Crew: Brian, Bob, Seth & RW
Course: s/f to Drop Mark to s/f, 1.5 nm at 235 degrees, two laps
Total distance: 6.0 nm Winds: W (avg 233 dg), 9 to 18 kts (avg 15) ; Average Boat speed: 4.9 kts
Current: ebb 1310, flood 1921 Ram Island Barometer 29.86 to 29.92â€³ Temp: 82 to 77 FÂ
I am hoarse today and apologize to my crew for my raised voice last night, though most the yelling was necessary to be heard over the wind. Considering the forecast I had cinched the rig to the heavy air settings of +5, +4 & +3 turns each on the aft, uppers shrouds earlier in the day. Yet checking with Ric at Life Star prior to leaving the dock, I found the weather forecast calling for the Groton winds to diminish 9 kts by 1800 our start time. This trend seemed to be substantiated on the motor Groton Long Point. So 15 minutes prior to the start I had Brian ease up on the rig two turns each. This resulted in a more powered up rig than optimal for the conditions proved to be and as my back and shoulder muscles are reminding me today. I am using the old kick-up rudder this year while the better balanced fixed rudder is a being repaired and re-faired.
Our strategy was to cross on starboard at the committee boat at the west end of the starting line in clear air, then tack at the first opportunity to port to make our westing nearest shore in the least of the current. We complied crossing a few seconds late as the most windward boat. As a bonus we found our subsequent port also the lifted tack wind & current wise, while most of the boats extended out on starboard a good while prior to tacking. This gave us a leg up on the fleet, with Mini Max, Jolly Mon & Cosmic catching us inside just short of the layline and rounding ahead. Following us in the rounding were as Noo Problem on our stern, Watercolors and Tumult.
On both roundings of the windward mark, Brian was able to set the pole while on the layline, but the wind was too great (15-16 kts) for the crew to get off the rail for set, especially for Seth to move down to leeward and ease out the spinnaker prior to the hoisting. This purposeful slow set for safety advantaged Noo Problem and they passed us on the inside accelerating out of the mark.
With Bob trimming, Seth on the guy and Brian managing the foredeck, we carried starboard to about the halfway point down the run. Following the jibe, we were forced to sail by the lee a bit by Gnat (starboard rights). A timely hoist of the genoa with a windward douse of the spinnaker short of the mark made for smooth rounding in the midst of J22 traffic. Exiting the mark we found ourselves about to overrun (collide with) a slowed Noo Problem on our leeward bow, so took a short tack to starboard for clearance. Finishing the long port to the layline we again found ourselves ahead of Noo Problem and led them into the mark in 17 knots of wind (a real handful).
Our second purposely slow set took longer than usual sorting out a foreguy wrap around the pole. Exceeding hull speed for most of the run (we saw eight knots) continued to be a work out for the crew, especially for Bob trimming the spinnaker. A fun night! 1st in Class
Link to Chart