by Megan Schiffres
Fighting against the force of the current on their hulls and wind against their open sails, 26 nearly identical sailboats jockey for position behind an invisible starting line. At the sound of a buzzer and the lowering of a flag, they take off, all pursuing the same destination but choosing wildly different routes to reach it.
“Starting technique really depends on where you want to go after the start. In other words, you start a race with a game plan,” said primary race officer Tom Linville.
Last weekend the Rappahannock River Yacht Club (RRYC) hosted the fifth Cape Dory Typhoon National Championship on the Rappahannock River between Carter Creek and the Robert O. Norris Jr. Memorial Bridge.
The regatta consisted of six races spread out over two days of sailing. Eighteen pairs of experienced skippers and crews competed in the Championship fleet. A smaller division of less experienced sailors, the Corinthian fleet, also competed in the regatta, with races following the Champion fleet.
“With this crowd, you have to be on your toes all the time,” said Radio Flyer skipper Mike Kennedy. “The competition is fierce…