The Burning of the Socks is a tradition where Spring-fevered sailors throw their smelly old winter socks into a fire to signal the first day of sailing season. The festivities usually coincide with the Vernal Equinox. The event is the symbolic kick-off for sailboat racing on Canandaigua Lake and is hosted annually by sailors from Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet #14.
The sun came out and the weather warmed up quickly into the mid-40′s on Sunday, just enough to melt the ice skim on the water in Holiday Harbor, getting the five-week warm-up series underway for the Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet.
Nine boats participated in 6 races which were held in very light winds. Most sailors used their tall “A” rigs all day.
Over the Winter the Canandaigua fleet grew by 3 boats bringing the total number of RC Laser sailors here to 11. Bill Schmidt (#88), Dave Kelsey (#652) and David Turnbull (#17) are now fleet members and will be racing with the fleet.
These early season races are meant to help the new skippers get familiar with their boats and for the more experienced skippers to tune their rigs and get their fingers moving in the right direction on their transmitters again. As such, this series of races is not scored for the series low-point awards however the races do contribute towards the 60% participation requirement for the overall 2011 “Batting Average” awards.
Hank Buchanan (#732), a long-time RC Laser sailor and recent Marco Island Midwinter Championship participant who finished in 7th place in that regatta, drove over from New York City on Sunday morning to participate in the Burning of the Socks event and the first week of races in Canandaigua.
Hank’s boat set the pace for most of the races on Sunday but he was closely followed by Jonathan Gorbold (#62) and Bill Blevins (#254). Nelson Habecker (#54) sailed to his first “gun” in RC racing during the fourth race.
WEEK 1 of 5 Results for the Warm-up Series
In other news, the fleet has purchased a professional starting countdown timer. We are collecting $20 in the form of dues from each fleet member to help pay for the device. The timer has a large speaker and it counts the starting sequence out loud for 1 or 2 minute starting sequences.
Next week’s races on March 27th – Warm-up series Week 2 – will begin with the first start sequence going off at 2 p.m. in Holiday Harbor. Weather permitting, we’ll race until about 4 p.m..