Wind: S 4 to 8 kts, gust 10
Current: ebb North Hill 17:30
Start/Finish: near Horseshoe (start at 1805)
Race Length: 6.5 nm
Crew: Brian, Adam, Dan & RW
The forecast was for a fresh breeze throughout the evening, but it was not to be.
About a minute & a half prior to the start my plan ran into a major obstacle- “Vitesse” sailing alongside the committee boat blocking our path to the line. It felt like waiting for a freight train to pass. We trailed the class across the line, and after a minute or so tacked out for clear air, but decided to remain on port, not a good choice.
Nearly last in class to the North Hill bell other than Liquid Foundation, we trailed Sans Souci rounding well ahead. Passing through the Dumplings, I noticed Jolly Mon exiting Intrepid at a good clip for the s/f-pin. Farther down the run we began to close on some boats & passed Merganser on our starboard.
We noticed Thunder Chicken’s jibe around the buoy (continuing under spinnaker) and San Souci stuck at the mark with their genoa not providing enough power to exit. We were able to jibe inside SS as they began to re-hoist their spinnaker, as Merganser reached above to stall our progress. In retrospect I should have made an more of an effort to stay above Merganser rather than be concerned about San Souci trailing us back under spinnaker. It was a ten minute struggle to put distance beyond the mark, often drifting backwards in the current, with numerous boats rolling us to windward, Liquid Foundation included. Finally after 20 minutes we reached a wind-line and rode it to the pin. San Souci never made it and retired.
We rounded the pin with a leeward take down choosing to tack rather than follow Merganser out on port, thinking starboard a shorter course to better breeze. Considering the current, we should have anticipated it would take us towards the Intrepid wind hole, as that is where we ended up (1938 hours on the chart). Eventually we noticed Merganser back on starboard paralleling us to well to windward prior to their tack to sail up the west side of the Dumplings. By now we were committed to the east side, tacking to port to sail in the current lee of North Dumpling for a short starboard across to South Dumpling and eventually to the mark for the rounding.
Time finally ran out for a TLE as we were sailing along the west shore of North Dumpling at 2030. Only three boats in our class of eight managed to finish, Jolly Mon, Cosmic & Gimlet.
Link to chart