Current: ebb 1509 at Ram Island Wind NNW to N 6 to 8 kts Course: s/f-Vixen-LM (finish) Distance: 2.9 nm Crew: BB, SR & RW Late in the afternoon, a SW to NE high cloud band moved overhead killing the northerly breeze and turning all of FI Sound into a mill pond. With max ebb (1800 hrs) occurring as the cloud band slowly moved off to the SE, I felt the absence of cloud cover would allow the breeze to descend from altitude to replace the ascending air from the warm ebb. Sure enough, motoring out from Spicer?s (1705) the breeze built to eight knots as we saw the committee boat up in Fishers Island West Harbor, where they should have stayed.
The RC then moved to the old X starting area where they discussed a downwind start to North Hill, then changed the leeward mark to West Harbor. They then abandoned the downwind start altogether going for Vixen as the windward mark. This led to more dilly-dallying as they continued to move offshore in an effort to get Vixen upwind and avoid a reaching race, finally settling just off North Dumpling. Even if they would have moved all the way to North Hill a reaching contest would have evolved. The course finally settled upon twenty minutes late gave us no options for current relief on the windward leg and little chance of finishing well ? Such a current is just too big a percentage of our speed through the water.
To complicate matters, I allowed ourselves to get too far down-current of the line short of the start and we crossed nearly a minute late. We opted to maintain starboard, feeling any port tacks along the way were too far off course to be beneficial and would rather save it for the top of the course. We set up for a jibe set while on the port tack to the starboard layline. We neared the layline in six knots of breeze amidst much traffic, tacked above many boats pinching for the mark and rounded cleanly with a good conservative set.
Our reach to the finish was near maximum for the spinnaker. Any farther forward, we would have had to switch to the genoa. We crossed 6th and corrected to 5th. Looking at first place finishers and gun boats of the various classes on the posted results, one can see it was an obvious horsepower race. There is one more Wednesday night remaining, next week the 31st a make-up for the two races abandoned for lack of wind.
We sorely miss Bob Fagan and hope & pray for his recovery.
Link to Chart