Saturday 08/14/04 Start area: just outside Stonington Harbor jetties. Start time: 1115, Course CCW Around Fishers Island Distance: 16 nm
It was a disappointing turn out, with only one other boat in our class, Cooch a J29, & five boats in the Spinnaker Class 1. The RC posted an around Fishers Island course counter-clockwise. Our original strategy was to hug the north shore of the sound to minimize the impact of the ebb. Starting in eight knot of wind that built to ten knots, we were tempted to cross over to Fishers near Latimer, but the wind went light and we bailed back towards Connecticut.
Nearing Ram Island, our boatspeed was down, yet the rudder was clear. Finally, along the east side of Ram we headed up into wind for a few moments and up bobbed a large clump of grass the size of an osprey nest. In the light air & current, it took half dozen tacks to pass between the spire (inside of Ram?s R20) and the island. Finally clear of the island, and nearing Groton Long Point, we backed down again to clear the keel of grass. After clearing GLP and sailing up short of the rocks of Horseshoe at 1340, we tacked for the long reach to Race Point rounding at 1438 in a bearaway set, and jibed ten minutes later to port for the remainder of the seven mile run to Lord?s Passage, the waning ebb in our favor. As we rounded Race Point we could see one spinnaker far down the island which we assumed to be Cooch. Reaching Lord?s at 1608 with a hint of the flood against us, we reached up the pass then hardened up for finish to cross at 1643 hours for 5 hours & 21 minutes elapsed time.
As it was so late when we got back to Noank, we decide not to go to Watch Hill for the awards party. So it was not until the Ram Island party the next evening that we learned of our first place ahead of Cooch and our missing the Overall PHRF Award by 13.5 seconds.
Too bad it doesn?t count for ECSA points, as three boats in class are required.
Link to Race Chart