Ram Island YC - Around the Island Regatta
Crew: Megan, Seth & RW
Current: ebb North Hill 1137, 1202 at Race Point
Winds: SW 8 to10 at start, 6 to 8 backside of island, 10-12 beat home
Start: between GLP & Horseshoe, Finish: Ram Island
Course: counter-clockwise around Fishers Island, Distance: 14.4 nm
Shrouds: @ base
Seth, Megan & I discussed our strategy (with a counter-clockwise course in mind) on the drive down.
- With such a large class, we wished to be windward of the fleet at the start.
- We would consider a port tack out to the west early in the favorable flood if not laying Race Point.
- Upon rounding and settling down from the spinnaker set at Race Point, we would consider jibing for the shore at the best opportunity.
- Pray for wind at the east end of Fishers to get us up Lords Pass.
- Wind allowing; harden up at C7 to C9 for current reduction prior to bearing off for the Stonington Gong, and hope there's wind all the way home to Ram.
The RC sent off the Ensigns and Shields on the shorter inside course first. We were the sixth class to start with our gun at 1025. Seth positioned us well to cross the line at the gun next to the committee boat. Shortly after the start, Watercolors with more speed came up into our lee quarter forcing us onto port tack. No great harm done, as we wished to gain some distance westward after all, to be clear of the faster spinnaker classes to follow. Back on starboard, we continued out past Seaflower, then tacked to port for our westing in the southwesterly channel, greatly benefiting from the current. Other than us, Jolly Mon was the only boat to use this tactic. Back to starboard, we began the long beat to Race Pt, with just one short port hitch offshore of Silver Eel.
Past Silver Eel, Seth passed the helm off to me as he shifted to the foredeck to prepare for the set. Bearing off for the nun, as the spinnaker was going up, I noticed Watercolors past the mark, yet inside it appearing to drift back into the rocks, and shortly thereafter heard them on the VHF lodge a protest against Salud to the RC.
We had a descent set, yet waited for traffic to disperse before jibing to port on an angle towards the beach in the current lee of Wilderness Point. Clearing the point I could still sense some adverse current, so we continued jibing along the shoreline where the ebb would first begin, and benefiting from a narrow wind band at the same time as it appeared calmer offshore. Megan did a great job of trimming the spinnaker, maintaining a slight curl the majority of the time all the way down the backside the island. Three-quarters the way down the island a breeze began to flow in from offshore, so we continued offshore now in a favorable ebb. Nearing the end of the island, we took a final shot on port in towards Wicopesset to better position ourselves current wise for the final approach to Lords MOA.
We had a good clean douse short of a tight rounding and hardened up inside Lords to prevent a number of boats rolling us. Following a tight reach to Can 9, we bore off to nearly a beam reach to the Gong, followed by a long beat towards Enders Island. Weathering Cormorant Reef, we tacked too close to the east side of nun (R6) off Dodge Island. We clipped some rocks, yet quickly heeled the boat and bore off to clear, then continued towards the finish with one last hitch on port in the current lee of Gates Rock.
Best corrected time in fleet overall