I would especially l like express my appreciation and graditude to our support crew in their efforts to help raise money for Southeastern Connecticut Hospice.

Crew: Seth, Megan, Bob & RW
Winds: SW at 8 to 16 kts
Current: flood - North Hill 1410
Start time: 1100 & 1325
Start/Finish: between GLP & Horseshoe
Course: s/f-DM-s/f, Distance:  5.6 & 8 nm
Shrouds: Base +3, +5, +3

The first race was a two lapper to a drop mark 1.4 nm southwest at 265 degrees.  As Class 4, we were the fourth to start following the faster Classes 1 thru 3.  The Shields were Class 5, next came the Ensigns on the same course but with a windward mark set at 1.0 nm.

Starting in a cool steady 12 knots, rather than get swallowed in the starboard parade, I elected to port from near the pin, even if it meant ducking most if not all of the fleet.   Just prior the gun, the knotmeter quit a distraction we did our best to ignore.   Once we were well clear of the line, and up to speed Seth was able to clear it with a few sweeps of the kelp stick.  We seemed to be doing quite well against the larger faster boats paralleling us well to windward, so consolidated on starboard till clear for all sterns.  On starboard and in spite of the ebb the waves and chop were significant for our small boat.  Once we tacked back to port for a long port towards the layline, the seas were much more tolerable.  We had a good set and a great run downwind in a fraction of the time spent on the beat.   The wind direction appeared steady yet stronger on the south side of the course so we opted for the starboard leeward gate and extended to near the port layline, followed by a more comfortable long port to near the final layline at the mark and another fast run to the finish.  As usual we were the last boat to finish yet corrected to a 2nd place.


With a the wind direction remaining steady at 265, the RC chose to make the second a bit longer and moved the windward mark out to two miles with the same starting sequence.   This time the both the Ensigns and the Shields were share the shorter course, 1.4 nm this time around.  
As we were maneuvering for the start the wind suddenly increased to 14 & 16 so we put in a reef, which took a bit more time than usual and set us up a bit later for the start.  The starboard tacks were brutal   was we’d come off a wave and hit bottom with a thud in wonderment that keel was still there, and the crew were getting was as we torpedoed a few waves.

We rounded the windward mark with another good set by the crew- Seth on the pole & halyard, Megan genoa douse with Bob trimming.  I deliberated shaking out the reef, yet due to the difficulty putting it in decided not to and save for the final run.

The time we rounded the port gate, and I could see Cosmic directly ahead though we were headed 15 degrees from the previous lap so I tacked with the additional thought that starboard would be less pushing nearer Fishers shore as proved to be the case.  After a few minutes on starboard it became evident the winds were diminishing so we shook out the reef.  Had I foreseen this, we’d have done so on the downwind to our advantage. It nearly impossible to compete with the larger vessels in these kind'a seas and diminishing winds.  On our final downwind the winds dropped off to eight or less and contending with the flood it was our slowest run of the day. We crossed last again to correct to 7th ahead of the J-22.

Had the RC ran the longer race first, and started the second race in reverse order of classes (it wroks on Wednesday nights), we would have faired much better, and not suffered from the diminished wind of the second race.

With an increase in wind, one intuitively prepares for the worst, though I’ve noted previously the wind often suddenly increases & peaks a just a few minutes prior to a diminishing trend, a phenomenon we should strive to remember. 

Link to Race 1 - chart-a
Link to Race 1 - chart-b
Link to Race 2 - chart

Some photos from Saturday's Hospice Regatta

Scott Barnhill Photography | Mudhead Benefit Cup for Hospice Southeastern CT
Source: photos.sbarnhill.com

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