WNRS Results

Last night was our third Wednesday Night Race of the year and the first of the Summer Series. With just a couple of hours left of the ebb, there was a short postponement waiting for the breeze to work its way out of West Harbor. Finally with the race underway, we crossed the line on starboard, the favored tack leeward of the fleet with Tumult on our windward hip where they hung for a couple of minutes prior to a forced tack away. We held onto starboard to up past Clay Point into West Harbor then tacked to port towards the layline for W. With Sanibel crossing just in front of us, we tacked on the layline with just enough time to round with a great set and bearaway towards Clay Point. We obliged Prophet inching along our leeward side the opportunity freshen up and clear ahead, then followed along in their wake as they slowly pulled away, prior to flopping to the favored jibe for the leeward mark.

We had our second Wednesday night of the season yesterday. Starting in a mid flood this week, we were in good position on the starboard end of the line, yet slow and were overtaken to windward by Cosmic. As we bailed to port for clean air, Sanibel tacked in our face. We would have been better off tacking back to starboard and following Jolly Mon and Cosmic, yet we hung in with Sanibel for a two tack dual then carried too far after a cross. Nearing Flat Hammock, we were forced to tack in a lift and sailed in a header the next three minutes, as Sanibel stretched away. Rounding in a heap of traffic, we had a great set and bore away, to see Jolly Mon & Cosmic jibing to port over near Clay Point with Sanibel following suit. We continued towards Clay Point ourselves, yet jibed at the half way point and continued towards the leeward mark, though a bit by the lee the last few hundred yards.

Date: 06/23/2004 Log Entry: Race
Distance: 4.5 Weather: Clear, Wind 270, 5 to 8 Current: ebb 1530 @ RI
Course: mid-course start to NH-RI, 4.8 nm Crew: BB, BF, SR, RW

Wednesday Evening 06/23/04


Finally got our first race of the season under our belt.  With a good breeze well into the teens all afternoon, we were prepared for a brisk evening.   The RC set up just northeast of West Clump off the north shore of Fishers Island, with North Hill R2 as the windward mark 1.75 nm away at 250 degrees magnetic, returning downwind to Ram Island R20 2.7 nm & 071 degrees magnetic.  Starting midway through the ebb to windward of the committee boat, in a wind of about 8 kts and the current against us, I failed to compensate for the current, setting up for the gun too far from the line.  We finally cleared the line nearly two and a half minutes after the gun, with a little hook maneuver at the pin to avoid drifting into it. In retrospect, we should have started on port near the pin, with tack to starboard as we cleared the line.  Starting near the pin would have put us closer to the channel edge reducing the time & distance sailed in the stronger current. 


Our initial strategy was to tack along the north side of West Clump; beat up the east side Flat Hammock then sail westward up the channel along the north shore of Fishers to the windward mark rather than fight the stronger current between the Dumplings. Yet, after clearing the pin, we found ourselves on a starboard heading for Clay Point east of West Clump, with Sanibel & Chaos leading the way.  Following a check by Brian of the chart for depth we proceeded in their wake.  Sanibel cleared Clay Point without a tack and proceeded up into West Harbor.  After tacking to clear the point, Chaos continued towards Flat Hammock.  In light air we thru in a short tack to clear the point, then tacked back to starboard for a good bit deep into West Harbor.  The gusty winds in the harbor paid off as we exited the harbor on port near Hawks Nest Pt and led Chaos up the channel between the shore and South Dumpling.  Approaching the windward mark, I made our second critical mistake and continued into the deep water on port. We should have figured it out seeing Sanibel set down abeam the mark; and taken a tack back toward the North Hill shore to avoid the current.  Yet, we followed suit and suffered likewise.  Here we lost nearly five minutes and our lead over Chaos & Jolly Mon.


After the round, we jibed to port at the first opportunity, and began a long fifty-five minute trek to Ram Island, still ahead of Cosmic, Tumult and Get Fuzzy, fortunately with current in our favor.  In an average wind of 6 knots we worked her downwind in the company of Cosmic for the last twenty minutes. It was nip & tuck, with Cosmic occasionally ahead, yet we setup properly to cross ahead by seven seconds. Thought – while on an up-current jibe, as in the case when we were on port jibe towards the CT shore & Intrepid, we should reach higher than the optimum non-current situation, so we get to the point of the opposite jibe sooner and take advantage of the down-current apparent wind producing jibe.


