Current: ebb Ram Island 1014 hours High Tide: Noank 1341 hours Wind: SSW 10 to 14, occasional 16 kts Crew: Brian, Seth & RW Two races (w/l), two laps each; only five boats in our class.

Class 5 scratch sheet PHRF Park Place - O’Day 34, 151 Valiant - Tarten 34, 184 Jolly Mon - C&C 30, 195 Mentor - Pearson 26, 211 SeTherin - Catalina 22, 273

While motoring out to the starting area southwest of Horseshoe and considering the ominous dark skies to the west and the blustery forecast, I decided to cinch up the shrouds two turns each in anticipation of wind in the mid-teens. For the first race the RC set up the windward drop mark out towards North Hill 180 degrees at 1.25 nm for two laps. For the first series the RC started the classes in reverse order with the Shields (Class 6) first. We got a good start at 1135, and stuck to our strategy of covering our competition. As long as the winds remained above 12, we were able to hang with Mentor thru the waves and chop. With Brian & Seth working the flattening-reef & boomvang in unison in the puffs, we were able to minimize the heel and keep her relatively flat.

We had a good bearaway set in 14 to 15 knots of wind, and held it to about a third of the way down the course. We should have jibed much sooner, yet we had a lot of company on our starboard wrestling with their chutes, as the port jibe turned into a reach. We managed quite well, but were forced to switch to the genoa for the last minute or so into the windward mark. All in all a smooth operation, while worrying about Mentor closing for an inside overlap which they failed to do. We thought to stay on port for current avoidance, but shortly switched to starboard, to cover Mentor’s tack and found the wind had clocked some making the second leg to windward favored. I covered Mentor too far into North Dumpling, got swept a bit east and lost air on our next port tack towards the layline. In the lighter air of 9 to 10 knots they were able to pull clear in the chop. A good rounding and set followed by a jibe to port at the first opportunity kept in the hunt to the finish. Half way down the run I noticed the second batten up had popped out of it pocket. Fortunately, it moved no farther and we were able to re-install it between races.

Link to 1st Chart

During the break, Jolly Mon announced they were withdrawing due to a broken goose-neck.

For the second race the RC set the course at 205 degrees, 1.3 nm for two laps, started the classes in chronological order.

This time we decided to gain our westing near shore with less adverse current rather than the top of the course where the current was much stronger. We had a good start and tacked to port at the first opportunity. Both Mentor & Valiant covered us, with Mentor over taking in the lighter air. Mentor tacked first and we held a bit longer, concerned with the stronger current offshore on the port tack. Arriving at the windward mark, we had to take a short hitch less than a minute to lay the mark. As were rounding, Mentor coming in on a much longer ran out of room and bail out for another go at the rounding. Jibing again first opportunity, we had a good run to the bottom of the course, where we narrowly avoided an inside overlap and rounded ahead of Mentor. We again extended out on port, this time a bit a farther as I did not want another port tack at the top of the course in the North Hill current. I noticed Salud out ahead on port also from the class ahead of us and wondered why they were still in site. I maintained port a minute farther than I should, feeling I’d rather over stand and have the current with us, than under stand and have to fight back against it. Mentor beat us to the mark, yet we bore off in the round with speed, jibed shortly thereafter and kept them in our gunsights to the finish. I found later that Salud had had MOB in an accidental jibe shortly after rounding the windward mark in the first lap, when the fellow acting as a preventer on the boom got launched overboard. They had him back aboard in less than five minutes.

Link to Salud MOB Photos

Link to 2nd Chart

As we were picking up the mooring, the batten popped out again- this time with a shot straight out over the stern never to be seen again. No blood, no bruises, but a good workout just the same. Average wind 12 to 13, peak 16 and short lull period at 9 something between races. We got 4th boat for boat & 3rd corrected in the first race, 4th boat for boat & 2nd corrected in the second race and corrected to 2nd overall.

Thanks to Brian and Seth for a great afternoon of sailing.

Link to Results

Link to Combined Chart