Crew – Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: NW 10 to 12 at start, backing west to SW
Current: ebb – 1243 North Hill
Weather – clear & sunny, beautiful day
Start/Finish: offshore of Vixen - 1230 / 1512
Course: s/f-Sarah’s Rock- Silver Eel – Vixen – Sarah’s Rock- s/f
Distance 12.6 nm
Shrouds: +2, +4, +2
We elected to start at the RC and avoid the mad dash down the line. Both Salud and Euphoria were over early. Salud doubled back to restart on our lee quarter, while Euphoria rounded the pin then continued shoreward on port the only boat to do so. We got a very good start squeezing to weather of Jeannie with Phoenix to our starboard near the committee boat. Euphoria made out well inshore, passed us on starboard well to windward. Both Pursuit and Salud overtook us near the Mud head “B” mark.
At this point we were well to windward of the layline to Sarah and noticed Jeannie bear off apparently for the mark. We began to follow suit, but soon realized they and the others were not only headed but sailing into a major hole, so we kept high as possible. Euphoria farther to windward faired the best. Once clear of Black Ledge, we took a detour north up the river around the wind hole. This move along with the good start positioned us well for the remainder of the race.
We rounded Sarah in a tight spinnaker reach and switched to the genoa halfway to Silver Eel as it became too tight. Here’s where a reaching spinnaker would have helped, as Salud, Euphoria and a few others continued to fly the spinnaker, and on the next leg as well. We jibed around Silver Eel in the company of the Ensign-Nightwind (still under spinnaker) and stayed with them half way to Vixen where they began to comfortably pull away. It’s always a good sign if we can catch a few Ensigns, as they always start five minutes or so ahead of our class.
Hardening up around Vixen, we kept Nightwind and another Ensign in our sights staying with them to Black Ledge, where they drawing less continued through and we played safe tacked to the south and around. This is where “She’s the Boss” ran aground two weeks ago, severely damaging her keel root.
A nice set at Sarah found us mid-pack with the Ensigns on the final run to the finish and an encounter with the Orient Ferry. One Ensign snuck through amongst much blowing of the ferry’s horn and backing down of her engines. We hardened up along with another Ensign to clear the ferry’s stern and continued towards the finish. We were nearly dead-downwind a few times slightly to windward of the Ensign. We’d freshen up now and then, pull ahead some yet lose it bearing back down towards the rhumbline where they’d pull back ahead, eventually crossing the line a few seconds ahead.
Link to chart