Crew: Brian & RW
Posted Course: s/f to D-M, 1nm at 240, two laps Distance: 4.0 nm
Winds: WSW, 8 to 10 kts (lasted through the evening) Barometer: 30.45, Temp: 72 F
Current: flood 1951 Ram Island
Our performance last night was inauspicious. Due to the 4th of July Holiday, our WNR was moved to Tuesday night this week. The Fagan’s were on Block Island (with their new boat) & Seth was late returning from his grandfather’s funeral (along with the rest of the Magner clan other than myself, as I could not get Sunday night off). Therefore, Brian & I were left to forge alone, a bit on the shorthanded side. Arriving to the old ‘X’ starting area with just enough time to record the course & stow the outboard, I did not have a full assessment of the conditions.

Approaching the line nearest the committee boat on starboard and in clear air in good position with less than a minute to the gun, I noticed all in our class swapping over to a port start (ostensibly for current avoidance), so we followed suit, down speed at the gun. To windward- Noo Problem appeared to have their own little private wind-lane, while boats to their lee (MiniMaxi) and windward hip (Watercolors & Valiant) were creeping along like ourselves farther to lee in 2 knot of wind. On our second starboard tack to clear Horseshoe, we continued out finding a fresh breeze nearly to th eport layline for the windward drop-mark. Actually, by the time we came out of the tack, we were past the layline and had fall off slightly in fear of the dreaded port tack approach. Still in the thick of things approaching windward mark, I noticed rounding first Noo Problem, followed by Mini Maxi, Jolly Mon & Watercolors.

Nearing the layline with two starboard boats approaching, I succumbed to all the pitfalls of the port tack approach. Ducking the first (Second Chance), I tacked in front of the second with no chance of making it. In Second Chance’s backwind & down-speed we found ourselves drifting into the mark and trying to avoid being run over by a parade of starboard boats. I could not get out of my own way and made no friends. We lost two or more minutes in three tries to clear the mark then followed with a decent enough set & a good downwind, a jibe to port 2/3’s down the run, a good douse and smooth rounding of the leeward mark.

Our second beat was much better, in 12 kts, we continued on port and laid the mark from a good distance out, yet the set was a disaster due largely to my lack of readiness with the guy & sheet which gave us a huge hourglass followed by a headstay wrap.

After a bit we got the genoa back up for a port wing&wing, but we were three-quarters down the run before Brian got the spinnaker all sorted out for starboard jibe reset to the finish. It was a beautiful night for sailing though.

Looking back at the pre-start, had I properly accessed the situation and noted the windmill on North Dumpling (as we tend to do), given weight to Brian’s comments concerning the lobster pots & weak current, I may not have been swayed by all the port-tackers and instead at the start continued on starboard out to where I surmise was better wind from the git-go. It would be an entirely different result to review.

Link to Chart