Otis B. Driftwood’s Page

1998 North American One-Design Championship

The regatta was best 3 of 4 races. The races were windward-leewards. Race 1 was a drifter won by Alcoholics Alluvus. On the first leg of it we had a beat at the start, and a run halfway up(down?) the leg. We were 2nd. Race 2 had a little better wind (3-8) as the thermals developed. For most of the first leg Alcoholics Alluvus led. We just nosed ahead of them rounding the mark. Due to exceptional crew work, the chute was full within seconds of rounding the mark. We stayed between them and the finish and won. They were 2nd. This set the stage for Race 3. It had a little more wind (5-10). Alcoholics Alluvus beat us at the start, but after a tacking duel, we beat them to the windward mark. We hoisted the chute and went after Afternoon Delite. They had gotten ahead of everybody so we had to chase them down. We passed them less than 500' from the finish line. We won. Race 4 on Sunday was the best of all. Wind was 15-20. We opened a lead early and widened it the whole race. I was asked how I sailed the boat so flat with the #2 up. My answer, “We didn’t, we had the #1 up.” I thought I’ld have wet clothes for this picture. Katherine and Matt were discussing tossing me in after the final race, but changed their minds when they realized they would end up in the water with me. The crew from left to right; Katherine (low body weight, good balance - cockpit), Gerylann (here ducky, ducky, ducky - chute), Blair (Skipper, they don’t dare call me anything else - I just sat and made requests ), Matt (Matt-boy, or Little Buddy - Foredeck), and Mike (Officer Muscles - Cockpit).

1998 GIYC Downriver Race

This is one of the feeder races getting boats to Lake Erie for Bay Week. The race goes down the Detroit River from the downstream end of Belle Isle to the southern end of Grosse Isle. Here we are leading our class, sailing past the Detroit Renaissance Center near the start of the race. The race is all downstream, insuring a finish even with no air. With all the tall buildings, winding course, and the current, this race is never the same. We put up the chute at the start, and didn't take it down till the finish. This was the first time that has ever happened in this race for us! This was also the first race where Matt ran the foredeck. Quite a trial by fire. Matt started out 4 years ago as one of my kid crew when he was 13. The crew from front to back; Matt, Gerylann, Sam, Cathy, and Blair. You can see them all can’t you?

1997 BYC Port Huron - Mackinac

This picture was taken in the first 7 hours after the start of the 1997 Port Huron - Mackinac race in July 1997. This is a 205 nautical mile race in Lake Huron following the east coast of Michigan. We were the smallest and slowest rated boat in the race. Conditions were not as one would normally expect at the start of the race. Wind was out of the North-East at 15-20 knots. We were in the first start at 11:30am Saturday and finished on Monday night. Here we’re flying a our No. 1 a 155% UK Tape Drive Genoa with Kevlar tapes and a UK Tape Drive Mainsail with Pentex tapes. The crew from front to back; Bob, Chuck, Matt, Gerylann, Tom, Bob (a different one), and Blair (me) driving. Most people thought 7 crew was too many, but it worked out fine.

1997 ILYA Bay Week Day 2

Bay Week is a 3 day regatta in and around the islands at the West end of Lake Erie, with South Bass Island and Put-in-Bay, as headquarters for the regatta. The wind for day 1 had been light to moderate so we were thrilled to find day 2 had lots of wind, 20-25 knots. The first leg was a beat through the islands. We’re flying a Kevlar No. 3 and the main has the flattening reef in. The crew from front to back; Bob, Matt, Kate (one of the multi-hulls didn’t race, so we recruited an extra crewperson), Gerylann, and Bob (the different one) driving. I was down below navi-guessing.

1997 ILYA Bay Week Day 2

We were all on deck for this one. We rounded the first mark and cracked off to pass over the North side of Middle Bass Island. We’ve changed to the No. 2, released the flattening reef and are trying to keep the boat flat. I wanted the crew to sail heavy this day. The crew from front to back; Bob, Matt, Kate, Gerylann, Bob (the different one), and they let me drive.

1997 ILYA Bay Week Day 2

We cracked off enough to get the chute up. It’s a UK .75 oz. Full Radial. Now most of the crew is playing the sails. That is except Kate and Matt. We think they were discussing whatever teenagers discuss. This year, the regatta started the little boats first, so during this leg the bigger boats were constantly passing us. While this sounds bad, it was great. We would jump on their stern waves and really fly. This leg was very fast, and lots of fun, (at least for me). While boats were wiping out all around us, the crew work was so great we never broached. We’re using the # 3 as a staysail. The crew from front to back; Bob adjusting a halyard, Matt and Kate holding the rail down (a most important job), Gerylann seated in the cockpit trimming the chute, Bob (the different one) cranking for her, and they made me keep driving. If you look closely, you will notice we have a pink tiller, and a pink masthead wind sensor. Pink is fast!

1992 ILYA Bay Week - Day 1

Although I had been doing Bay Week since 1986 I hadn’t placed better than fourth. Even so, Bay Week was still the best sailing experience I had participated in. Then came 1992. The sails were right, the wind was right, and the crew was right. We won every race, won our class, won PHRF overall, and won 2 trophies. One for PHRF overall at Bay Week, and one for first overall in the GIYC Downriver race.

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This page last modified April 8, 1998