Crew: Brian, Seth, Megan & RW
Wind: 265 at 4-10 kts, average 7 kts
Current: ebb 1730 RI
Course: WL 095 at 2.12 nm, 1 lap for 4.25 nm
The RC was adventurous tonight; setting a downwind start to Ram R20 & back. Our strategy was for a descent start, ride the current downwind to Ram and hug the shore return back upwind hugging the shore.
We got a relatively good start on starboard near the pin with Sanibel on our windward hip. After sailing alongside them for a while, I backed off, hardened up and crossed their stern, where we hung a third of the way down the run, before jibing back towards the center of the channel for current. Nearing north side of the channel we again jibed to the center. Our next and final jibe for the layline was a bit premature setting us up nearly dead downwind. A good douse & tight rounding got us up to windward of Sanibel as I noticed Tumult crossing in front of us for the Fishers Island side of the channel (a move he would regret). Though not able to point as high, we slowly over took Sanibel clearing their bow by just a few feet before they tacked to starboard. After a series of three short hitches on starboard to clear the rocks along Ram Island Shoal, we took a long port into Palmer Cover.
A subsequent long starboard hitch took us out to past Groton Long Point where four tacks in towards the rocks & spire were required to round GLP R22. The third tack to port was not planned, yet taken as a close proximity caution reacting to a late tack by Ringle to starboard. (Im curious about the protest between Gremlin & Ringle.) The fourth tack to port to GLP west point, skimmed us along the south side of R22 to pass within a boat length of the spire. Two more tacks got us around the last GLP nun where we extended a third of the way to Horseshoe prior to the long haul out to the finish. Just short of the line Sanibel (sailing against the current) crossed us on port. Sweep just east of the finish, we sailed past the pin prior to tacking for the finish crossing Sanibel on port to finish 22 seconds ahead boat for boat. Total race time 1 hour, fifty minutes. Of which an hour-twenty was the climb back upwind against the current.
Link to Chart