Current: flood 1521 at Ram Island Wind WNW 10 to 18, average 12 kts Course: s/f-Vixen-LM-Vixen-s/f Distance: 4 nm Finally some wind! The anemometer was registering speeds into the high mid-teens and the opposing the max-flood made our motor out to the starting area a bit wet. Seth observed the current would be with us on the windward leg, an advantage as there is usually more distance to cover on the windward leg.
The RC set up again about quarter mile south of the old X starting area and posted a two lapper out to Vixen with the leeward mark short of the line by a quarter mile. Seeing starboard obviously favored, we moved the spinnaker gear around for a jibe set at the mark. After running the line a couple of times and I found Race Point Lighthouse gave a range off the pin with a good safety margin and remarked that we should be extra careful due to the tendency of the flood to push us across the line. With a minute and a half to go, we started down the line from the pin as the rest of the class approached from the committee boat. As Jolly Mon approached we tacked onto starboard right on their stern and ahead of Sanibel. With Jolly Mon blocking my vision of Race Point, yet trusting they were not above the line we hardened up for an excellent start at the gun.
Mini Maxi (OCS) did an immediate abrupt tack back to the line restarting with little loss. For a minute or so it looked like Sanibel might pass us close to windward, but with the hard hiking of Brian, Bob and Seth we held high forced them to bear-off in our lee. Directly thereafter we put in the flattening reef and the boat settled down with much better feeling helm. A bit later, looking aft we saw Sanibel a long ways to the rear and wondered if they also returned to the line? In the commotion following the start, we did not hear the radio call and wondered even about ourselves being OCS? After our tack to port for the layline, the wind eased to the low teens and we popped off the flattening reef for the remainder of the race. Coming into the mark on a conservative layline, we noticed Tumult pinching up but not quite making it and having to tack, a costly maneuver. We jibed cleanly around and set the spinnaker in short order. I saw Jolly Mon reaching up towards shore for less current as we had stated would be our strategy. But we were cooking good in a 12 to 14 knot wind with 5 knots plus through the water so I elected not to dogleg that far in. We had a good run down to the leeward mark, bearing off to nearly dead-downwind short of it. Immediately after the rounding, I noticed to our lee Ripple & Caliente approaching from the starting line on starboard. Our pole not yet stowed, we had to duck them prior to tacking ourselves a few seconds later.
The second windward leg was similar to the first but in only 12 to 14 knot breeze. Cosmic was the first boat to the windward mark both times. Approaching the layline we noticed Jolly Mon having a bit of difficulty with their set. Our set was also about minute late sorting out a twist in the spinnaker bag. This time with the finish more distant than the leeward mark I doglegged a bit more towards shore though not as drastically as Jolly Mon. Abeam Horseshoe we bore off to DDW, then jibed to starboard a couple minutes shy of the finish.
We finished fourth again, boat for boat and corrected to first. It was a fun night!
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