when I got up Sunday that there would be no racing. The rain was pounding on the skylight. The wind was forecast to be somewhere between light and dead. I told Lisa, “don’t even get out of bed to make cocoa, we won’t be needing it. I will be back in half and hour.”

Glad I went down to the docks to do a little due diligence. It turned out to be one of the most fun sailing days of the season. In the end, it was a small crowd, with five boats racing. But a south easterly breeze ranging between 6 to 10 knots with some interesting oscillations made for really exciting racing. The ran dropped out just long enough to get a complete series of five races in and the air temperature was hovering in the pleasant 40s to maybe even 50.

Race favorite Neil Ford had another stellar day, but not without taking a second by inches to Andrew Newbold, who is always a cool players on the race course and often makes big gains playing shifts right. Richard Biggs also returned to the fold and made some smart plays going deep right toward shore to pick up some excellent lifts. Andrew Molitor also made the most of the light winds and showed he can hang tough up front.

Races were run uprive a little to stay clear of the Old Dominion University regatta going on at the same time. We used a half mile windward leeward course with downwind finishes which made for some exciting finales. Perhaps we will try that again next week.

The results from Sunday 03/04 s follow:

Pos. Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Total
1 Neil Ford 1 2 1 1 1 6
2 Andrew Newbold 2 1 3 2 3 11
3 Robert Suhay 3 3 2 3 2 13
4 Richard Biggs 4 4 4 4 4 20
5 Andrew Molitor 5 5 5 5 5 25

Hampton Roads Sailing: February 19

Wish you were there. Despite the somewhat ugly looking pre-race weather reports, Sunday turned out to be a superb day for frostbite sailing. Twelve knots of steady breeze with plenty of tactical shifts and knocks. Relatively flat water for the wind. Not so frigid temperatures in the 40s. And the rain stayed away, too.

Rigging at the Hampton Roads 2/19 frostbite

Four racers turned out to take advantage of the day. To make up for some thin weeks past, we got six races in for the day. And Mike Moore had a spectacular showing, putting together a string of 6 bullets. Mike got great starts on the line and excellent position, then kept the mistakes to a minimum to finish with plenty of room to spare, with little I or Richard could do about it. Even a flip at the leeward mark in the last race couldn’t stop the Mooreinator on his march to domination when the same gust turned everyone over. I’ve already burned the negatives from that unsightly mark rounding.

We look forward to the whole group returning to the water. But don’t forget this coming Sunday 2-26 no races are scheduled as ODU sailing hosts its first home regatta of their season. Come out and support our friends if you have the chance. Hampton Roads Sailing will resume March 4th – how fitting, huh?

Pos. Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Total
1 Mike Moore 1 1 1 1 1 1 6
2 Robert Suhay 2 2 2 2 2 3 13
3 Richard Biggs 3 3 3 3 3 2 17
4 Frank Patch 4 4 4 4 4 4 24

Hampton Roads Sailing: February 5


“Andrew is a hero,” said my son, Ian, as we packed up from a great day on the water Super Bowl Sunday. “I’ve never seen anyone try so hard for so long. He never gave up. I thought he was amazing”

I thought, “That’s my son talking.” Sometimes it isn’t the winner, the best, the fastest guy on the water who inspires us. It was Andrew, who has dedicated himself to becoming a better sailor and bringing the fun week after week. The circumstances were this: Sunday was blustery and cold, with about 13 knots gusting in out of the North. The air and water temperatures were chilly. Seven sailors showed up, and five were racing, all of the series favorites. A bit of rain in the forecast didn’t help the turnout.

And Andrew took a bath, early on, with a gust-induced death roll. He got stuck trying to get things sorted and get up, and then got cold. But he never gave up, and never gave in. And he kept a happy and cheery outlook even as he asked for a bit of assistance. The group cut the racing short to lend support and get the cold guy back to some onshore warmth. It was a good moment for Hampton Roads Sailing, when the camaraderie we have developed showed itself to be more important than the competition.

