Saturday, August 5, 06 Crew: Brian, Seth & RW Wind: NW at 4, to SW 4 to 6 Current: ebb 0800 Ram Island, flood 1415 Race Pt. Start: 1105 hours
Soon as the RC posted the CCW course around Fishers course, I thought it unlikely for us to finish the race. The forecast & wind conditions were the same as two years ago. Yet in 2004, the current began to ebb at the start of the race, 1100 hours. Two years ago we finished late in the afternoon (& last boat for boat) just as the committee boat was pulling anchor. The ebb had assisted us down the backside of the island and nearing Lords the flood began for the shove in to the win. Today, the flood would begin long before we would get to the Race and getting around the point would be a challenge. The race started with everyone on starboard in light air, 4 kts out of the North. We got a relatively good start in second behind Salud (Pearson 30). Shortly afterward, Salud, Pursuit (S2 9.2) & Street Machine (a very nice looking San Juan 24) began work their way offshore. We stuck to our game plan to stay along the CT shore in an effort of avoiding the worst of the ebb, which had started around 8 am. About fifteen minutes into the race, the wind dropped to nothing and we hoisted our 20-something old drifter on the spinnaker halyard and got it working as the wind shifted to the southeast just as we began to drift backwards in the current. Fortunately, the drifter did the trick and we pulled ahead of the rest of the class dead in the water farther off shore.
Slowly the wind clocked southwest, and I delayed too long switching back to the genoa, losing the opportunity of lifting south of Ellis reef. As a result Salud & Street Machine caught and passed us while we tacked multiple times to clear Ram Island. By the time we were clear of Ram, Salud had tacked across towards West Harbor and Street Machine was about to nearly to Groton Long Point.
We tacked inside the GLP R22 then cleared the south side of R24 and continued past Horseshore (R26). Street Machine & Pilgrim (non-spinnaker) appeared to be in the vicinity of Vixen when they tacked for Race Point. We went half way to Vixen prior to tacking for Race Point. Shortly thereafter, Pursuit still behind us called in their withdrawal.
In spite of the flood, we made relatively good time down past Silver Eel. I then sailed too far into the back eddy at Race Point. Had I tacked just past Silver Eel we would have avoided the time-consuming port tack to clear Race Point.
Once clear of Race Point, we found the spinnaker halyard fouled in the genoa halyards, then jammed internally. After a delay we got the spinnaker up and drawing in on the port genoa halyard, which would have taken us all the way to Lordâ€™s had we had the wind.
We stubbornly continued on past Wilderness Point before calling it quits at 1610 ( five hours, 5 minutes invested), with 3.6 nm to Lordâ€™s MOA & a 1900+ hours ETA.
On the motor back to Spicers, we tried to find the problem with the jammed spinnaker halyard. It remains a mystery what the problem is and will have to wait until we take the mast down come seasonâ€™s end.
An analysis of the results show our elapsed time would have to had to be 5 hours, 42 minutes or less to correct over Street Machine.
Link to Chart