Ben Lobaugh Online

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Category: Racing (Page 1 of 2)

Inspired story behind the Seattle Pink Boat Regatta cancer fundraiser

For the past few years I have been participating in the annual Pink Boat Regatta, a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The event is faithfully put on each year by Ashley Bell. This evening I ran across an article where she writes about why she became involved in the Pink Boat Regatta here in Puget Sound. It is a very inspiring read.

How Sailing Brought Me Closer to a Breast Cancer Survivor — My Birth Mom

Pictured above is the boat S/V Nefarious. The same boat Ashley crews aboard during the Pink Boat Regatta.

Pink Boat Regatta 2016

This weekend Zippey and I participated in the Pink Boat Regatta. The Pink Boat Regatta is a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and a fun way to get people out on their boats raising money to save lives.

I have participated as crew for the Pink Boat in the past, however this year Zippey and I wanted a more active role. We entered late but still managed to raise $850. Thank you to all who sponsored!  Altogether the boats raised $60,592!

Weather the day of the race was fantastic…for sunbathers. The race took place on Lake Union in Seattle. There was little to no wind. For crew I had racers AJ and Shane onboard. It was the first time I had sailed on Lake Union, and AJ and Shane had limited experience also. Sailing in the lake is challenging. The wind conditions are ever changing with the hills and buildings around the lake. In a photo below you will notice my sails on port side while the boat directly in front of me was on starboard, and we were both moving forward on the same angle!

Zippey was in the first start. We started pretty well. Zippey is a small boat and slower than most of the boats in her class but she held her own well as we went around the first mark in 3rd place.

As we came up to the second mark the wind died out. It took 15 minutes to get the few boat lengths we needed to round the mark. While we were coming up to the mark the 3 of us had looked around to determine the best tactic for the next leg. It seemed that what wind was available was in the middle of the lake. As we painfully slowly worked our way out there we watched as the entire fleet got close to the second mark and parked. A few of the boats even had to fend each other off with boat hooks because they were simply drifting without wind. It turned into a big party with cheers and singing.

After we had worked our way out to the wind in the middle of the lake it magically disappeared and filled in along the edges. We watched as most of the fleet slowly sailed passed Zippey. The next time around we determined to follow the racers we knew sailed in Lake Union often and went around the edge…the wind died on the edge and filled in the middle!

Zippey had a hard fought battle to get around her 5 buoys but she did it with grace and style. Shane, AJ, and I had a great time out on the lake and were grateful for the opportunity to help out in our small way those suffering from cancer.

I cannot wait until next year and am already starting to plan on how I can dress Zippey up in more Pink!

2016 Catalina Regatta

I had the honor of running the race for the excellent Catalina Association of Puget Sound on Father’s Day.

The day consisted of three separate races. As the wind built and changed during the day I was able to set three entirely different courses, all of which wound up being perfect for the conditions.

During our races the youth 29er and Laser racers were out doing their national qualifier races. Lots of boats out. It was a great day.

Thanks to the wonderful people at the Catalina club for allowing me to manage the races 🙂

Here are some photos of the event.

I raced a Tiger

imagejpeg_0-1Wow wow wow!

I have been racing with Joe Bozick on his Sweden 36 Breeze all year. Breeze is fast, real fast. She usually takes the gold. Breeze is a racer/cruiser. That means she is fast AND comfortable. I could comfortably live on Breeze for an extended period of time.

Recently I was treated to an entirely different kind of sailboat, a sportboat. This particular boat is a Flying Tiger 10m named Anarchy. It was my first experience on a true 100% racing boat since I have been racing and boy was I treated.

The race started, the wind was low, but before we even had our sails all the way up we were flying across the water at 6 knots. Nobody else could keep up! I think we reached a max of 9 knots during that race. It was short and we never had the sails set well. Boggled my mind at how easy it was to go fast in the Flying Tiger. On Breeze we dial everything in and then make technical tweaks. If we had done that on Anarchy during the race we likely would have lapped the other boats!

Now I have come to the realization that while I do indeed want a boat like Breeze, something fast and comfortable, I also need a boat like Anarchy, a pure race boat built to zoom zoom. I have already been scheming in my head as to how I could best utilize both boats during the racing season with split crews. I see a fun windy adventure ahead of me when I am able to realize that dream!

Today I ran my first sailboat race!

Today was the final race in the Shilshole Bay Yacht Club (SBYC) Snowbird Series, and I had the honor of running the race.

DSCF6541

In 2015 I started racing with Joe Bozick on his Sweden 36, Breeze. Joe pushed me hard understand the ins and outs of sailboat racing, and after joining SBYC, urged me to become the Fleet Captain. In that position I am the right hand of the Race Chair Tom Madden. The Race Chair conducts the races, however he was not available today and he asked me to run the race.

Today was my second time as part of the “race committee”, and my first time running a race by myself!

Tom did a great job of preparing me and endured daily emails where I would send a “course for the day” to get his guidance on how to set courses in different weather.

The weather today was forecast to be about 3 mph from the South, with the wind direction shifting pretty quickly.

When the committee boat went out on the course there was zero wind. With the help of the other race committee members I decided to postpone the race in hopes the wind would come up. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later we got some wind and the boats were off!

The course was a small one ( NEMN ) since we were expecting such low winds. As it turned out the wind averaged 6 mph and hit 8 mph for short times. From the first start to the last boat over the finish was nearly an hour. Then the wind stopped dead again. All the boats had made it around the course!

Overall my first experience running a race was a good one. It helped that I had a great experienced race committee crew with me (thanks guys!).

My buddy Robert came along as our photographer and got some great photos of the race. Here are a few:

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