Saturday, July 19, 2008 Crew €“ Megan, Seth, Bob & RW
Current: flood - North Hill; ebb 1210
Start/Finish: West of Horseshoe Reef
Winds: W at 6 to 12 kts
Course: s/f- DM -s/f * 2, Bearing 270, Distance:  6.0 nm
Start: 1130
Shrouds: +3, +4, +2

 With a forecast of winds into the mid-teens out of the southwest, we started the day with the rig cinched tight, prepared for an exhilarating ride.  Unfortunately, this never came to pass. We started in ten plus knot, near the RC for clear air, yet had to take a short port out of the bad air regardless.  Back on starboard we continued offshore to ride the last of the flood, as we chose on the subsequent upwind leg also with the thought of avoiding the stronger ebb along the shore.  The upwinds were our downfall, as we did not have enough drive in the chop with the tight rig.  Jibing in phase with the shifts, we faired much better on our downwinds, though not enough to overcome our upwind deficits. 

 Our elapsed time: 1:22:53  
    18.60 seconds faster would have moved us into 5th                             
1:18:00  minutes faster would have moved us into 4th                              
1:49:20  minutes faster would have moved us into 3rd                             
2:12:18  minutes faster would have moved us into 2nd                            
2:34:48  minutes faster would have moved us into 1st  
Link to chart

 Race 2Winds: WSW 10 to 4 kts
Course: s/f- W -s/f,* 2, Distance: 5.0 nm
Start: 1330
Shrouds: +2, +3, +1 

We backed off the rig tension some (to the 10 to 12 kt settings) in the break between races, as it became obvious the wind was not going to comply with the forecast.  Now with the ebb well developed, our strategy for the second race was to tack as soon as able for current relief along the CT shore.   Starting farther down the line this time in 10 kts, our tack to port was delayed due to traffic.  On port we were about to be rolled, so took another series, then returned for a long port down to Black Ledge. In very smooth water and 11 kts of wind we held our own with the boats farther offshore in greater current & possibly less wind.   

Tacking for offshore and the windward mark, our plans began to unravel as the average wind commenced a slow decline to five knots by the time we finished.  Approaching the windward mark, we monitored RC radio conversations instructing a shortening of the course for the second lap to one mile legs, a good decision. Again, both of our downwinds were more productive than the upwinds.  With a backed wind the final beat upwind was extremely favored on port, but directly into the current. About this time we heard  "She's the Boss" retiring from the race.  We learned later they hit a rock near Black Ledge, damaged the keel root joint and were taking on water.  Halfway to the windward mark we ran into a major header and took another hitch offshore for a couple minutes.  After five minutes back on starboard, we ran into a major light spot, tacked and found ourselves sailing away from the mark. Shortly after tacking back to port, the wind came back to 6 and lasted to nearly the windward mark where it dropped to less than five.  Fortunately, the return downwind was also down-current.  We would've had to been 3:17:40  minutes faster to have moved into 5th.
Link to chart

 I'd like to thank all that have supported our fund efforts (online or by check) for Hospice Southeastern Connecticut. This is the first year SeTherin has broken the grand mark with our Mudhead Fundraising.