SeTherin garners a third, first night out!
Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Posted Course: s/f to Vixen to North Hill Râ€™2â€², two laps Shortened second lap at Vixen
Distance: 5.0 nm Winds: NW at 12 (gusts 16) to 4 kts
Current: ebb 1552 Ram Island
With winds forecast in the mid-teens & gusts to twenty we motored out against the ebb for our first sail & race of the 2007 season arriving to the starting area with little time to spare, as the RC had positioned the start just south of the Sea Flower rock pile. Fortunately, they postponed the start just as we arrived allowing us time to stow the outboard and access the situation a bit and shake out the reef.
We had a good starboard start near the committee boat with only one boat (Noo Problem) to windward. As Noo Problem (became one) overtook us to windward taking our wind, we tacked for clear air and less current near shore. Shortly thereafter, Watercolors also passed us a few boat lengths to windward slowing us somewhat though we hung in and after they tacked to starboard, did likewise a distance away on their windward hip. This gave us a ten-minute layline to Vixen in gusty winds, sometimes overpowered with difficulty holding the bow down. We are using the old kick-up rudder with a leading edge farther aft of the pintles manifesting a good bit of weather helm, & giving me a handful now and then. Of course there being a bit of rust here and there did not help any. The guys on the rail were doing a good job working the flattening reef & boomvang though. With such a long layline, we were able to set the pole and prepare the spinnaker early. Just short of the mark, Jolly Mon over took us to windward and left us wallowing in dead air for a moment, allowing MiniMaxi to get inside of us at the mark. First Windward leg: 12 kt avg TWS
Giving them sufficient room we had great bear-away set, which could not be said for them and Valiant directly behind. Thinking the fleet may overtake us on the 2 mile run to North Hill we stayed high, requiring a short jibe to lay the mark, where we doused to leeward alongside Gnat and followed Watercolors, Jolly Mon, MiniMaxi and Valiant towards the cove west of Groton Long Point. Downwind leg: 10.5 kt avg TWS
Just north of mid-channel Watercolors was the first to tack, soon followed by Jolly Mon, MiniMaxi and Valiant. With greater than a knot of current, we pressed on towards the cove where it had lessened to a third of a knot. Tacking to starboard, we struggled in light air past Horseshoe Reef and Bluff Pt. Offshore of the airport the air freshened for the remainder. The RC had re-positioned to Vixen where we trailed Valiant and Noo Problem across the line buy a minute or two. I assume the wind remained somewhat stronger offshore in the track taken by Watercolors & Jolly Mon. It is an old balancing act between wind and current. As the slowest boat, current is a larger percentage of our boat speed than our competition. Second Windward leg: 7 kts avg TWS
Itâ€™s nice to be back in the water.
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