Crew: Brian, Seth, & RW
Winds: NE to ESE 4.2 kts, peak gust 9
Weather: Few clouds morning, clear by noon, 75 F, 30.32
Current: ebb - 0843 North Hill, ebb - 0908 Race Point, flood 1509 Napatree
Start time: 1015; Race Point: 1145 (90m): Finish: 1402:46
Start/Finish: Groton Long Point / Finish Lord's Pass
Course: counter-clockwise Fishers Island; Distance: approximately 10.3 nm
It was a port-jibe spinnaker start in 5 to knots of wind. We had a relatively good start on Jolly Mon's stern with Just Friends to starboard near the committee boat. Our strategy was to bear off to the west so as the avoid being swept into the wind holes near the Dumplings, North Hill and Silver Eel. And to make westing for the ebb advantage soon as possible. Five minutes or so into the race trailing Jolly Mon, Just Friends, & Petrel all to our port, while trying to make westing I noticed out to west, three large commercial craft approaching. We briefly considered hardening up to try and cross the first (a large fast tug) but thought better of it.
We were able to cross the remaining, a large trawler and smaller tug, yet the wake from the first stopped us dead in our tracks and we dropped out of the wind band. Stubbornly, I stuck to our original strategy. Had I reconsidered, and freshened up to Jolly Mon's course, we would have fared much better. It took us 90 minutes to reach Race Point.
Nearing Race Point, we had a four minute teaser when the wind clocked and rose above seven to a max gust of 9 kts. Other than that we never saw anything exceeding six and a half. The last few minutes into Race Point was a beat and we rounded the buoy tight avoiding the eddy trapping a few to our starboard.
We faired much better down the backside of the island playing the light air shifts, while trying to work offshore for the better breeze & current as much as possible. Closing on the shortened finish at Lords, we noticed Petrel stuck in the Wicopesset wind hole, which they were able to climb out of a couple minutes prior to our crossing. So we knew we were not last as we had feared.