Ram Island YC Annual Invitational
Race 1 of the Island Cup
Crew: Bob–foredeck, Kim –mid, RW –helm.
Wind: SE & S 0-6 knots (peak 6.5 kts).
Current: ebb 1135 at Race Point
Start: 1037 hours. Groton Long Point starting area.
Course: ccw around Fishers Island. Non-spinnaker Class; 12 boats
Sunday Kim Wishart, Bobby Fagan & I did the Annual RIYC race. The day started off foggy, visibility less than a tenth mile as Kim steered us out around Groton Long Point We then anchored for a while on the west side of Groton Long Point while the fog cleared. Again I was surprised that the race was not delayed longer than it was. The Race Committee was determined to start around the island. We set up using the light spinnaker sheets for the genoa on the outside tracks, and did not stow the motor until nearly a half hour following the start.
After an approximate twenty-five minute delay to the first gun, our start followed the Ensigns, and the “B” spinnaker class, in a drifter across the line. Starting on port near the left end we crossed the line directly behind Cygnus. The wind could not have been more than three knots at the time, and the visibility less than a quarter mile. Cygnus, Celebration and Tenacity stretching out ahead took high courses east of North Dumpling a bit out of way by my reasoning. Remaining low, nearly a beam reach, we bore southwest. Nearing North Dumpling the visibility picked up to nearly a mile.
Continuing to work the boat in the light air along the Dumplings alternating from wing & wing and port beam reach we found ourselves even with Cygnus as we drew abeam South Dumpling. The speed appeared slightly greater with Bob and Kim sitting forward of the mast. Now on starboard we decided to stay clear of the shore as there appeared to be slightly more wind offshore. George cut the corner at North Hill to hug Fishers Island, a move that really paid off a third of the way to Race Point, with better current and beyond Silver Eel increasing wind with a shift to the southeast. At 1150 our wind fell to nothing and over the next half hour boats along the shore took leads those of us offshore would never recover. Slowly the southeast wind drifted towards us; back on port we finally began moving, arriving at Race Point 15 minutes behind Cygnus we figured.
Hardening upon port at Race Point in an effort to work offshore for more ebb we found ourselves in a lot of chop and our speed down to nearly nothing even though the wind was 6 knots, so took a short tack along side the airport on starboard for smoother water prior to tacking back offshore for more ebb and a little wind (possibly a mirage). We then hung on starboard short Wilderness Point and diminishing wind, then tacked out for a final five mile hitch on starboard for the finish. The south shore seemed to favor the offshore route with slightly more current and wind.
Shortly after our final tack to starboard, we began to hear finish guns (greatly relieved) in the distance signaling that the RC had shortened the course, placing the finish alongside MOA L, the entrance to Lord’s Passage. A good decision on the RC’s part as few if any boats would have been able to negotiate the ebb with so little wind. As the finish line began to take shape in the haze, behold there was Cygnus crossing about five minutes ahead. Some how we cut 2/3’s off their Race Point lead.
Link to chart
I have not received the times in the mail yet, yet we corrected to second overall and probably beat half or more of our class boat for boat. Thanks to Kim and Bobby for an enjoyable day..
1 Celebration Jeff Going Morgan 24
2 SeTherin R. Magner Catalina 22
3 Cygnus G. Carlson Pearson Triton 28
Link to full results
44th Fishers Island Yacht Club “Around Fishers Island Race”
September 5, 2000, Saturday, Course: CCW
Flood – 0830 Napatree Point, 0840 Race Point, Max flood 12 noon
Ebb –1420 Napatree Point, 1430 Race Point
Wind – SW 8 kts at the start.
We arrived at the island about 9am after an uneventful motor over in the fog. With the fog clearing a few minutes before, the first gun went off on schedule at 10am, and at 10:30, we were the third class to start. Less that five minutes before the start we were nearly rammed in our port quarter by Starchaser, a Hunter 34. Bob very aptly pushed, shoved off their bow pulpit at the last second.
We got a great start at the committee boat, to windward of the fleet of 22 boats and held our own out to North Hill. With many tacks down the west shore of Fishers Island near the shore to avoid the current, we were pleased with our position approaching Race Point about noon when the wind nearly died and the fleet caught us. The whole fleet struggled around Race Point with little to no wind against the nearly max flood.
Rounding Race Point around noon, it took us three and a half hours with little wind, sometimes wind & wing and some starboard broad reaching against the current to make Lord’s Passage at the east of the island. With George Carlson (Cygnus) rounding a bit in front of us; we watched him run up the passage and get swept down at the top when he took his whisker pole down and jibed the genoa. We likewise ran up the channel wing & wing to C”7” then hung there as if we had lasso around the can. Finally, after nearly a half-hour we put our outboard on as Cygnus dropped their genoa and started their motor also.
Along the north side of the island in the rain we were surprised to find numerous boats anchors and many others motoring as ourselves. As we came into West Harbor and rafted up alongside Cygnus & Blind Date we found that out of 97 boats in the fleet, only three finished. We went to the party just the same; most of the food was gone, though we were still able to find plenty of drink.
A day on the water is always better than a day at the office.
Link to Chart
36th Fishers Island Yacht Club ‘Round Fishers Island Race
September 5, 1992, Saturday, Course: Clockwise; Start 1012
Flood – 1252 Napatree Point, 1342 Race Point
Wind – ESE 12-15 kts; Temp66 F, Baro 30.42
Crew: Seth, Bob & RW
Non-spinnaker – 11 boats
On starboard, we were thirty seconds late to the line at the start. Also should have favored the committee boat more so to maintain the first tack longer, prior to being forced to tack due to Middle Clump. Winds were 12 kts at the start, so we used windward sheeting (a first for Bob) without practice. Crew on the rail, Seth just fwd of the aft stanchion, & Bob fwd cockpit combing, just aft of stanchion. I could have feathered better in the gusts, as Seth gave me plenty of warning. It is difficult to play the mainsheet with present setup. The Current was in our favor down to Lords.
A lot of traffic at the top of the pass, required a couple extra tacks for avoidance, overstanding slightly as a result. After rounding the MOA at the bottom of the pass, we broad-reached up the south side of the island. I considered switching to the drifter, but was too concerned about snafus. With the clocking, we tried wing&wing near the end of the island, which was a mistake, we should have reached up instead clear of traffic.
We rounded Race Point amidst many boats to a beam reach, wind 15 kts. We hugged the shore too close on a course half way between the Silver Eel buoy and the harbor entrance and twice clipped rocks. From the sound of it a couple boats behind us did more than clip them, though I was too busy to look, Bobby busy trimming the genoa in the frequent gusts.
Nearing the North Hill buoy, we began to reef for the beat to the finish loosing some time in the rounding to finish the job. With finish directly upwind in the high teens, the final beat was boisterous and the finish line hard to locate in all the traffic.
A "1st Place", our first since moving to Connecticut.
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