ECSA Results

 65th Ram Island YC 'Around the Island Regatta'
Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: ESE 13 kts, gusts high teens 
Weather: Overcast, mist/drizzle, occasional showers, Temp 69 F
Current: ebb - North Hill 0955, 1020 Race Point
Start time: 1040
Start/Finish: Groton Long Point / Ram Island 
Course: counter-clockwise Fishers Island; Distance: approximately 14.5 nm 
Shrouds: +4,+5,+4; #1 Heavy Genoa

While motoring out in the rain, we monitored over the VHF, the RC’s announcement of Course 2 for the PHRF fleet. In assessing the conditions, we pointed the bow numerous times at Race Point to find the TWA averaging between 130 & 140 degrees on port, substantiating our hunch for starting with the spinnaker ‘reacher’ and an offshore course to Race Point.

We had an excellent start near the committee boat with most of the fleet down at the pin. Checkered Demon nearer the boat was over early and peeled around the front for a re-start. As we headed out for a point roughly halfway between North Hill & Seaflower, it seemed the faster spinnaker classes (that had started earlier now approaching or abeam NH) were slowed by the current flowing north along Fishers west shore.  With my back to the island, concentrating on steering, I could not see what was going on with the rest of the boats in our class. Seth said Abrabesque put their chute up shortly after the start, then the rest of the class begining with Plain Vanilla started popping theirs in the vicinity of North Hill, though they may not have benefited as much from the wind that close to shore.

Saturday - 08/14/10
Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: SE, avg 4.2 kts, peak 6.5 kts
Weather: Clear, Temp 85 F
Current: flood – 0832 Ram Island
Start time: 1059, finish 1500
Start/Finish: just SE of Stonington Harbor
Course: s/f–G3-N-I–R-s/f; Distance: 11.2 nm
Shrouds: Base

Crossing line (in 3 kts of wind) next to the RC boat at the gun uncontested, with most of the class down near the pin, I later realized (if not less current there) their course to windward took them into the shelter of the breakwater sooner than ours.    We were neck and neck with Salud to the breakwater, where they abeam our windward pulled ahead. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

SeTherin - First in Class

Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Race 1
Winds: WSW (255), avg 9 kts, gusts 14, lulls 3
Weather: Hazy, Temp 85 F; Current: flood - North Hill 1015
Start/Finish: just West of Horseshoe
Course: s/f–WM–LM-s/f *2; Distance: 5.8 nm
Shrouds: +2,+3,+2

We motored out on the flood in little wind; already sweating, and lathered up with sun-block in hopes that the afternoon heat would produce a better breeze than forecast.

The RC positioned west of Horseshoe, as the non-spinnaker RC setup in the traditional Mudhead starting area east of the reef.  Following a slight delay re-positioning the line for the wind, the race got underway at 11:10.   I elected to start on port from the pin and duck boats as necessary to insure a clear lane when tacking back to starboard. 

This worked well and we seemed hold our own all the way the windward mark, with our competition exiting as we approached on port.  The approach was mistakenly close, with too little time on the layline resulting in a late set after the rounding. 

A jibe shortly after the set took us shoreward clear of the rhumbline parade and maybe into less adverse current once we jibed back to starboard.  We chose the left gate as it was the closest and there appeared to be more pressure on the upwind right side of the course than offshore to the left.  After a smooth douse & rounding, we made our second mistake by not recognizing a header as soon as we should have.  Our second rounding of the windward mark was tight again yet we were all prepared this time with a good set and subsequent jibe for shore.  Shortly after the jibe back to starboard the wind dropped from what had been a good ten knots down to 7 & 8 nearly the remainder of the run.  

Race 2
Winds: WSW (255), avg 8 kts, 3-12 kts, gusts 14, lulls 3
Weather: Hazy, Temp 85 F;
Current: flood - North Hill 1015
Start/Finish: just West of Horseshoe
Course: s/f–WM–LM-s/f *2; Distance: 5.8 nm
Shrouds: +3,+4,+3

After a forty minute break for lunch, racing commenced again with a new breeze filling in from southwest.  Brian cinched up the shrouds as we thought it may build into the low to mid-teens. With no change in wind direction, we chose the same strategy as in the first race. (And in retrospect, would have faired better leaving the shrouds as they were.)

At the start, I approached again on port against the starboard fleet. As the wind went light short of the pin, and with the current pushing,  we kissed it.  A not so pretty 360 in the lee of the fleet got us going again. Finally settling down on port in clear air we found ourselves in better position than expected. 

The starboard tacks offshore were rougher requiring a bit looser trim and more cunny on the genoa and car back; than the ports paralleling the shore.  Our first round was again tight, though the chute was up without delay, and we again jibed for shore.

It became obvious the fickle wind had returned and we extended shoreward to near Vixen on both downwinds.  I carried her higher than target in the chop and higher yet in the many (inconsiderate) powerboat wakes, in the occasional smooth spots dropping down to target (averaging 166 TWA).  The last run was the worst; as the wind fluctuated between four to eight knots. 

