Mudheads WNR 2017

3rd

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Wind: average 310 at 7.6; 3 to 12 kts, gust 13
Current: flood North Hill 19:40
Start/Finish: near Horseshoe
Course: 2 laps; 1.2 nm at 320?
Race Length: #.# nm
Crew: Brian, Dan & RW

We got a descent clear air start running down the line towards the pin, and continued a short starboard to insure to clearing Horseshoe once on port towards shore.  We did very well tacking on some noticeable headers to come in close to the mark on port tack just ahead & clear of Sparky (on starboard) fourth in class on Cosmic’s stern.  Rounding the mark without the boomvang being released fouled our first effort to a port jibe, which was loss as skewed as the wind was.      

Had a good rounding at the bottom of the course with leeward douse to set up for a jibe set at the next downwind.   
As the wind was down a notch, a hitch in towards shore on the may have benefited us with a bit more wind and less adverse current.

We had a good jibe site, yet the wind dropped off considerably the last five minutes approaching the finish, then picked up again just as we crossed, three seconds short of correcting over Jolly Mon.


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Donzo WNR 08/16/17

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Wind: average 215 at 6; 3 to 8 kts
Current: flood North Hill 19:40
Start/Finish: near Horseshoe
Course: 2 laps; 1.1 nm at 210
Race Length: 4.4 nm
Crew: Brian, Josh. Dan & RW

Three minutes into the race after a so-so start and about to blanketed by Gimlet, we took a port tack for clear air which turned out to be a lifted one.  The first windward leg worked out nicely, tacking on the headers.

At near slack tide, wind shifts & pressure are a priority, with no current advantage we should avoid the headed tacks as much as possible.  Our port jibe following the rounding of the first windward mark confirmed the rule of thumb: favored jibes are opposite the favored upwind tacks. On the first downwind Thunder Chicken departed from this principle, remaining on starboard till past North Dumpling prior to tacking.  They may have had other issues also contributing to their worst showing in in a long time, a fifth.

The charts & data logs indicate two possibilities for gains on the on the second windward leg.  Tacking to the lifted starboard tack sooner after rounding the leeward mark may have benefited (rule of thumb again).   
The second was near the top of the course on our long headed port tack where we should have tacked to favored after safely clearing North Dumpling, and most certainly covered San Souci with a tack before she crossed our stern. 

Something I’ve often pondered, may be illustrated on the chart.  On the second windward leg, prior to their tack to cross our stern, San Souci paralleled us and appeared to gain on a parallel north of us out of the deeper channel & the remaining ebb (a course similar to ours on the first windward leg), while our track (on the second beat) shows a significant header in the deeper channel (maybe due to current on our nose). 

Merganser has made significant strides in performance the past few races.
SeTherin 6th

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Wind: average 225 at 10.5; 7 to 12, gust 14 
Current: flood North Hill 14:20
Start/Finish: near Horseshoe
Course: 2 laps; 1.2 nm at 220
Race Length: 4.75 nm
Crew: Adam, Brian, Dan & RW

I screwed up the start & we were over early.  In our recovery, I initially worked our way out on port for a clear lane, then continued out on starboard towards North Dumpling and the North Hill Channel.  Jolly Mon also recovering from a starting incident eventually passed us to weather.  Far out ahead was Zallee, Merganser, Avara and Gimlet.  San Souci had a good start, yet went directly to port (right side of course).

We rounded the windward mark just ahead of Sans Souci, yet following the set they passed us to windward to pull ahead for a substantial lead by the leeward mark.  Our second beat was similar to the first, but with San Souci rounding safely ahead. Merganser had a good night finishing fourth to our fifth. Having sailed a similar course, it is a mystery to me how Jolly Mon pulled so far ahead to finish second.

I believe sailing out to the deep water north of the Dumpling like we did is a good thing, and it may have paid to go farther south into even deeper water prior to tacking to port.  Though prior to tacking I took note of the waves and decided to tack as the water was smoother (maybe less current) farther south, and I was also worried about a wind decrease closer to North Dumpling.

Our boat speed seemed to be down for an unknown reason.
On the first long starboard to windward we were lifted on an average of 4 degrees by the flood, yet that diminished to less than one degree on the subsequent long starboard of the second beat. 
In the future we need to tightly cover Sans Souci tightly on the downwind when they are ahead & we are able.  

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