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 track to our starboard (north), 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.