Date: 07/26/2003 Log Entry: Race
Weather: Clear, Wind: WSW 10-8 <5, 5-7 kt
Current: flood 1540 RI
Course: Two WL races Distance: 8.0
Crew: Dave C. - foredeck, Bob - mid, Seth - aft, RW-helm

MRMSA Volvo Leukemia Cup
Winds: 8-10 kts, slacking to <5 (1st race), 5-7 kts (2nd race)
Start – just west of Horseshoe Reef,  1115 hrs first race, 1340 hrs second race
Course #1 – windward to DropMark 1.5 nm at 230 degrees, two laps
Course #2 – windward to DropMark 1.0 nm at 245 degrees, two laps (shortened to 1 lap)
Current: ebbing, flood to start 1540 hrs at Ram Island

We left the dock with a forecast of late morning & afternoon winds of 15 knots and greater. In the first race, Seth got us off to a good start midline, and we tacked at the first opportunity to a favored port tack with compass numbers of 265 to 275 for some westing near the shore in less current.

With a total of six tacks to lay the mark, a bearway set on the rounding and a jibe soon as traffic allowed, Dave handling the foredeck for the first time like a pro, we then carried port all the way to the leeward mark.   After a smooth douse and rounding in 8 kts of wind, hardening up I found us headed now to 315. Over-reacting, I elected to tack out on starboard, which would not have been so bad had the wind not died five minutes later as we neared Sea Flower, in the middle of the channel, current headed with no avenue for relief. We should have hugged the shore regardless of the header.  Thirty-five minutes into the leg and still shy of the mark with Valiant (Tartan 34) for company, the chase boat came out asking us to withdraw so they could get the second race underway. We quickly mounted the outboard and scooted back to the starting area. 

In the second race, Seth got us off again to a good midline start.  We again tacked to port, wind favored and the best tack for current relief along the shore. Just short of Pine Island, we swapped tacks for a long hitch towards the windward mark. Snagging a lobster pot on the rudder about four minutes into starboard, found Seth head first off the stern rail, Bob hanging onto his ankles to free us in less than 30 seconds. Nearly laying the mark, amid much congestion and shouting, we tacked back out and purposely overstood to clear all the commotion, got a good set and jibed to favored port and found ourselves ahead of Hellfire for a twenty minute race to the finish, in winds of only 5 to 6 we stayed high, then jibed back to starboard for the final ten minutes to the finish crossing four seconds ahead of Hellfire.  They made a mistake similar to our rounding of the leeward mark in the first race, and took starboard out from the start.  We finished 3rd in the second race, and 6th overall out of 11 boats in our class, considering our DNF in the first race.

Thanks so much to all for your contributions, to the Leukemia Society. We gathered $738 in SeTherin’s behalf.

Scaling it out on a chart later, I determined, had we gone the other way on the second windward leg of the first race, we may have made the windward mark, though probably not avoided the withdrawl request, as the wind had diminished over the whole course by that time. In the second race, the first leg took us 45 minutes to the windward mark with a 1 nm rhumbline, where we withdrew just 35 minutes into the second leg of the first race with a 1.5 nm rhumbline in similar winds.

Discuss our options tacking on the header versus current relief

So much for the forecast