Date: 06/18/2003 Log Entry: Race
Distance: 4.0 Weather: Cloudy, threat of rain, Wind: SE 6 kts & less Current: ebb 1455 RI
Course: s/f-DM-s/f-DM-s/f, port roundings Crew: Brian–foredeck, Bobby –mid, Seth –aft, RW –helm

MRMSA Wed Night Spring Series - Race 5

 

 Wednesday the 18th was SeTherin’s first race of the 2003 season. The s/f was near the old “X” starting area with a drop mark (DM) at 160 degrees and 1 mile, a bit east of Flat Hammock.

 

Arriving to the starting line with less than 10 minutes to spare, did not afford time to fully scope out the conditions.  In the less than five-knot wind, I was concerned about the ebb shoving us past the line. Over compensating, I botched the start.  An approach on starboard had us almost parallel to the line, tacking to port in the light air had us crossing the better part of a minute late. 

 

There must have been a big left shift after the RC set the course, for we found a port reach would lay the mark.  Continuing on port, we sailed a bit loose due the ebb and laid the mark nicely within 4 to 5 boat lengths.

 

Our strategy on first run was to hang on starboard towards the north shore near Groton Long Point, then jibe to port for the leeward mark in less current.  Problem, there was less wind as we neared the GLP.  Those that stayed in the middle faired better.  Rounding the mark with a leeward douse to starboard, we found the wind clocked to the right about twenty degrees or so, though still very light.  In hindsight, we should not have footed quite as much on the last windward leg, plus my occasional erratic steering did not help.    About 100 yards out, we tacked to starboard for the mark, and had a great bearaway set.

 

A visible wind alley appeared down the middle of the course, though little it was (4 to zip and back to 4) against the dying ebb.  Theoretically, one should sail higher and jibe more often in such conditions. Though seeing boats ahead of us having difficulty filling their chutes after a jibe, convinced me to sail deeper with fewer chances of a chute wrap I a jibe.

 

Only six showed up out ten on our class’s scratch sheet. We finished fourth boat for boat and corrected to third.  All in all, we felt pleased with our first effort of the 2003 season, thanks to Brian, Bob and Seth.

 

Lessons-

 

-      Had we done a practice cross of the line for orientation purposes, we would known the        windward mark was a reach.  

 

-           If and when we switch to & from light-genoa sheets &/or outboard/inboard tracks, we need to make sure the spinnaker sheets remain outboard the genoa sheets.

 

-           If the next windward mark rounding is to port, lets douse to the port side, regardless if it’s a leeward, windward or mexican

 

-      On our jibes, we should have the same person handle the sheet and guy during the jibe, to better fly the spinnaker freely.

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