Oh yeah, and we got two races in. It was an interesting day with the wily Doug Keiler heading toward a day of domination. Doug was picking the shifts and getting the starts from early on. The results were as follow:

Place Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Total
1 Doug Keiler 2 1 3
2 Neil Ford 1 2 3
3 Mike Moore 5 3 8
4 Robert Suhay 4 4 8
5 Andrew Newbold 3 5 8
8 Andrew Molitor 6 DNF 13
9 Frank Patch DNS DNS

Hampton Roads Sailing: January 29


Light air duel. That’s the best way to describe Sunday’s racing on the Elizabeth River – and it was the first time in a long time. Funny day, too. The breeze was moderate but strong while everyone was rigging up in the morning, and died to zilch just as the last stragglers made it out to the line. The wind was forecast to switch and fill, so the nine racers who turned out fiddled around and did silly laser tricks, took a nap, or took a bath when the tricks went wrong – how was the water Neil?

Then, suddenly, the breeze filled without the switch, and we managed to get two solid races in before it died again. Short, but very sweet. It was a talent-packed group this week and David Tunnicliffe showed that no rust had settled on his shorts – which he was in fact wearing. Neil Ford was near the top again, but the shifty, light breezes were punishing for those not in the pressure. Mike Moore had an awesome second race going, leading the pack around three-fourths of the course. Mike and David split tacks on the last windward, with mike going left and david going right, which paid off in the end for david – but it was close.

“It was one of those things were I meant to tack right back and go right, but everyone followed me and I just never got back over,” Mike said.

All in all, it was a great laid-back session that really dusted off the light air skills. Look forward to more like this for the season.


A thanks goes out to my oldest, Zoltan, for filling in as race committee. Our regulars Ian and Monica both came down with a heavy cold and I couldn’t bring them out – though they wanted to come.

Sailor Race 1 Race 2 total
1 David Tunnicliffe 3 1 4
2 Neil Ford 2 4 6
3 Mike Moore 5 2 7
4 Andrew Newbold 4 3 7
5 Conrad Roos 1 6 7
6 Robert Suhay 6 5 11
7 Doug Keilor 7 7 14
8 Aaron Applegate 8 8 16
9 Frank Patch 9 9 18

Hampton Roads Sailing: January 22

Dock at ODU

Well, it’s officially on in South Hampton Roads. The winter frostbite got off to a great start with 11 sailors rigging up and nine boats taking the line for a 5-race series on the Elizabeth River near Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

Fall favority Neil Ford had his way again, with four firsts out of five. And he has your narrator to thank, too, for surrendering the lead on at least three occasions due to poor leeward mark roundings. YOU’RE WELCOME. Neil really worked the 13-knot breeze that packed a lot of shifts and puffs coming down the course – and fought his way back from a tough start to take second in the fourth race.

And for once, it really felt like winter, with temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s. Fortunately, the chop was light with the shipping terminal providing a bit of protection from the northerly breeze.

A notable performance was turned in by junior sailor Conrad Roos, who really got in a groove. Keeping his boat very flat, getting good starts and defending his position smartly, Conrade had consistent, high finishes all day to end in third.

Race veteran Mike Moore also had a stellar day, and sacrificed the first race to help another sailor get in the water. If he had started, he likely would have had a top three finish. Thanks for the support Mike.

moose hatI would like to extend the group’s thanks to ODU for use of the Lasers and facilities. This series would not happen without you.

One last thanks to my son Ian and Monica and David Tunnicliffe, who kept score and kept the line square.

For those keeping score, here are Sunday’s results: DNS was scored as 10 (nine plus one). Any errors are mine, and I will be happy to correct them. Here’s Ian in his official Race PRO Moose Hat.

Onboard Video by Richard Biggs:

Pre-race onboard video by Robert Suhay:


Sailor Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race5 total
1 Neil Ford 1 1 1 2 1 6
2 Robert Suhay 2 4 2 3 2 13
3 Conrad Roos 3 3 4 4 3 17
4 Mike Moore 9 2 3 1 6 21
5 Grey Kiger 4 5 5 7 4 25
6 Graeme Alderman 8 8 9 6 5 36
7 Eric Roos 5 7 8 8 8 36
8 Glenn Atherton 7 6 9 5 DNS 36
9 Richard Biggs 6 9 6 9 7 37
10 Andrew Molitor DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 50
11 Frank Patch DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 50