Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Course: s/f to W, 2 laps Total distance: #.# nm
Winds: SWW (avg 195 dg), 4 to 6 kts (avg 4.7) Average Boat speed: 2.0 kts
Barometer: 29.91, Temp: 81 F
Current: ebb 13:12 Ram Island
With such a dismal performance, I write this with little enthusiasm. With the prospect for wind meager, the RC wisely chose West Harbor, the last resort for wind.
Our major mistake was not setting aside enough time to properly discuss strategy prior to the start (best course to the mark for current avoidance, best course for wind). Motoring over to Fishers Island the lobster pots evidenced strong ebb. The timer was one-minute off and quite disorienting. In my effort to favor a start down on the port end, we got shadowed by Watercolors with less than a minute to the start, and could not weather the pin. Short of the pin, we tacked to trail Watercolors, Jolly Mon and Noo Problem on port. Jolly Mon was the first to tack resulting in a severe duck for us. Following the duck we should have tacked and followed. About the time Noo Problem tacked for the harbor (about halfway to the mark), I noticed we were in a header compared to Watercolors some distance ahead. How many clues does one need?
No, stubbornly we held on in even lighter air for the starboard layline, with Valiant trailing behind. Not able to make the mark in the light air and current, we had to throw in another series of tacks to round. Thankfully, Valiant had safely overstood giving us room for the rounding. We remained high and windward, yet Valiant reached the leeward mark a boat length or so ahead. We had a good take-down and round inside of Valiant but lacked the drive to lift above and were forced to tack into a hoard of boats approaching the mark. Here I further dug us into the hole. It took a jibe and two tacks to work clear. Tacking just short of the committee boat (re-positioned for the finish), we then had a long port to the layline and the subsequent tight spinnaker reach to the finish.
Link to Chart