Date: 07/12/2003
Weather: Clear, Wind SW 8-20 kts
Current: ebb 1009 Napatree Pt
Course: A-B-A-B port Distance: 18.0
Crew: Jeff, Dave J., and RW

Watch Hill YC – Horton Race

There was an extremely small turn out, possibly due to many boats going west for the double race weekend off the Connecticut River(Essex YC Rum Challenge on Saturday & North Cove YC Outer Light Classic on Sunday). Course start less than a mile off Misquamicut, windward mark 4.5 at 215 degrees

I did not position us well for the start and with only 6 to 8 kts wind; it seemed to take us forever to cross the line against the ebb. Remarkably, we nearly laid the windward mark  in just two tacks; one short series right at the mark got us around. With a fairly smooth jibe set, we were off on an exhilarating ride back towards Misquamicut. The wind clocked just enough that we were able do the hole leg on a port jibe. Magic III, a Catalina 35 (non-spinnaker, starting five minutes behind us), caught up and passed us on the outside of the leeward mark.

Rounding the leeward mark, we put in the flattening reef, a few minutes later the first reef and the boat settled down quite well.  Moving the genoa leads back to 5.5 seemed to help giving a bit of luff in top down the waves.  Pounding a bit on starboard, we cooked on the long port tack with both Jeff & Dave on the rail and legs overboard. With the wind in the high teens & an occasional gust to 20, I decided to do wing&wing rather than spinnaker on the next leg.  About midway along the port leg, the crew noticed we would cross Magic approaching on starboard with many boat lengths to spare.  About the same time off our port bow, we noticed a tug & barge paralleling our course the opposite direction wondering if it might be an issue.

Nearing the layline, I got hung up on moving the port halyard to the bow resulting in a significant overstand of the mark. Tacking to starboard, I noticed Magic doing the same a ways behind us.  The tug/barge was on course inside the mark, forcing Magic into another series of tacks, where we were able to just bear off and cross the barges stern.

Rounding the mark alongside Magic, we extended on a beam/broad reach while Jeff struggled with extending the whisker pole, eventually giving up and switching to the smaller pole. It developed a good bend a few times but held in there for the whole run. A few years ago Scott Boss & I broke one in a Thames race. The second downwind leg was significantly less stressful than the first allowing Jeff a nap on the foredeck. Interestingly, our time on this leg was faster than the previous under spinnaker. Finishing 8 seconds faster would have put us in second, six minutes, 38 seconds faster would have put us in first place.


First windward leg - 1 hr 39 minutes

First downwind - 46 minutes (spinnaker)

Second windward - 1 hr 36 minutes

Second downwind - 43 minutes (wing&wing)

Yacht         Type            Skipper   PHRF   Elapsed   Corrected
Salud         Pearson 30   Sarges   174     240.017    220.199
Shamrock  Tartan 35     O'Brien   132     229.883    225.376
SeTherin    Catalina 22  Magner   273     282.967    226.471