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September 2022

2022 Albacore US Nationals at Rock Hall Yacht Club

by Stephanie Mah 14 Oct 07:32 PDT October 8-10, 2022
2022 Albacore US Nationals © Louis Malzone

The Albacore is not a complicated one-design dinghy, and by that I don't mean that it doesn't want to talk about its feelings and just wants to drink a beer and watch TV.

There's no spinnaker, no trapeze, and the hull is heavier and slower than many modern two person boats. But what sounds like negatives are arguably the reasons the albacore fleet continues to endure and grow in North America and the UK.

Its simplicity is what makes it a good choice for new sailors, old sailors, really old sailors, families, friends, mortal enemies, and experienced racers who are looking for a boat that whittles racing down to fitness, tactics, and strategy (and if you're not that fit, there are definitely workarounds). If you live in Toronto, there is no other fleet where 40 boats race every Friday night and 20+ boats race in events almost every weekend in the summer.

Before Covid shut everything down, the 2019 Albacore Internationals in Nova Scotia, Canada had 47 boats from the US, UK, and Canada competing, and things are bouncing back fast in 2022. In Canada, the fleet hosted the North Americans, Ontarios, Canadian championships, and several club regattas. In the US, after a similarly busy season, the US National Championships just wrapped up in Rock Hall, Maryland.

Four Canadians and one UK team joined 15 American sailors at the Rock Hall Yacht Club, a charming little place in a sheltered area on the Chesapeake. The sail to the racecourse took the fleet past a duck blind, crab pots, and jellyfish.

The first two days of racing provided ample breeze to get around the course, while the third day provided enough to cause people to consider what poor life decisions they made that led them to where they were. Ultimately, it was not a surprise that Barney Harris, who has won several International championships, came out on top by picket-fencing on the second and third days (yes, I made that a verb - come at me, bro). Congrats to Barney and condolences to his crew (as he's the newly elected US Albacore Association president) Ernest Ayukawa on the victory, and a big thanks to all the Rock Hall volunteers. The results are here.

Planning for the 2023 season is already under way, with the 2023 International Championship being held in Abersoch. If you're interested in joining this fun fleet, get in touch because there are lots of boats out there waiting to be raced. In Canada, check us out here, in the US, go here, and in the UK, go here.

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