We had an early flight Friday morning roughly 9:00am. Once we arrived to Boston we lost a bag, but recovered it later that afternoon. We left the airport and used the excellent public transportation of Boston (The T) to get to our hotel at the Kendall MIT train stop. We stayed at the Marriott which was right outside the train stop. We checked in dropped off our bags and we chose from a large selection of restaurants to get a bite to eat. The hotel was quite nice and the food selections were in walking distance. The transportation was excellent and you don’t have to get a van!
We sailed at the sailing venue Friday – Sunday. Friday was our practice day and we familiarized ourselves with the fireflies and turbo Fjs. The “turbo” Fjs are nearly the same as any other Fjs. The main difference is the raised boom, upside-down vang adjusters, and a carbon fiber boom. The raised boom didn’t affect the sail shape too much. However, these masts were raked back, and too much jib tension would result in the jib hitting the spreader. The firefly was more maneuverable than the Fjs allowing you to tack more, without giving up as much speed. The boats were much shorter and slight and subtle movements had an effect on the boat. The mainsheet is similar to a laser mainsheet, it is rigged around the boom to the back, so the skipper will have to play the main sheet more to adjust the leech. The vang is upside down on the boom allowing crews to have an easier time tacking, but is rigged back to the skipper so they adjust the vang tension. Hiking in the fireflies was harder and more awkward than the Fjs or 420s. Although the firefly appears to be challenging and awkward it is the best boat to sail on the Charles.
We were familiar with both boats by the end of Friday and were ready to race Saturday morning. We were gifted with a light breeze in the morning from the east, which is 90 degrees to the left if you’re looking from the boat house to the river. The wind was more favorable on the left side, because there were less major buildings blocking the wind from hitting the water. The right rarely worked and there were a few shifts from their but not many. A trapezoid course was sailed and sailing the outer called for you to go left and we had to tack to avoid the docks! The second day the wind was from the North East and shifted left throughout the day to a northerly. Although the wind shifted left more some people came out of the right. The marks were extremely close to land from this direction. This called for “invisible shifts” and puffs that would get you from drifting conditions to hiking conditions in seconds. The trick was being patient and waiting for a puff This direction called for more shifts and you had to get a good start and stay in faze if you wanted to sail well.
This venue is great, the hotel was right by the train station, the hotel was surrounded by great restaurants in walking distance (We ate at Champions, Chipotle, and Za), the boats were in great condition, and the breeze cooperated. I hope that future sailors have the pleasure to sail here and I wish all future Severn sailors the best of luck!