Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: SW at 8 to 16 kts
Current: ebb - North Hill 1656
Start time: 1800, 01:04 into ebb
Start/Finish: Vicinity of Intrepid Rock
Course: s/f-I-s/f, Distance: 5.9 nm
Shrouds: +2, +4, +3
For once we arrived in the starting area in plenty of time for assessment & setup, though we squandered it. The “Chain of Events” began as we were raising the genoa on port and extending to starboard & windward of the Committee Boat. We should have tacked prior to the hoist, yet the genoa was decked on the starboard side. I had planned on running the full line, yet after tacking back towards the line, I found us too short on time to sail down to the RC so cut the corner to midline in plenty of time to salvage the start had we followed Watercolors stern back to the RC. Instead I lingered near the port end then at the last moment made the bone-headed decision to start on port and ducking Watercolors.
Even though it was a poor choice of direction, as long as we were in the current lee of North Dumpling, we were not suffering too badly. And had we tacked sooner to starboard the results may have worked out quite differently. If we tacked somewhere between 1805-1807 when I remarked we’re losing our COG, we would have saved something shy of two minutes; the sooner the better. You can easily see on the chart how we were set down dramatically by the current beginning around 1806.
Approaching North Hill, Sans Souci rounded nearly three minutes ahead; then we ended up with a wrap* on the set, quickly sorted out but with a couple of tears in the upper quarter. Never less, we had a good downwind, over six knots at times making up some for our starting mistake. Following a leeward takedown, we tacked as soon as possible for a long starboard up to West Harbor, a course we had discussed pre-race and taken by Sans Souci on the first lap. By the time we tacked back to port along the Fishers Island shore, we had caught up to Sans Souci, yet were unsuccessful in passing.
Our best opportunity may have been on the subsequent downwind, had we covered them on the right side of the course. Instead we jibed off to the North eventually losing some wind in the lee of North Dumpling and crossed 18 seconds behind them.
*Spinnaker Wrap Prevention: The reason a spinnaker wraps is that it is in the lee of the main with no air to fill it. At the set, had we pulled the clew (&pole) farther to windward the wrap would have been avoided; same with the jibes.
Link to chart