Crew: Brian, Bob & RW
Winds: WSW at 5 to 8 kts, (short peak at 9)
Current: flood - North Hill 1745
Start time: 1800, 00:15 into flood
Start/Finish: Vicinity of X, Groton Long Point
Course: s/f-N-s/f, Distance: 3.3 nm (shortened from 2 laps)
Shrouds: at Base
There were just three of us tonight as Seth & Megan are at the NJ Shore this week. We arrived at the starting area with plenty of time to access the situation and found starboard favored by about 20 degrees. Less than five minutes left to the gun, and Brian noticed the #2 batten had slipped out a few inches, which Bob & Brian quickly corrected; smooth job. The pin was a bit to windward, yet not nearly enough to account for the width of the line. So we chose the committee boat, clear to windward of Breaking Wind & crossed right on the gun, Cosmic down the line closer to the pin, with Sans Souci, then Watercolors trailing a good bit behind us. We were nearly five minutes into the race when Watercolors finally rolled us close to windward, and we short tacked across their stern.
Tacking to port short of South Dumpling, we realized a gain on Cosmic ahead & slightly alee. This early in the flood the current was ripping at little over a knot through the Dumplings. Ahead Watercolors was already on the layline. Cosmic chose to tack short of the layline rather than risk overstanding, a good move. Nearing ninety-degrees, it became obvious that Watercolors had overstood. Closer to the mark, we tacked exactly at 90 and found we had to bear off also, though not as much as Watercolors. On the spinnaker hoist the port sp-sheet got hooked on the halyard shackle somehow & the clew got hoisted with the head, requiring a partial douse by Brian to clear the sheet. Filled finally and back up to speed we took a jibe as port was heavily favored. This was a situation where a jibe-set may have been warranted, had it not been for the light air and traffic on the layline.
There appeared to be more wind between the Dumplings and windward of North Dumpling, though I chose to stay high on port for clear air. Watercolors returned through the Dumplings against the current, a course they’ve took in the past under similar conditions. They seem to have the horsepower to prevail against the current there, while it would be suicide for us. I think Jolly Mon may have taken a fresher starboard jibe (and longer course) south of the Dumplings, in less current. It will be interesting to see how that worked out for them. I should ask them sometime.
At about forty-five minutes into the race as Watercolors was approaching the finish, we noticed the Eddie Maxwell repositioning to the east of the leeward mark. Shortly thereafter we saw the smoke of the gun as Watercolors crossed. We were too far upwind to hear it, so may have missed the ‘two-gun’ shortened course signal. Nearing the finish, we saw that the committee boat had not anchored though continued to finish boats. They did not anchor (I assume a problem with the anchor), but kept motoring out a bit to widen the line then drift back, then motor back out as the line narrowed too much, all the time maintaining a range over the mark on land.
Short of the finish a jibe to starboard in clear air against the current, took us across the line amongst traffic approaching on port.
Our computations show us to have corrected to second ahead of Cosmic, and maintained our finish ahead of Sans Souci in spite of the penalty. The results are late in posting.
Link to chart