Sailing Blog

Wind: SW at 6 kts, Temp: 86 - 82 F, Baro: 29.91
Current: Flood North Hill 16:30
Start/Finish: Offshore of “X” 
Course: s/f-DM-s/f*2, 1.0nm  at 225; Race Length: 4 nm
Crew: Brian, Braedon Hansen, Dan & RW

We crossed the line about thirty seconds late, due to my tardy turn onto Avara’s hip.  Our strategy was to favor the east side of the course for current lift & what appeared to be better pressure.  At eight minutes into the race we took port for clear air then returned to the favored starboard.  After the set we sailed slightly above the rhumbline to the leeward mark, where we got rolled by Second Chance on the inside.  Back upwind, we bailed onto starboard at first opportunity, and were able to maintain clear air out the channel for the long port shove, to catch and round inside of Sans Souci at the mark. 

After a minute or so of sailing alongside her port, I decided to split and crossed her stern for a fresher course, similar to the first downwind.  In addition to the fresher angle, concerned about a dying wind our rationale was to remain up current near the finish.  We opted for the fresher angle at the top of the course, while Sans Souci did just the opposite and sailed a more direct course to benefit from a fresher angle nearing the finish and pulled ahead.  

In retrospect, we should have considered one of two alternatives, covering alongside her port, or jibing to a short port to get out of the current of the channel, then jibing back for a fresh long jibe to the finish (and maybe should have done likewise on the first downwind also). 

It was nice to have 12 year old Braedon Hansen along for this evening’s race. Hopefully, he will be back occasionally.

Link to chart
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Wind: WSW at 12 to 6 kts, Temp: 79 - 77 F, Baro: 29.67 to 29.72
Current: Ebb North Hill 15:45
Start/Finish: Offshore of “X”
Course: s/f-DM-s/f*2 1/2, Race Length: 5.1 nm
Crew: Brian, Adam, Dan & RW

 I had gone down to Noank early so as to get some work done and wipe down the bottom, prior going out with Dan Lettiere and George Bryes for shake down sail of Dan’s Nonsuch 30, Summer Love.   The winds had been gusting into the high teens all afternoon, then into the twenties as race time approached.  

On the motor out we prepared for ‘high-teens’ choosing the #1 heavy genoa & reeving the 1st reef line, and set the rig at 14.   And as so often just as the time for the gun neared the winds backed off. 

Two hours into the ebb, the current was screaming, with the assistance of a 1st quarter moon & the strong westerly.  For once we were prepared, and had a good start and led off the line at the gun.  The RC finally got some good shells.  After a short hitch offshore, we tacked to for a long port and wished we had the #1 light instead, and decided to remedy that on the downwind.  On the first upwind, as we tacked to port to avoid Seaflower, the starboard sheet unattached from the clew, so in a short & quick tack-back we addressed the problem and continued back to port. Both sets were bearaways shortly followed by a jibe to port for the full run.  

I don’t think there was much we could have done to improve upon our third place finish, in the lumpy seas & fowl current on both upwind tacks. 

Link to Results
Link to 

Race #1
Wind: 199 at 8.1 kts, Temp: 71 F, Baro: 29.98
Current: flooding. Ebb North Hill 13:09
Start/Finish: Between Horseshoe & Vixen
Course: s/f-DM-s/f*2, 1.2 nm at 200, Race Length: 4.9 nm
Crew: Brian, Bob & RW

We had a good start all by ourselves in clean air at the pin end of the line.  And were able to stick to a current lifted starboard tack strategy all the way to the North Hill Channel where we then tacked to port with the current for the windward mark. After rounding the starboard gate, we appeared to be headed more than comfortable so tacked and ended up more to the west side of the course upwind, which may not have been the best move.  

Link to Race #1 chart

Race #2
Wind: 195 at 5 kts, Temp: 73 F, Baro: 29.93Current: flooding. Ebb North Hill 13:09
Start/Finish: Offshore of Bluff Point at 1320
Course: s/f-DM-s/f, 1.2 nm at 200, Race Length: 2.4 nm
Crew: Brian, Bob & RW

For the second race, the RC shortened the line significantly.  I elected the starboard end, but turned for the committee boat a bit late so we trailed the Shields by about 10 seconds off the line.  The wind was now down to five knots and our starboard course was backed a good amount from the first race, now headed east of Sea Flower. One by one, the Shields began tacking and I waited till windward of the last to tack ourselves.  

