Date: 09/21/2002
 Course: V-N-VN-V Distance: 14.0
Current: ebb 1130 Ram
Weather: SW 5-10, peak 12
Crew: Dave Johndrow, Jeff & RW

Shennecossett Yacht Club's Vixen Ledge Race

Saturday, Jeff, Dave and I did our last race of the season, the SYC Vixen Ledge Race.

The course was a beat three miles southwest to the old New London Dumping Ground, a beam reach two miles east to Silver Eel R”2” off the west shore of Fishers Island, then back north to Vixen three miles with a six mile roundtrip to the Dumping Ground and back to Vixen for the finish; a total of 14 nm. 

 

Our class with ten boats was the first to start. In six to seven knots of breeze, we favored the committee boat for clear air and tacked to port (the favored tack) shortly thereafter. Playing the shifts in an eight to ten knot breeze and compensating for current we laid the mark in seven tacks.  With Irish Lady ahead, we bore off around the mark in the middle of the pack, and Jeff sheeted the genoa to the outboard track.  With the ebb now in effect, we sailed low as possible on a starboard beam reach and remarkably gained a bit on those ahead.

 

Rounding Silver Eel, Jeff quickly poled out the genoa to port as Dave pulling the strings, for a broad reach back to Vixen in 5 to 7 knots of wind. Catching up to Irish Lady, I got a little greedy and continued left experimenting with the polars.  By the time we jibed back to starboard, Irish Lady had pulled well ahead.  With NoNob ahead and Tumult on our tail and the current setting us to the right, we jibed back onto port, followed by a short beam reach prior to hardening up around Vixen for a long hitch on port.

 

After over thirty minutes in 6 to 8 knot winds, I began to get a little nervous thinking there may be a bit more wind on the left, so flopped over onto starboard for a short while (ten minutes). Back on port we found no noticeable increase in wind, but I believe the ebb had a more southerly set to it giving us a better lift to the mark, where it had been more on our nose on the previous starboard hitch.

 

Tacking for the layline on Tumult’s weather hip, both of us were soon set below the mark. First allowing Tumult to cross us, we threw in a short hitch, tacked and rounded ahead.  Dave trimmed in the genoa as Jeff set the pole to port, in an effort for the left side of the course. Shortly, we found ourselves converging with Tumult (on starboard) forcing a jibe for us. With the wind now freshening to ten and twelve knots, we let Tumult cross, and worked up current to their port hip. With two more jibes, we stayed alongside Tumult to Vixen for a photo finish, one second apart.  I believe they crossed ahead. The finish time was approximately 1550, a four hours forty minute elapsed time.  Thanks to Jeff and Dave for an enjoyable afternoon.

 

The results have not been mailed out yet, though we finished mid-pack boat for boat and corrected to first place.  SeTherin finished in the money in all of the 2002 weekend races.