Though certainly out of practice a third place is a good showing for our first night out. Let's continue to shake off the rust. Thanks to Brian, Bob and Seth for their perseverance.


Thoughts & Comments


•          Three minutes faster would have put us in second place. Four minutes, 37 seconds faster would have put us in first.

•        In light air we need to remember to always check to see if the top batten has cleared the backstay after a tack.  It is difficult to see when we are all down to leeward for heel. 

•        We need a citronella candle for the cockpit following the race.

Date: 06/16/2004 Log Entry: Race
Distance: .0 Weather: Clear, Wind SW 6 & less Current: Flood 1646 RI
Course: s - W - s Crew: BB, BF, SR & RW

Mudhead Wednesday Night 06/16/04


Our first race of the season. After a short delay the the RC re-positioned the start line farther south just outside of the Flat Hammock approach to West harbor (Fishers Island).


Starting near the committe boat on starboard, with Sanibel slightly to leeward, we found ourselves pinned to windard and slow. Had we stared farther down the line we could have sailed a fresher course towards Clay Point as did Jolly Mon & Cosmic. Half way to Clay Point we sailed into a hole as did Sanibel some distance ahead, as Jolly Mon, Cosmic & Tumult tacked to port in a good breeze just outside of West Harbor. 


The remaining classes were stuck on the line, making no progress, so about fifteen minutes into the race the RC abandoned the event. Back to Spicer's we motored for a few beers & BS.

Date: 08/27/2003 Log Entry: Race
Distance: .0 Weather: Clear, Wind:  West 10 kts Current: flood 1724 at Ram Island
Course: s/f-V-s/f-DM-s/f (p), Distance: 4.3 nm Crew: BB, BF, SR, RW

Wednesday Night - August 27th - Thursday

Crew: Brian-foredeck, Bob-mid, Seth -aft, RW -helm.


On the start we were reaching a third of the way down the line right on the line, when Sanibel (Pearson Wanderer 30) came up on our leeward quarter about 30 feet off our beam, requesting us to come up.  I told them I was on the line and could go no higher, yet felt there was plenty of room for them to come up. As they were faster, they slowly overtook us to leeward and worked their way up to the line to where they were about ten feet abeam of us and higher by the gun. A few of their crew call foul towards us, though I felt not since they had plenty of room.  I guess in retrospect, we should have luffed our sails and been less of an obstacle to them.  At the gun they were on our lee bow and pulling away. With Sassy Lassie rolling us to starboard, we took a short tack on port for clear air then continued out for the current.


Start – in the future I’m giving up on the starting mid-line or near the pin when my strategy is to continue on starboard. As often happens, we get rolled and are then forced to tack to port when our intention was to continue on starboard.  I believe if it is our intention to extend on starboard of a while, it is best to start at the starboard end and windward of the fleet, even at the expense of being over late.


After about three minutes on starboard we took the long tack towards Vixen, laid the line and rounded with a smooth bearaway set.  We had discussed jibing to port for current relief nearer the shore, but the wind was too forward to make the port jibe advantageous and felt a jibe to port to get out of the current would have been too drastic a course increase to gain from it. So we continued on a fresh broad reach the whole leg in the current, as did the vast majority of the fleet.  


Approaching the leeward mark, we took down the spinnaker slightly early.  In retrospect, we should have hoisted the genoa to port with a leeward douse rather than the port windward takedown. At this point I believe we were still in the hunt. After the rounding great crew work, we took another hitch out on starboard for current. This I extended too far by a couple minutes resulting in an overstand of the DropMark. Approaching the layline, Legacy ahead to our leeward had to duck someone allowing us to round inside. Should we not have taken the hitch on starboard from the leeward mark? I imagine the current benefit was marginal at best.


On the last leg, we jibed almost immediately after the set, and held a course shoreward of Horseshoe to get out of the current, giving us a fresh angle once back on starboard at Horseshoe for the finish.  This may have been a good move as the wind slacked to 7 & 8 the last third of the run, and a few boats further offshore appeared to be struggling in the dying breeze against the current.


We crossed less than a minute behind Cosmic, though too far behind the others to correct higher than fifth.


Thanks to the crew ------    Our boat handling has improved immensly this year, now only if the skipper would go the right way.   As the old saying goes - there is always next year!

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