Wind: E at mid-teens to low 20's; Baro 30.11" Temp 68 to 64 F
Current: flood 1610 Ram Island
Start: West of GLP
Course: s/f-R-V-I-s/f
Race Length: 8.3 nm
Crew: Brian, Reid, Bob & RW

Again another windy day!  With such a strong easterly wind, the flood was cooking big by race time.  At the start, I intended to approach from the pin, then tack back to lead the class approaching from the committee boat. Upon tacking, it became immediately evident we would not make the pin, so we ducked a couple boats and continued out on port.  Jolly Mon touched the pin and did her 360.

We decided to stay on port a while as it was lifted and maybe not that far out into the current, though when we tacked back in on starboard Cosmic & Sans Souci crossed clear ahead.   Two deep tacks in between the buoys of Groton Long Point helped immensely as we were able to round R22 on Cosmic’s tail and ahead of Sans Souci.  Though by the time we rounded the windward mark at Ram, both boats had pulled well ahead. 

We had a quick set and at first opportunity took a jibe to port to work our way out into the current for the 3.4 nm downwind to Vixen.   Here we pulled even with Sans Souci as she lingered too long near shore out of the current.  A bit past Intrepid we jibed to starboard.  Shortly thereafter, Sans Souci realizing their mistake had worked offshore and crossed just behind us.  She continued well beyond our course on a fresh port jibe. We were well ahead by the time she jibed to starboard.  Yet on a much fresher course than we were, she was able to close as we approached the mark in very close quarters.  She finally slowed and crossed our stern to windward.  We rounded Vixen ahead and I intended to carry port till well clear of the mark. That did not work out.   The mainsheet got wrapped around my ankle and I called for a tack to starboard forcing Sans Souci to do so likewise.   By the time I got the mainsheet sorted out Sans Souci had pulled ahead.   This was the first of our three major errors on this last windward leg.

The wind had piped up a few more notches, and I wished we had swapped to the #3 jib while we were on the long downwind.  We took it nearly to the beach for current relief, which helped a good deal.  Unfortunately, we squandered that at Horseshoe Reef by tacking too soon and taking us too close to the reef, requiring two additional time consuming tacks.  Yet we made this up by sailing deep in the lee of GLP, to arrive at Intrepid safely ahead of San Souci.  Here I threw the race away by failing to duck two larger boats on the starboard layline, tacking inside instead and losing our way.  While we floundered around the mark, Sans Souci rounded safely ahead.   Once around we had a good set and gained some on Sans Souci while they struggled to get their spinnaker flying, yet not enough and crossed the line thirty seconds behind.

Link to pdfChart

Link to pdfResults

Mudhead Website Report:

          With breeze comes choices.  With current comes decisions.  The Race Committee chose to dance toward darkness with one of the longer courses we have attempted in a while (nearly 9 nm).  Competitors had to decide when to go in, when to go out, and when to just hang on.  With solid breeze (ranging from 13-23 kts) 40 boats started and 39 finished course (R-V-I-P)!  Many found the pin end of the starting line an unexpected challenge, and following a 10 min. break for an unscheduled re-positioning of said pin during Class 4’s start, everyone headed uptide/upwind on the long haul to “R”.  After what seemed like a really wet forever, the westerly run into the setting sun to “V” had many folks peeling off plastic clothing and holding their breath as a number of boats saw over the ground speeds in excess of 15 kts.  Sharing “V” with some boats from Thames YC’s Wed. race (what were they doing out of the river, anyway?) made for some interesting roundings.  Hiding as far to the left side of the course as possible, the fleet trudged uphill for a second time to “I” and the final turn toward home.  Home was harder to reach than many would have suspected, with the breeze building the closer one got to the finish.  A number of the sprit boats entertained the fleet performing highly gymnastic displays, including pirouettes, arabesques, and other dance moves usually only performed to classical music like Richard Wagner 's Götterdämmerung, (in English it’s – “Kill the Wabbit”).  Several boats used the opportunity to troll for supper and I know of one that actually hauled in with edibles!  The fourth race will be remembered for big air, big speed, a test of endurance (> 2 hours for some) and the fact that we did not send you all to Dumping Ground!  Hope you enjoyed!  See you next week.