57th Around Island Race
Wind: SW 10
Avg Wind: 240 at 9.6 kts, Baro 29.85" Temp High of 79 F
Current: ebb NH 0738, RP 0803; flood 1414 NP
Start & Finish: West Harbor
Race Length: 14.55 nm
Crew: Brian, Seth & RW
Of the twenty-two Fishers Island Regattas that have taken place since our first in 1992, fourteen have been counter-clock wise about the island, six clockwise and two were inside courses (2006 & 2010). We’ve missed two events, the 2006 inside one due to Hurricane Ernesto and 2004.
We have placed in three of the clockwise races (1,3,3), and won our class in the ill-fate 2010 race (inside-course with a 4th in fleet overall corrected), yet never placed well in the counter-clockwise events, till yesterday.
We had planned on starting near the pin as port was favored. The pin ended up a bit crowded and we had to tack a couple times, yet avoided a foul to finally break free mid-line on port, and were able to weather South Dumpling and extend well beyond the North Hill bell. Most of the boats tacked to starboard around the bell, though we continued much farther west as did Jolly Mon, Ursa Minor and Checkered Demon ahead of us. I think Checkered was the first to tack, then Ursa and Jolly Mon. We continued well beyond their sterns till Race Point bore 195 degrees magnetic then tacked for the long board to the Race. Most if not all the boats were forced to tack out prior to Silver Eel, while we had just a short one-minute current-lifted hitch four minutes or so prior to rounding Race Point.
Passing close to the buoy to avoid the eddy, we bore-off and popped the chute, then freshened up to work offshore for better current. About half-way down the island we winged out the chute and began heeling the boat to windward, prior to jibing about twenty minutes later.
Rounding the MOA, we carried the spinnaker to the top of the pass, doused and rounded tight on Can’7’. A large boat cut inside and rolled us, though passed quickly without harm. We then sailed the usual doglegs in & out around the buoys for current avoidance. Fortunately, the wind held and the current was not ripping! Many times over the years, this is where we fell out of the hunt with our little boat short on the necessary horsepower. The beat to the finish was a well lifted port tack, requiring only two short starboards, one near Brooks Point and the last for the finish line.
In addition winning our class, we took a third in our Island Cup Class (2,3,1).
Most importantly, we were first overall in the fleet on corrected time for the Donzo Memorial Award.