ECSA Results

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

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. 


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

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