Ram Island YC Annual Invitational
Race 1 of the Island Cup
Crew: Bob–foredeck, Kim –mid, RW –helm.
Wind: SE & S 0-6 knots (peak 6.5 kts).
Current: ebb 1135 at Race Point
Start: 1037 hours. Groton Long Point starting area.
Course: ccw around Fishers Island. Non-spinnaker Class; 12 boats

Sunday Kim Wishart, Bobby Fagan & I did the Annual RIYC race. The day started off foggy, visibility less than a tenth mile as Kim steered us out around Groton Long Point   We then anchored for a while on the west side of Groton Long Point while the fog cleared. Again I was surprised that the race was not delayed longer than it was. The Race Committee was determined to start around the island.  We set up using the light spinnaker sheets for the genoa on the outside tracks, and did not stow the motor until nearly a half hour following the start.

After an approximate twenty-five minute delay to the first gun, our start followed the Ensigns, and the “B” spinnaker class, in a drifter across the line.  Starting on port near the left end we crossed the line directly behind Cygnus. The wind could not have been more than three knots at the time, and the visibility less than a quarter mile.  Cygnus, Celebration and Tenacity stretching out ahead took high courses east of North Dumpling a bit out of way by my reasoning.  Remaining low, nearly a beam reach, we bore southwest. Nearing North Dumpling the visibility picked up to nearly a mile.

Continuing to work the boat in the light air along the Dumplings alternating from wing & wing and port beam reach we found ourselves even with Cygnus as we drew abeam South Dumpling.  The speed appeared slightly greater with Bob and Kim sitting forward of the mast.  Now on starboard we decided to stay clear of the shore as there appeared to be slightly more wind offshore.  George cut the corner at North Hill to hug Fishers Island, a move that really paid off a third of the way to Race Point, with better current and beyond Silver Eel increasing wind with a shift to the southeast. At 1150 our wind fell to nothing and over the next half hour boats along the shore took leads those of us offshore would never recover.  Slowly the southeast wind drifted towards us; back on port we finally began moving, arriving at Race Point 15 minutes behind Cygnus we figured. 

Hardening upon port at Race Point in an effort to work offshore for more ebb we found ourselves in a lot of chop and our speed down to nearly nothing even though the wind was 6 knots, so took a short tack along side the airport on starboard for smoother water prior to tacking back offshore for more ebb and a little wind (possibly a mirage).  We then hung on starboard short Wilderness Point and diminishing wind, then tacked out for a final five mile hitch on starboard for the finish. The south shore seemed to favor the offshore route with slightly more current and wind.

 Shortly after our final tack to starboard, we began to hear finish guns (greatly relieved) in the distance signaling that the RC had shortened the course, placing the finish alongside MOA L, the entrance to Lord’s Passage. A good decision on the RC’s part as few if any boats would have been able to negotiate the ebb with so little wind.  As the finish line began to take shape in the haze, behold there was Cygnus crossing about five minutes ahead. Some how we cut 2/3’s off their Race Point lead.

Link to chart

I have not received the times in the mail yet, yet we corrected to second overall and probably beat half or more of our class boat for boat.  Thanks to Kim and Bobby for an enjoyable day..
1 Celebration Jeff Going  Morgan 24
2 SeTherin    R. Magner  Catalina 22
3 Cygnus       G. Carlson  Pearson Triton 28

Link to full results