In 5 knots of wind, we could not point nearly as high as the Shields, we footed off some in the lumpy sea and made relatively good time.  In both races, our final tacks for the windward mark were right on the money (lucky indeed).     Shortly after the rounding of the windward mark, the wind dropped for the next thirty minutes making flying of the chute very difficult in the chop. Finally, just as we were about to jibe to starboard the RC announced a shortening of the race, excluding Class One.   Subsequent to our jibe to starboard, a fresh breeze arose making for a pleasant reach to the finish.

Link to Race #2 chart

It was nice having Bob Fagan back with us this past week, visiting from Georgia.  


Wind: 035 at 9 kts, Temp: 75 F, Baro: 29.67 to 29.72
Current: Flood North Hill 18:03
Start/Finish: Offshore of “X”
Course: s/f-N-s/f*2, Race Length: 7.2 nm
Downwind start (first of the season)
Crew: Brian, Bob & RW

We had a very good starboard jibe start at the port end of the line, with Jolly Mon on port at the committee boat slowly pulling ahead.   We pretty much followed Jolly Mon’s track for both laps.
What hurt us the most was the long ports against the current following both roundings of North Hill.

I should have realized a tack North towards the west of North Dumpling would have helped immensely as there was more pressure in the northern half of the course.  Either side of North Dumpling would have been better than pressing on against the current between the Dumplings.  

Link to Results
Link to

Wind: 235 at 12 kts, Temp: 73 F, Baro: 29.75
Current: flooding 10 minutes at the start. Flood North Hill 17:43
Start/Finish: Offshore of “X”
Course: s/f-DM-s/f*2, 1.2 nm at 240, Race Length: 4.8 nm
Crew: Adam, Brian, Dan & RW

This evening was a prime example of what sets the Mudhead locale apart from other venues when it comes to windward/leeward racing.   A 235 degree rhumbline & numerous windchecks prior to the start of 230 to 235 indicated a slight port bias for the first tack.  Yet when the left to right flooding current was considered, a starboard was highly favored.  Interestingly, the windmill on North Dumpling at 200 degrees was pointed right at us, yet on the surface in the start area averaged 232.  Based on what the windmill was telling us, we expected a header nearing North Dumpling. Whether it was there or not, we don't know as we tacked far short of ND.

We had a good start right on Jolly Mon’s stern and were able to maintain our strategy to hold starboard despite Gimlet passing to starboard about three-quarters out.  Our starboard HDM/COG was 202/206 most of the way out, followed by a port 265 HDM to the starboard layline. Tacking on 90 degrees to the mark led to a slight overstand in the flooding current, yet rounding just ahead of Gimlet approaching on port. A smooth deployment of the chute followed with and brisk starboard jibe run to the leeward mark.  Gimlet passed us just short of the mark. Rounding, we hardened up on port just long enough to check a heading of 285 prior to tacking back for a long starboard back out toward North Dumpling.

The second lap was similar to the first, though our average headings were backed approximately five degrees.  Our port tack to the windward mark was just short of an overstand giving us a buttonhook rounding again slightly ahead of Gimlet on a long starboard.  Our final downwind was now a fresh broadreach in the backed wind, with Gimlet again passing us short of the line.  

This makes for two weeks in a row that I haven’t a chart of our course to post.  I hope to remedy that for next week.

There may have been greater pressure on the left (east) side of the course, for those that went right did not fare well.  One would reason that a starboard jibe would indicate a favored port upwind, though not in last night’s conditions. 

It has been a long time since we’ve had a first in fleet.  :)

Link to Results

Link to chart of course without speed info.

Wind: 235 at 12 kts, Temp: 80 F, Baro: 29.95
Current: ebb began 40 minutes prior to the start. Ebb North Hill 17:19
Start/Finish: Offshore of “X”
Course: s/f-Vixen -s/f*2
Crew: Adam, Josh, Dan & Brian

RW was absent from the tiller this evening due to a Life Star 30th Anniversary Event at the New England Air Museum.  So my faithful crew managed the boat without me and pulled off  4th place ahead of Merganser and Avara.

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