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Hospice Regatta 2014

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ace 2 Chart

57th Around Island Race
Wind: SW 10
Avg Wind: 240 at 9.6 kts, Baro 29.85" Temp High of 79 F
Current: ebb NH 0738, RP 0803; flood 1414 NP
Start & Finish: West Harbor
Course: ccw
Race Length: 14.55 nm
Crew: Brian, Seth & RW

Of the twenty-two Fishers Island Regattas that have taken place since our first in 1992, fourteen have been counter-clock wise about the island, six clockwise and two were inside courses (2006 & 2010).   We’ve missed two events, the 2006 inside one due to Hurricane Ernesto and 2004.  
We have placed in three of the clockwise races (1,3,3), and won our class in the ill-fate 2010 race (inside-course with a 4th in fleet overall corrected), yet never placed well in the counter-clockwise events, till yesterday.

We had planned on starting near the pin as port was favored. The pin ended up a bit crowded and we had to tack a couple times, yet avoided a foul to finally break free mid-line on port, and were able to weather South Dumpling and extend well beyond the North Hill bell
.   Most of the boats tacked to starboard around the bell, though we continued much farther west as did Jolly Mon, Ursa Minor and Checkered Demon ahead of us.  I think Checkered was the first to tack,  then Ursa and Jolly Mon.  We continued well beyond their sterns till Race Point bore 195 degrees magnetic then tacked for the long board to the Race.  Most if not all the boats were forced to tack out prior to Silver Eel, while we had just a short one-minute current-lifted hitch four minutes or so prior to rounding Race Point.

Passing close to the buoy to avoid the eddy, we bore-off and popped the chute, then freshened up to work offshore for better current. About half-way down the island we winged out the chute and began heeling the boat to windward, prior to jibing about twenty minutes later.

Rounding the MOA, we carried the spinnaker to the top of the pass, doused and rounded tight on Can’7’. A large boat cut inside and rolled us, though passed quickly without harm. We then sailed the usual doglegs in & out around the buoys for current avoidance. Fortunately, the wind held and the current was not ripping!  Many times over the years, this is where we fell out of the hunt with our little boat short on the necessary horsepower.  The beat to the finish was a well lifted port tack, requiring only two short starboards, one near Brooks Point and the last for the finish line.

In addition winning our class, we took a third in our Island Cup Class (2,3,1).
Most importantly, we were first overall in the fleet on corrected time for the Donzo Memorial Award.

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On the way home photo

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Fishers Island race closes Island Cup series: Article

Wind: S 4 to 10 kts
Avg Wind: 187 at 7.3 kts, Baro 30.28" Temp 78 to 74 F
Current: ebb 1350 NH
Start: West of FI
Course: s/f-DM-s/f*2; 195 at 1.3 nm
Race Length: 5.1 nm
Crew: Brian, Seth & RW

After nearly two and a half hours and an abandoned start; the wind which had been all around the clock, up & down from zip to 10ish finally filled in from the south.  The RC posted a windward mark at 1.3 nm & 210 degrees.

We got a very good start near the committee boat, as most of the class was clustered down near the pin. We tacked shortly after the gun, as a late minute wind check had shown port as to be favoured, Jolly Mon followed suit shortly there after though most of the class held on to starboard for a good while. About half way to the mark we dug back in for an equally long starboard, then a short port to the layline, for a nice set of the spinnaker. The downwind was good, Seth trimming & Brian calling the shots. The douse at the leeward mark was nearly perfect, and we tacked soon as possible to starboard for a slightly clocked breeze. This time we held starboard nearly to the corner. Had we tacked around 1447 and dug in for three or four minutes, our port tacks would have been phased better with the wind, and we might have shaved a minute or so off our time.

We had a very short layline, yet a smooth fast set, and another good downwind.   Brian & Seth are to be commended for the great boatwork, sail trim, strategy & tactics.  Reviewing the chart later, I found the windward mark to be 195 degrees from the RC rather than 210 as posted.

We ended up with a third in class, yet a fifth in the 32 boat spinnaker fleet.

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Crew: Brian, Seth, & RW
Winds: NE to ESE 4.2 kts, peak gust 9
Weather: Few clouds morning, clear by noon, 75 F, 30.32
Current: ebb - 0843 North Hill, ebb - 0908 Race Point, flood 1509 Napatree
Start time: 1015; Race Point: 1145 (90m): Finish: 1402:46
Start/Finish: Groton Long Point / Finish Lord's Pass
Course: counter-clockwise Fishers Island; Distance: approximately 10.3 nm

It was a port-jibe spinnaker start in 5 to knots of wind. We had a relatively good start on Jolly Mon's stern with Just Friends to starboard near the committee boat. Our strategy was to bear off to the west so as the avoid being swept into the wind holes near the Dumplings, North Hill and Silver Eel. And to make westing for the ebb advantage soon as possible. Five minutes or so into the race trailing Jolly Mon, Just Friends, & Petrel all to our port, while trying to make westing I noticed out to west, three large commercial craft approaching. We briefly considered hardening up to try and cross the first (a large fast tug) but thought better of it.

We were able to cross the remaining, a large trawler and smaller tug, yet the wake from the first stopped us dead in our tracks and we dropped out of the wind band. Stubbornly, I stuck to our original strategy. Had I reconsidered, and freshened up to Jolly Mon's course, we would have fared much better. It took us 90 minutes to reach Race Point.

Nearing Race Point, we had a four minute teaser when the wind clocked and rose above seven to a max gust of 9 kts. Other than that we never saw anything exceeding six and a half. The last few minutes into Race Point was a beat and we rounded the buoy tight avoiding the eddy trapping a few to our starboard.

We faired much better down the backside of the island playing the light air shifts, while trying to work offshore for the better breeze & current as much as possible. Closing on the shortened finish at Lords, we noticed Petrel stuck in the Wicopesset wind hole, which they were able to climb out of a couple minutes prior to our crossing. So we knew we were not last as we had feared.

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