Fishers Island YC 'Rround Fishers Island Race
ebb 1311 Napatree Pt, 1321 Race Pt
Weather: Clear 80's, Wind: SW 5-6, occasional 8-10 kts
Course: FI West Harbor, ccw - shortened at Lord's;  Distance: 9.9 nm
Crew: BF, AL, GC, RW

This was our twelfth effort at the Fishers Island YC Around the Island Race.

Leaving Spicers dock about nine for the motor over, we arrived to find the RC posting Course 1, the predominate counter-clockwise course. In twelve years we've gone clockwise only four times.  Interestingly, we placed in three of those four races, with a first and two thirds. We have placed out of the money in all the counter-clockwise races.

Starting in only 5 to 6 knots of wind, we were concerned about being sweep over the line early.  I held back on starboard with the motor until the five minute warning, for best positioning. After hardening up on starboard following a good start to windward of fleet at the committee boat, we tacked to port for more height.  Passing the southern tip of Flat Hammock I remembered too late the back-eddy we've taken advantage of there going the opposite way on Wednesday nights; as we found ourselves suddenly going nowhere.

Back in the deeper water, current in our favor we made North Hill R"2" in reasonable time and saw Just Friends out ahead continuing on port and Watercolors on starboard for current relief along the west shore in accordance with our strategy. We could see the International One-Designs already offshore on starboard for Race Point, yet I was reluctant to abandon our west shore strategy, gambling that the breeze would fill on the beach first as it has in the past so many times. So we dilly-dallied at North Hill going nowhere for nearly an hour, before finally sailing out on port to the offshore breeze. 

Nearing North Hill about 15 minutes into the race the GPS began to beep with a low battery message.  Fortunately Art had brought some along and we eventually replaced them.

Finally offshore on starboard, the distance to Race Point clicked off rapidly in an eight knot breeze.  Rounding Race Point at the end of the flood with a smooth set in a 7 to 8 knot breeze, we quickly determined those ahead were not making much headway so we opted for the shore.

The long haul down the back side of the island was much different than last weeks Ram Island YC race.  Nearing Wilderness Point the wind died to less than six for nearly an hour, though we had more than the unfortunate offshore.

Watercolors slowly worked their way inshore for the breeze. For the better part of a half hour we were ahead of them till Isabella Beach when the wind came back 8 to 10 knots  for a half hour or so, dying again as we neared the eastern end of the island two miles short of Lords MOA.  Trimming the spinnaker was exasperating and we replaced the port sheet with 1/8" line and continued to milk it for all it was worth for nearly another hour, finally crossing the line at Lord's MOA at 1525 hours. Thankfully, the RC decided early on to shorten the race at Lord's.

We quickly got the iron-jib on and going and chose the shorter course home through Wicopessett Pass against a ripping three knot spring tide.  After about an hour of motoring along the north shore of Fishers and drawing abeam Brooks Point, the motor conked out with an expensive sounding clank. We quickly set the sails again and began to sail for Noank, Fishers party no longer an option. With the fickle southwest breeze it appeared we would be swept back east, yet within twenty minutes or it died altogether and was replaced by a new warm 10 to 12 north wind off the Connecticut shore giving us a very pleasant sail all the way from Middle-Ground to our mooring at Spicers.

Link to chart

Pos  Yacht  Type                    Skipper      PHRF  Elapsed  Corrected
1 Crystal Slipper    C&C38MKIII  Cavanaugh  113   208.749  211.21
2 Chkrd Demon     Holland 30   O'Connell    161   227.554  213.00
3 Just Friends       Wanderer     Purcell       216   249.400  215.00
4 Salud               Pearson 30    Sarges       174   235.411  215.97
5 Legacy III         C&C 34        Read          147   226.260  216.52
6 SeTherin          Catalina 22    Magner       273   276.795  220.55
7 Watercolors      Morgan 28     Drinkuth     207   256.014  223.59
8 Jolly Mon          C&C RW 30    Loveday     194   252.078  224.40
9 Rogue             Newport 29    Simonds     126   228.156  225.90
10 Brer Rabbit     C&C 33          Loweth      151   245.105  233.06
11 Tynaje           Ohlsen 38      Ross           143   248.746  239.56
12 Second Draft  Catalina 30      Peacock     180   269.281  244.80
13 Xapisma         Pearson424K   Welsh        171   290.329  267.58

Elapsed Time
-5.07 would have moved us into 5th
-5.77 would have moved us into 4th
-6.99 would have moved us into 3rd
-9.50 would have moved us into 2nd
-11.75 would have moved us into 1st