Sunday, 09/12/10
Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: ENE to E, avg 14 kts, gusts low 20’s, 24 max, lulls 8
Weather: overcast; Temp 53 F, Baro 30.11 to 30.07
Current: flooding, ebb - North Hill 1407
Start/Finish: offshore of Vixen
Start time: 1120; Finish: 1428
Elapsed Time: 187 minutes
Course: s/f-IR-SE-SL-IR-s/f; Distance: 14.25 nm
Shrouds: +5,+7,+4

 

The RC setup a half-mile south of Vixen where the flood was quite strong, yet positioned for a well for an upwind to Intrepid Rock, 2.2 nm east. We were in Class II, starting fifth at 1120.  Fortunately the cooler wind, 12 kts feeling more like 14, was with the tide.

Electing to start near the RC as possible, we were on the line at the gun with Rusty Nail & Plain Vanilla to our starboard, Wunder Dog, Salud and the rest of the class down the line towards the pin. We took a short tack of Rusty Nail & Plain Vanilla’s sterns for a clear lane, to position for the longest tack possible to the beach. As a result, we appeared to be lifted somewhat compared to the boats ahead of us. Four tacks along the shore, including a starboard north of Horseshoe (which helped immensely) and another ducking into the beach at Groton Long Beach took us to Intrepid  (specifically avoiding a starboard offshore near IR against the current).

Intrepid was followed by a brisk beam & occasionally broad reach to Silver Eel cutting inside NH R2, though maybe too close as we lost some breeze in North Hill’s wind shadow. After setting the small chute following a jibe to starboard at Silver Eel, I had second thoughts, thinking we may have been better off with the larger spinnaker. Those thoughts were dispelled few minutes later as things became a bit exciting on the trip to Sara’s Ledge, giving all us a good workout downwind, Bob especially on the sheet.

Reefing the main short of Sara’s Ledge, followed by a smooth douse gave us a nice tight rounding of SL in a twenty knot breeze. We followed the same strategy for the second beat (now 4 miles) as the first, with starboard now lifted significantly. Clearing GLP R24 in a 14 kt breeze, I was tempted to continue on out to IR, though thought better of it and ducked in out of the current one last time. The call to tack back out by the crew was right on the money, as we cleared IR just comfortable enough for the rounding. We flew the larger spinnaker this time for the more direct downwind course & reduced wind (averaging 12 to 14) finishing within a couple minutes or less of the two leading Ensigns that had started five minutes earlier.

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