Last Donzo of the Season
Wind: NW at 8-16 kts
Avg Wind: 268 at 12.7 kts, Baro 28.91" Temp 74 F
Current: flood 1740 NH
Start: offshore of usual "West of GLP"
Course: s/f-DM-L-s/f; Drop Mark 1.3nm at 280 (277)
Race Length: 5.2 nm
Crew: Brian, Dan & RW
Winds in the last few minutes prior to the start were well into the teens, so we stepped the rig up to 14 and cinched in the first reef. A couple pre-start wind checks showed port may have been favored slightly, as did the flags on the RC even more so. So our plan was to start near the committee boat (thinking that the push from the flood would cause a crowd the pin), then extend on starboard till a port tack would weather Horseshoe. We led San Souci into the line with the rest of the class ahead to port down the line. Sans Souci nipping at our heels slightly to leeward hailed to luff us up, but as we headed up they took advantage of their speed to clear us and gain some space to leeward prior to the gun.
We continued out on starboard in good position as the most windward boat. An additional crew member on the rail would have been nice, and would have allowed us to remain powered up better. We were the first to tack to right and found the waves were less punishing on port.
Brian & Dan started looking for the drop-mark hard to find in the sun, none too soon as we nearly overstood. Nearing the mark, we crossed Sans Souci to round half-dozen lengths ahead.
In the bear-away, the chute got caught on the flattening-reef cleat as it went up, creating a delayed hoist and a small tear. About halfway down the course, a jibe to port took us into the rounding a couple boatlengths ahead of Sans Souci. We had a good windward douse and tight rounding. San Souci’s rounding and cleanup did not appear to be as smooth. We tacked to starboard for offshore almost immediately, then back towards shore to parallel our first leg.
I saw a port-starboard situation ahead with a larger boat. A duck would have precluded a cross of Sans Souci trailing a few boatlengths off the larger boats windward quarter, so we tacked back rather than continue into what I felt was more favorable current closer to shore. On our subsequent long port towards the mark, we shook out the reef in a slacking wind. We again crossed ahead of Sans Souci near the mark, though this time on port just as we tacked onto the layline. The layline was crowded requiring slight overstand to prevent some rolls by larger boats.
Again we had a slight problem with the set, yet remained ahead of Sans Souci. Shortly after rounding Sans Souci jibed to port, I assume for less current near shore. We jibed to cover though sailed a deep run all the way to the finish with the spinnaker winged out while heeling to windward. Sans Souci’s fresher course with a jibe to starboard covered the ground slightly faster allowing them to close the gap to cross our stern to finish just nine seconds behind.
We ended up second with Spring penalties, first without and second in class for the season.
We need to work better on easing out the genoa as we bear off for the set around the windward mark. Hopefully the three of us can practice windward mark rounding & sets early next season.