Wind: SE 8-10 kts, Baro 29.77" Temp 60 F
Current: ebb 1710 North Hill
Start: West of GLP
Race Length: 2.6 nm
Crew: Brian, Andrew, Reid & RW
There had been a low overcast all day and late in the afternoon the visibility diminished as well. Yet on the motor out, we had a good two miles.
We were late arriving in the start area, a minute or more past the 5-minute warning by the time we arrived to the line. A quick wind check showed port favored at that time; combined with the ebb I chose to duck the starboard starters for a port start near the committee boat. Initially it appeared we were benefitting from a current lift. We tacked a bit too late leading to an overstand, which may have been a loss of 30 seconds or more. We had a good rounding of Intrepid with a bearaway set. Our jibe to port for the leeward mark was late (an overstand) as well; again 30 seconds loss or more. I delayed after watching Cosmic & Watercolors bearing off and slowing in an effort to make the mark against the current.
Wind: NE at mid-teens to low 20's; Baro 30.13" Temp 52 F
Current: flood 1750 Ram Island
Start: Approaches of West Harbour
Race Length: 3.6 nm; WMK 1.8 nm at 034m from s/f
Crew: Brian, Dan, Reid & RW
It was a cold windy day, a far cry from yesterday's launching, when Brain & I were sweating mid-afternoon while rigging the boat.
The Wednesday forecast was for overcast skies, temps of low 50’s, with mid-teen NE gusting into twenties. We’ve found forecasts of NE winds with an overcast to hold true through-out the forecast period. Arriving Spicer’s 0930, I spent the day wearing a jacket while prepping the boat and added another layer for the race.
Motoring out towards the Fishers Island side of the Sound, we debated which headsail to use and decided to stick with the genoa. Many sailors expressed their displeasure with the RC’s initial start line setup just northeast of West Clump, leading to numerous changes- two moves farther northeast for more clearance on the south side of the start line before a final move up into the mouth of West Harbor, in the FIYC starting area. In then meantime, while practicing a few tacks, the grommet in head of our genoa tore out, leaving the #3 jib as the only option (and which should have been our first choice).
Last Donzo of the Season
Wind: NW at 8-16 kts
Avg Wind: 268 at 12.7 kts, Baro 28.91" Temp 74 F
Current: flood 1740 NH
Start: offshore of usual "West of GLP"
Course: s/f-DM-L-s/f; Drop Mark 1.3nm at 280 (277)
Race Length: 5.2 nm
Crew: Brian, Dan & RW
Winds in the last few minutes prior to the start were well into the teens, so we stepped the rig up to 14 and cinched in the first reef. A couple pre-start wind checks showed port may have been favored slightly, as did the flags on the RC even more so. So our plan was to start near the committee boat (thinking that the push from the flood would cause a crowd the pin), then extend on starboard till a port tack would weather Horseshoe. We led San Souci into the line with the rest of the class ahead to port down the line. Sans Souci nipping at our heels slightly to leeward hailed to luff us up, but as we headed up they took advantage of their speed to clear us and gain some space to leeward prior to the gun.
We continued out on starboard in good position as the most windward boat. An additional crew member on the rail would have been nice, and would have allowed us to remain powered up better. We were the first to tack to right and found the waves were less punishing on port.
Brian & Dan started looking for the drop-mark hard to find in the sun, none too soon as we nearly overstood. Nearing the mark, we crossed Sans Souci to round half-dozen lengths ahead.
In the bear-away, the chute got caught on the flattening-reef cleat as it went up, creating a delayed hoist and a small tear. About halfway down the course, a jibe to port took us into the rounding a couple boatlengths ahead of Sans Souci. We had a good windward douse and tight rounding. San Souci’s rounding and cleanup did not appear to be as smooth. We tacked to starboard for offshore almost immediately, then back towards shore to parallel our first leg.
I saw a port-starboard situation ahead with a larger boat. A duck would have precluded a cross of Sans Souci trailing a few boatlengths off the larger boats windward quarter, so we tacked back rather than continue into what I felt was more favorable current closer to shore. On our subsequent long port towards the mark, we shook out the reef in a slacking wind. We again crossed ahead of Sans Souci near the mark, though this time on port just as we tacked onto the layline. The layline was crowded requiring slight overstand to prevent some rolls by larger boats.
