From June 8 – 16, Drew Fleming, Weems & Plath’s VP of Sales, served as navigator aboard Jon Opert’s Hanse 37 ORION in the 2018 Annapolis to Bermuda Race (known locally as “A2B”). And it’s official!! ORION finished 1st in the PHRF 2 Class and 6th Overall!
Before the start, Drew showed us the navigation tools he was taking on board, including the Weems & Plath Hand Bearing Compass (also referred to as the “hockey puck”). He explained how he uses the hand bearing compass a little differently in an ocean race than in casual round-the-buoy races.
There are ocean races when you have to take your own time for the finish or mark your time at a certain position during the race. The Notice of Race may instruct you to record your own time when the boat crosses a specific bearing point – for example, 120 degrees to a particular mark. To do that, the navigator goes forward to the bow of the boat because it’s the first part of the boat to cross the line. The loss of a few seconds can make a difference if you are sitting back in the cockpit. On the bow, the navigator (or another crew member) holds the hand bearing compass at 120 degrees and as the mark is passed, “MARK” or “TIME” is called out. A designated crew member who sits aft, records the time which is later given to the Race Committee for determining order of finish for the fleet.
Congratulations to Drew and the rest of the ORION crew for a well-sailed race!