I felt we did better in the first race than the second, when actually we corrected to 2nd in first & to 1st place in the last races for a first overall.  

Link to Race 1 chart
Link to Race 1 chart
Link to Results

Greg's Report

Thanks to all the folks that chipped in to assist the SeTherin crew in supporting Hospice!

Sunday 06/06/10

Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: SW mid to high teens, gusts low 20’s
Temp: 75 F, Baro: 29.77
Weather: high thin overcast; lowering frontal clouds
Current: flood – Bartlett Reef 1135, Two Tree Island 1230
Start time: 1105
Start/Finish: mid Niantic Bay
Course: s/f-A-W-I-A-I-s/f; “A” 215 @ 2.2 nm from RC; Total Distance: 10.7 nm
*Heavy #1 Genoa
Shrouds: +5,+7,+4


The Niantic event is the farthest west we care to venture for a same day event, and this year the current was on our nose both going and returning, two hours each way.  Leaving Spicer’s at 8am, the motor over was in smooth water, under clear skies, with little to no wind.  The forecast was a bit ominous wind wise, so arrival we donned PFD’s, cinched the keel down & the shrouds to their tightest, & prepared for a stiff wind. 

The RC set up in the middle of the Bay with a Gold Cup Course.  We were the second class to start.  It was nice to witness another start and benefit from that knowledge.  Seeing that port was favored I should have hung back to start at the committee boat.   Thinking that the fleet would quickly to tack to port, I decided lead the fleet down towards the on the pin end, with the thought of being the most windward boat following the tacks. We ran down the line on starboard leading the class, yet found soon after the gun, few were in mind for a tack.  So we threw in a quick tack to duck a few sterns, which really paid off.  Euphoria and the J24 starting near the RC were the only other boats on port.   After tacking back to starboard for the hitch offshore, Salud had to duck us, one of the few if only time that’s happened.

Sunday 09/06/09
Crew: Seth, Bob, & RW
Wind: NE, E 10-18, lulls-8, gusts-22, avg-12
Current: ebb North Hill 1210
Start time: 1025
Start: south of Vixen;   Course: s/f-W-Intrepid-Silver Eel-Vixen-Intrepid-s/f; starboard-roundings
Shrouds: +4, +7, +3

We were down one crew today as Brian and “Empty Pockets” were on a cruise to Shelter Island and beyond.  A pretty boisterous day for single-handing I say.

Expecting winds into the mid to high teens I cinched the rig down on the motor out to Vixen. The RC set drop-mark ‘W’ north of Vixen in towards the airport to give us bit of a windward start. Though, shortly after the start the wind clocked to the East.  We had a decent start right on the pin and witnessed Kahoutec (IOD) harden-up and take Jennie head to wind.   Jennie, then in an unintentional auto-tack forced Salud into an emergency duck of their stern.  Good thing we were slightly trailing at the start and able to stay well clear.  As it was the last hour of the flood, we tacked along the shore, though the wind was shifty both in direction and velocity (8 to 12). 

Our first attempt to lay Intrepid fell short. And while on the starboard extension I looked up to see Matador (J80) begin to bear off in a duck of our stern, then stop and head right for us mid-ship, a t-bone. We were yelling starboard, and helpless, when at the last second they cleared.  Had they hit us….  We then laid the mark and with a good set in 12 to 14 kts of wind, Matador clear ahead.   

Passing North Hill, the Ensign ‘Triton’ overtook us to windward.  Bob luffed the spinnaker a bit to slow us down so we could harden-up cross above their stern to windward pass and pull away.  We had a timely douse and close jibe about Silver Eel.  Then a very quick genoa reach to Vixen led to the outside track car forward & Bob trimming like a spinnaker.   Likewise a tight fast rounding of Vixen and beat with multiple tacks to Intrepid.

This time we rounded Intrepid with winds of 16 to 18, and good set.  After five-minutes we took a jibe shoreward for current relief.   A few minutes later the jibe back to port did not go so well.  Seth could not get the pole back on the mast. Somehow the pole got eased to the headstay and we ended up with an hourglass, Seth could not shake out.  So we ended up lowering the chute and re-hoisting making for an exhilarating ride and a handful of long planes to the finish. 
And speed record data point of 9.74 knts, far exceeding previous data.

After crossing the line, dousing the spinnaker and slowly working our way homeward, we heard the withdrawal of Hammer over the radio.  Jeff Lamothe broke his arm holding on to the mainsheet as it swung across in a jibe. 

2nd place
Link to Results
Three minute avg at finish
TWS: 17.8 kts, BSpd 6.8 kts
Peak last three minutes
TWS: 22.5 kts at 13:52:52
BSpd 9.74 kts at 13:54:39

Link to chart
Link to slide-show, (right-click, for next page option, 9-slides)
courtesy of David S. Costanzo

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