Crew: Brian, Seth, Megan & RW
Course: s/f to North Hill *2, two laps Shortened to 3 legs at North Hill Distance: 3.4 nm
Winds: W at 8 to 3 kts
Current: flood 1731 Ram Island
The RC positioned the start in the outer entrance of West Harbor. With a port tack approach down the line in an 8 kts breeze, we found a hole behind Sanibel, tacked on their windward quarter to make the line at the gun, with Valiant trailing and no one to windward. After a couple of minutes Sanibel to our lee pinched us off, forcing a tack to port, which may have been avoided had we bit more speed at the gun. After much pre-start discussion, our strategy was to sail up to Fishers on starboard and out between the island and South Dumpling towards the windward mark. A route we favored as there always seems to be wind near the island. Too late I noticed No Problem on our port hip pinning us on port into the channel between the Dumplings. Though there was little wind between the Dumplings, there was a tenth or two of current assisting us.
With one additional tack to remain mid-channel we laid the mark from a good distance, w/o overstanding and rounded with a good bearaway set for a mid-channel course between the South Dumpling and Fishers. I then jibed for South Dumpling, enticed by the sight of the J24s skimming along the shallow water to Flat Hammock. Back on starboard jibe with a four knot wind along the edge there may have been less current, but we would have been better off where we had been mid channel with a bit more wind. Past Flat Hammock a jibe to port took us down to the leeward mark where a good douse and rounding got us back up to got upwind towards Fishers where fortunately a favorable current took us to the finish, the wind now dying down to three knots.
Had I recognized No Problem on our hip sooner following the start and remained mid-channel on the run we may have moved up one place.
Link to Chart