Shennecossett YC - Pine Island Race
Crew: Kevin, Megan, Seth & RW
Posted Course: Vixen (start) to Rapid Rock, C’R’ to Vixen, two laps Distance: 10.5 nm
Start: 1210 hours
Winds: SW at 12 ½, (9-17) kts
Current: flood 1257 Ram Island
With a jaundiced view of the wind forecast*, we enlisted Kevin as a fourth crewmember and in retrospect, I am glad of that decision, as the wind was significantly stronger all day than forecast. There was a small turnout again this year for the Pine Island Race, seven Ensigns, five Class 1 spinnaker boats, only three in Class 2 and no Non-spinnakers. The Race Committee aboard Sanibel (a brand new J-109) with PRO Gerry Keeler did an outstanding job in administering a well run race. With a half-dozen course choices, number six, two laps to Rapid Rock as the windward mark was posted.

I got focused on something as we sailed off to the right side just prior to the start making for a delayed turn back to the line and crossed about 30 seconds late. As a result we crossed right at the committee boat in clear air (the fleet crossing down near the pin), continued for a bit, and shortly tacked for the passage between Pine Island/Avery P Black Ledge. We weathered the point just fine, benefiting from the nascent flood near shore and continued on port across the Thames River. Our tack back to starboard shy of the New London shore carried us out in less adverse current towards Rapid Rock where one short hitch on port set us up for a short starboard layline. Seth set the pole & returned to the cockpit as Kevin hoisted the spinnaker and Megan gathered the doused genoa on the deck as we bore away on the starboard jibe.

With Kevin trimming the spinnaker, we were neck & neck for two-thirds of the run with the Ensign-Tailgunner- off their starboard beam & hip. Finally after jibing to port & crossing their stern we were able to pull away. In retrospect, I should have freshened up while we were on starboard and passed them well to windward before jibing and I believe we would have made better time. After a clean drop and rounding, we continued on port a while as things got cleaned up. After a couple of minutes, we tacked to starboard, this time out passing Black Ledge down the east side to avoid the stronger flood now in the river. Clear of Black Ledge we tacked for the long slog back across the river, laying Rapid Rock at a comfortable distance allowing for a comfortable set. After tiding things up we jibed to port which coincided with the flood in the river for our northing. The wind picked to the mid and upper-teens giving us an average boat speed of 6.25 kts for the last fifteen minutes of the race. Three quarters the way down the run we jibed for final ten minutes, crossing the line at 1445.

Results (actual times, not yet posted) 1 - SeTherin, Catalina 22; 273 2 - Checkered Demon, Holland Custom; 161 3 - Salud, Pearson 30; 172 4 - Euphoria, Pearson 30: 174 5 - Tumult, Ericson 30; 217

Link to Chart *Forecast for June 24, 2007 SUNAY W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT…BECOMING SW IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS AROUND 1 FT

Addendum: Reviewing our track on the chart sometime later gave a big scare. Our tack short of the New London shore on the first upwind leg narrowly ended in disaster atop a 2 foot rock.

On the second beat, ZigZagZoom, a Class 2 J29, tacked for the west side of Black Ledge after passing BL Can ‘3′, which took them up through the ledge where the in the bottom of a wave trough they collided with the 5 foot rock. Adding insult to injury, they picked up a lobster pot at Rapid Rock and drug it to the finish getting passed by slower boat in the process. Back at the marina, Prescott dived on the boat to discover serious damage to the keel & keel joint. It may be a while till they are back in the water.

There but by the grace of the gods, go I.