Crew: Brian, Megan, Seth & RW
Posted Course: s/f to DM, 1nm @ 260, two laps Shortened on second lap at Drop-Mark Distance: 3.0 nm
Winds: WSW at 10 (gusts 16), finish < 3 kts Barometer: 30.28, Temp: 73 F
Current: ebb 1521 Ram Island
Faced again with a wind forecast of mid to high teens with gusts greater than 20, I cinched up the rig to our high weather setting. In a breeze of 10-12 knots and an accompanying flood, we motored out towards the old ‘X’ starting area to find the RC posting very optimistically a course down to Silver Eel (3.1nm @ 210) and back. The wind continued to diminish as start time approached, so I backed off the rig tension for light air.

Less than a minute to the gun the wind dropped to nil, and we all struggled to the line which soon became crowded by Class 2 with all of us drifting into the committee boat with the current, Tumult getting hung up in the RC’s anchor line. The RC subsequently abandoned Class 2 and the remaining races as the rest of us drifted off to the south. After 15 minutes or so, all races were abandoned with an announcement of a forth coming restart and new course.

The wind now built into the high teens and gusted into the low twenties. We tensioned the rig backup, threw in a reef and even considered the #3 jib, yet after a few minutes the wind dropped back to the mid and low teens. Nearly an hour following the first start came the second with the RC repositioned farther south in the channel and a windward mark set at 260 degrees & one mile (just WNW of Seaflower) for two laps.

We had a great start nearest the committee boat just to windward of Jolly Mon in 12 knots of breeze and continued out on starboard to nearly abeam the windward mark. Then trailed MiniMaxi, Cosmic and Watercolors on the port hitch to the layline, working the flattening reef on & off in occasional gusts to 16 or so. Jolly Mon overtook us short of the mark in 12 knots of wind, and Tumult set their spinnaker just behind us. Approximately two-thirds down the run with wind now less than 10 knots, Tumult passed us to leeward and we crossed their stern for a slightly fresher jibe and beat them to the mark. I need to do a better job of resisting the temptation to go deep like many of our competitors are able. Our boat does not do well at that until after 14 knots. As an example Cosmic did the rhumbline all the way to the mark. Short of the mark, a jibe back to starboard and a poleless approach the last few years gave us rights in case it got tight with Tumult at the mark.

Rounding the leeward mark, we tacked soon as we were back up to speed and cleaned up. The wind was now down to 6 knots and diminishing as we took a long starboard out through the port tack Class 2 fleet till we were nearly abeam the drop mark as the RC repositioned for the finish and eased the rig back to light air settings. Other than MiniMaxi & Cosmic, the remainder of our class appeared to continue on port following the leeward mark.

On port for the finish with the wind down to less than 2 knots at times, we drifted towards the finish with the current, moved the genoa to the outboard track switching to ultra light air mode. ‘Don’t tell Mom’, a J22, slowly drifted past to our lee as a bit of four knot breeze developed and carried us across the line to third, boat for boat in our class.

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