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.
Following a smooth last minute douse to leeward at the mark, we tacked to starboard at the first opportunity for the long haul back towards Clay Point giving the crew an opportunity to get the spinnaker gear switched back to port for another bearaway. The rest of the race was very similar to the first lap. Our set at the windward mark was acceptable given the dead air provided by Crystal Slipper rounding outside and to windward of us.
Jibing to port, we again had Sanibel in our sights on a parallel course a good distance ahead and to leeward. In diminishing wind we watched Jolly Mon and Cosmic cross the line about eight minutes ahead. Holding our own and slightly gaining on Sanibel, I fought the tendency to sail deep. With a fresh jibe back to starboard a couple minutes from the line, we closed on Sanibel some more, crossing 27 seconds behind her.
Comments: - Fourth place boat for boat, correcting to second ahead of Jolly Mon and 12 over all in a fleet of 53 boats.
- We should have begun our run to the start line slightly sooner against the ebb.
- George probably would have had us tacking to port prior to Clay Point to avoid a possible adverse current exiting West Harbor, which would have required an additional pair of tacks in the middle of the course where there may have been more wind.
- We still need to improve our wind watching ability.
- In stronger winds and sailing deeper we would have doused to windward, shortening the preparation necessary for the next set, allowing to the crew to remain on the rail longer, a priority in higher winds.
Link to Chart