45th Fishers Island Yacht Club - "Around Fishers Island Race"
September 1, 2001, Saturday; Course: CCW
Ebb-Race Point, 1039 Napatree Point
Wind -NW to N 9 at the start
Crew: Kim -foredeck, Bob -mid, RW -helm

We arrived at the island about 0935 in plenty time to get a sense of the wind and forthcoming conditions. The first gun went off on schedule at our class third to start at 1025.

We were set up for a great start at the committee boat, to windward of the fleet of 15 or so boats. At the crossing moment I gave in to a barger on our starboard beam, David Kelly (Mast Transit – J27). I should have closed the door on him. As a result, he rolled us significantly slowing our acceleration out the gate. Not quite making North Hill on the beat we threw in two tacks a couple minutes short of the mark to clear. In retrospect we should have tacked up for clear air right after the start similar to Cygnus.

Rounding North Hill, we had a broad reach down the west shore in 12 to 22 knot winds. As the wind reached 20 we put on our PFD’s. Not lasting long, it was soon back to less than 15. In less than five minutes we were abeam North Hill, and twenty minutes later jibed around Race Point.

The sail Race Point to Lord's Passage starting broad went to a beam reach for the most part with Bobby constantly playing the genoa luff similar to a spinnaker. About half way down the island Kim took the lazy port halyard forward to bow, then Bobby cinched it as the backstay was eased in an effort to reduce the weather helm. Nearing Lord's Passage now on a nearly a beat, Kim brought the lazy halyard back to the mast and we prepared to harden up around the MOA(L) at 1213 an average of 5.7 for the 6.65 nm along the south side of the island; essentially an hour-ten minutes: Race Point to Lords. Prior to rounding, Bobby put in the flattening reef, then the first reef in preparation for the beat up Lords Passage. Shortly after the MOA we tacked. Though not familiar with the hazards, I tacked back too soon. A study of the chart, shows you can gain by favoring an inside course between the MOA & C7in an ebb.

At the top of the pass, we were in relatively good shape, some of our completion in sight. Over the next 1 7/8 miles, five marks port need be honored to port. The wind now in the high teens accompanied by waves and traffic hindered our ability to readily tack and thwarted my strategy of ducking in and out between the marks in the max ebb. It still took us four tacks to clear the first mark C7 at the top of Lord's. Not able to see marks C9, C15 due to the traffic, and in an effort to clear, we mistakenly sailed too high, following the majority of the fleet out into the current, passing C13 also to port, an unnecessarily longer course exposed to greater current.

Clearing C13, influenced by Ed (Just Friends) ahead of us, we continued on a reach in clear air choosing the rhumbline course to Clay Point contrary to my original strategy -bearing off for the longer near shore route in less current (though where the wind may have been less). Had we stayed down along C9, C 15 and C 17 as originally planned, the shore route may have been the better choice. Somewhere near C 1: we shook out the first reef, then eased the flattening reef about five minutes later. The wind blew well into the high teens for most of the 3.3 nm reach to Clay Point; both Kim and Bobby hiking to the max along cabin rail. Upon rounding Clay Point and bearing off onto a broad reach to the finish, many of the nearby boats set their spinnakers. We crossed the line at 1336 for a 191 minute elapsed time, in plenty of time for the party. Rafting up next to Cygnus, we relaxed and debriefed for an hour or so prior to taking the launch for the part at FIYC.

Following the party we had a relaxing motor to Noank just in time for the last run of the day of Spicer’s launch.

It is curious that our fastest Fishers Island Race ever garnered us only 10th place.
1992 Elapsed Time 198.69 minutes 1st place, non-spinnaker
1993 Elapsed Time 420.00 minutes 6th place, non-spinnaker
1994 Elapsed Time 295.79 minutes 7th place, non-spinnaker
1995 Elapsed Time 269.68 minutes 3rd place, non-spinnaker
1996 Elapsed Time 349.49 minutes 7th place, spinnaker
1997 Elapsed Time 264.39 minutes 5th place, spinnaker
1998 Elapsed Time 248.23 minutes 11th place, spinnaker
1999 Elapsed Tine  287.92 minutes  3th place, spinnaker
2000 Race Abandoned ¬died
2001 Elapsed Time 191.00 minutes 10 place non-spinnaker

Link to chart

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