Again we had a slight problem with the set, yet remained ahead of Sans Souci. Shortly after rounding Sans Souci jibed to port, I assume for less current near shore. We jibed to cover though sailed a deep run all the way to the finish with the spinnaker winged out while heeling to windward. Sans Souci’s fresher course with a jibe to starboard covered the ground slightly faster allowing them to close the gap to cross our stern to finish just nine seconds behind.
We ended up second with Spring penalties, first without and second in class for the season.
We need to work better on easing out the genoa as we bear off for the set around the windward mark. Hopefully the three of us can practice windward mark rounding & sets early next season.
Wind: E at 3 to 7
Avg Wind: 095 at 4.3 kts, Baro 29.89" Temp 72 F
Current: ebb 1715 NH
Start: offshore of usual "West of GLP"
Race Length: 3.3 nm
Crew: Brian, Seth & RW
It had been a low ceiling and foggy day for the most part, though the visibility picked up to 5 miles or more the last hour prior to race time. The RC setup a bit farther offshore than usual to align Intrepid Rock upwind. The race starting five minutes or so later with no guns caused a bit of confusion amongst our crew and did not get positioned as we as I’d liked. Three wind checks showed a slight favor to port. At the horn, we trailed Cosmic & Merganser off the line to the right. Jolly Mon & Breaking Wind fared much better going left toward Groton Long Point. Still trailing and falling into Merganser’s lee, we tacked to starboard about the same time as Cosmic and shortly thereafter Mergnser. Sailing abeam Cosmic, we pulled ahead of Merganser and began making some time on Cosmic as Jolly Mon & Breaking Wind crossed well ahead on port. Had there been more wind near GLP, or did they benefit from more current?
Continuing on starboard, we noticed Jolly Mon & Breaking Wind stalling west of the mark ostensibly on the starboard layline (maybe a wind-hole?). So we stretched on starboard as to come in nearly on the port layline for a tight rounding and quick set. We had a good downwind, passing Cosmic (they went too far north out of the way), and catching Breaking Wind at the mark and passing to windward of them back out. Though, they almost caught as at the finish.
Wind: SW 5 to 0 kts, gust 8
Avg Wind: 240 at 4.5 kts, Baro 30.07" Temp 79 F
Current: flood 1830 NH
Start: West of GLP
Course: s/f-DM-s/f, 230 at 1 nm
Race Length: 3.0 nm
Crew: Brian, Dan & RW
Never thought a blue moon would be so orange! Never thought we would get in 14 straight Wednesday night races! A taste of summer drifted over the Mudhead fleet and if you spent too much time looking for the full moon, you might have missed that pocket of air you needed to connect the dots. It was light all night with a building flood current and a dying southwesterly. Course 4 was the call with a one mile windward leg. (Here's a trivia question...can you name the advertisers on our weather mark? Thank them for their support!)
As usual in a dying breeze, the rich got richer and the slow got stopped with a handful of retirements in frustration, a couple of anchor drops and a few accepting their position when all hope was lost and the moon was on the rise. Back up front, a late puff or two, and the right guess on which side to be on, brought the usual suspects to the finish, shortened at the second windward rounding. Jolly Mon, Zig Zag Zoom, Ursa Minor, Glory and Wild Horses took the first five guns in succession. Wild Horses slipping just ahead of Black Ice with a layline tack a hundred yards from the finish. Great show!
Leda held out through the light spots and some talk of a mutiny to grab Class 4 gun and victory. It was a night for patience, picking the right path of zephyrs or painting a mental picture of how you should have done it. And not a night to be doing spins on the water after hitting stuff...like marks and sterns. And kudos for Clockwork and Blind Monkeys. Never give up, battle til the end! The Race Committee will wait for you when there's still hope to advance your place. Now, two more weeks...just two more nights. Looking for enough wham in the wind to get us home in 16.