Saturday, July 16, 2005 Course: s/f ? W- V- CR- W- s/f Distance: Current: Wind: SE 2 to 9 kts Crew: Seth-foredeck, Bob-trim & RW-helm In low overcast we motored out to the start area lying midway between Vixen & Silver Eel. We had good visibility over the water yet fog lay overland throughout the day, with West Harbor at times fully socked in. The windward mark was set at 105 degrees at 1.25 nm, between North Hill R2 & North Dumpling. With a six boats, we were the third class to start following the non-spinnaker & Ensign classes. In 8 kts of wind and an hour left of the ebb, we had a good start at the port end in clear air rather than fight it out near the favored starboard end at the committee boat.
We rounded the windward mark behind Rusty Nail with Get Fuzzy just inside; then swapped back and forth in light air with Get Fuzzy all the way to Vixen. They carried farther past Vixen on starboard then pulled ahead of us on a fresher port jibe for Cormorant Rock on the west shore of the Thames. In the meantime, $$$$, Salud & Euphoria sailed a more direct run west of Sea Flower to towards Vixen and jibed around well ahead of our group. Nearing the Thames, we noticed the Orient Point Ferry coming down river escorted by an armed CG RIB. As we were mid-river, the ferry began blowing her horn and backing down to avoid Pursuit, Rusty Nail and an Ensign short of Cormorant Rock. All three had to evasively maneuver to windward of the ferry as she came to complete stop and even backed up so she could bear sufficiently to port and clear the rock with the CG RIB zipping all around. We were too far away to overhear any words, but I?m sure there were many.
Most boats continued south offshore following the rounding of CR, instead we flopped to port shortly thereafter back towards the Connecticut shore for less current. It took two series of tacks to clear Black Ledge. A long starboard tack off the airport past Vixen to Bluff Point, followed by a port hitch past Sea Flower and on toward North Hill got us to the layline and around the windward mark well ahead of Get Fuzzy. Debating a jibe set, we elected for the bearaway in the light air, followed by a painfully slow port jibe to the finish, correcting to a fourth out of six boats.
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