ECSA Results

Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: W-SW S-NE 3 to 6 kts
Current: ebb Race Point 1205
Start time: 1055
Start: West Harbor
Shrouds: at Base

Contrary to the forecast, a few minutes prior to the start, a local wind out of the southwest materialized, so we positioned for a start at the pin (south) end of the line, reasoning to tack and reach down the line, then harden up at the gun windward of the fleet clustered near the committee boat.  Jolly Mon must have had a similar plan as they sailed along our port side short of the gun, both of us flying our drifters.  Then the wind died to nothing.  Jolly Mon continued on starboard drifting towards the Eastern Pt of West Harbor, while we roll tacked, following our plan somewhat, though it was a mistake flying the drifter.  It long ago lost any windward ability and we could only reach parallel the line with it.  In the future we will use it only as sort of a ‘chicken-chute’!   Back under genoa (& sheeted to the outer track) near the north end of the line, we were able to slowly make headway towards North Hill.

Based on past experience we continued, westward beyond the North Hill Buoy a short distance. Still in the channel and witnessing the new ebb on our nose, we tacked to starboard till abeam the North Hill Pt, then tacked back to port for a good distance offshore with less current on the nose.  The wind continued backing to the south lifting us into the ebb towards Race Pt.   Following an exploratory tack on starboard, another port effort ensued prior to laying Race Point.

Seeing the vast majority of boats ahead flying spinnakers as we neared Race Point, caused us to be too eager.  We should have stuck with the genoa and close-reached past the R”2” buoy farther offshore prior setting the spinnaker.  A few boats succumbed to the eddy offshore between the buoy and Race Rock, though not as many as last week during the Ram race. 

Past the airport we doused the spinnaker and worked offshore to escape the light air under Wilderness Point. Once clear, we bore off and again set the chute for the long reach down island. About a quarter of the way down, Jolly Mon finally caught up and passed.

Bill Mortenson (Wunderdog) told me at the party that Sparky (J24) had taken an inshore route down the backside of the island and arrived at the top of Lord’s, to have a private breeze westward to the finish.  I am certainly curious as to their course around the island (?).

Both the wind and the favorable current diminished as we neared the end of the island, and we hoped the Race Committee would have the wisdom to shorten the race at Lords.  It was not to be, as ahead we could see the whole ‘Pass’ as one big parking lot, with a few (very few) boats squeaking around the top and escaping.

We rounded the MOA in a close jibe to port and worked up inside towards Wicopesset Island, while listening to the occasional bumping of boats and yelling out in the channel.  We must have passed the better part of twenty boats going up the pass, rounded Can 7 real tight, hardened up still under spinnaker and made it half way to Can 9 before it all unraveled.  Matador (J80) rolled us to windward just as the wind died for both of us.  After working ourselves offshore clear of the rocks, and dilly-dallying around for a half-hour or more, we threw in the towel, dug out the iron-jibe and motored in for the party, picking up a Watch Hill 15 in-tow along the way. 

DNF

Link to chart
Link to chart Lord's Pass
Link to Results

64th Ram Island YC 'Around the Island Regatta' 
Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: NE-E-SE at 3 to 8 kts, & 10 for a short while following the start
Current: ebbing, flood Napatree 1356
Start time: 1015, Finish 1340
Start: W of Groton Long Point, Finish: shortened at Lord's Pass MOA
Shrouds: at Base

On drive home from the yacht club Saturday night, weather clearing, Bob & I strategized the race, West wind in mind. Sunday morning, an East wind & a low overcast required a bit of a re-think. As we approached the starting area it appeared a port reaching start would be in order, though while maneuvering in the start area, we soon realized it would be spinnaker start.

Crew: Brian, Pat, Bob & RW
Winds: SE-S at 5 to 8 kts, (short peak at 14)
Current: ebb - North Hill 1230
Start time: 1155
Start/Finish: SW of Horseshoe Reef
Course: s/f-DM-s/f, 3 laps, Distance: 9.0 nm, DM east of North Dumpling
Shrouds: at Base

We chose to start at the committee boat, to be windward of the class and crossed about thirty seconds late.  Our tacks, sets, jibes, douses & roundings were good. Boat speed was down at times which I contributed to the chop and fluky wind.   We finished last, our worst showing in sometime, not even in the hunt   

Perplexed and grasping at straws for an explanation- looking at the GPS chart, I find we spent a preponderance of the time west of the rhumbline.  In retrospect, I believe the wind may have been stronger on the eastern side of the rhumbline.

Link to chart

Watch Hill YC – Fuller Regatta; Saturday, 08/08/09
Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: NW, W to SW at 4 to 12 kts
Current: flood – Napatree Point 0700, ebb 1300
Start time: 1050, finish 1515
Start/Finish: Off the beach of the Ocean House – Watch Hill, RI
Course: 195 degrees at 3.5 nm, 2 laps (shortened from 3)
Distance 14 nm
Shrouds: Base

The various wind forecasts were not very encouraging, 5 to 10 at best.  Though it was to be a beautiful clear day, and with a cool breeze out of the north a possibility of a so-wester building in the afternoon.  We left the dock at 0830 for a posted 1030 start motoring against the flood for nearly 2 hours arriving with little time to spare.  Picking up the scratch sheet from the chase boat, we pieced together the start sequence.  There were only two classes, both spinnaker (A & B), a small turnout typical of the WHYC events and we were to be the last to start.

Crew: Seth, Erin, Bob & RW
Winds: SW at 5 to 12 kts
Current: ebb - North Hill 1442
Start time: 1220
Start/Finish: just north of Vixen
Course: s/f-E-I-V-E-s/f, Distance: 13.4 nm
Shrouds: Base +3, +5, +3

It was showery on the drive to Noank, yet by the time we arrived the rain had subsided leaving a low ceiling & some fog. The motor over to Vixen Ledge with a flood in accompaniment was uneventful.

With six classes our class was next to last starting at 1120. In about 8 kts of wind, we got a very good start most windward right at the committee boat. Bandit(J24), directly on our stern was unable to pull up to windward and shortly bailed out on port for clear air, a move we also were forced to do a couple minutes later due to the header from Salud after she pulled out from our alee to directly ahead. Back on starboard and nearing Seaflower, Salud tacked to port for the better part of five minutes, tacking back well to our windward. We had no difficulty weathering Seaflower (yet lost some current lift in its lee), so continued on starboard till closing on fog shrouded North Hill (Fishers Island). As some boats sounded an occasional fog horn, instrument & compass awareness was paramount. Lacking the usual visual cues, I was unaware of the header we sailed into for three minutes or so short of North Hill; a fact I became aware of post-race studying the chart. Had we tacked at 1245, we’d have picked up about two minutes.

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