Crew: Megan, Seth, Bob & RW
Current: flood - Ram Island 1624
Winds: SW 200 at 5 to 8 kts
Start/Finish: East of Flat Hammock
Course: s/f- W -s/f, Distance: 2.7 nm
Shrouds: @ base

The RC chose West Harbor as the best prospect for wind. It takes somewhat longer to motor over to West Harbor, giving us less time to access the conditions. Though port appeared favored slightly at the line, I chose starboard at the committee boat. We got a good start at the line with the gun & to windward of Jolly Mon.  Though in the light air (about 6 kts) we could not point as well as boats further down the line (Jolly Mon, Watercolors, MiniMaxi, etc.) and as they began pulling away, we trailed in their bad air. Tumult started at the pin, and was able to cross the whole class on port.  As they crossed us, we tacked clear above their windward hip. Port was obviously the lifted tack, so we continued for a good while on port.  The downside of this made the hitch back (on the east side of the harbor) against the current, though not as bad as for Tumult taking it all the way to the corner.

After our rounding, I stayed high for the appearance of better wind off to the right. Shortly, after the leeward mark, we tacked for a long starboard back towards the better pressure.  A port hitch in good wind and favorable current and above the rounding boats, took us to a short layline. 

Following the rounding, we took a more direct route to the finish as the wind appeared to have filled down the middle of the course.  Late in the leg, I realized we would have gained a few seconds, had we favored the pin end of the finish.  As it was, we crossed seconds behind Noo Problem & Tumult to correct to fifth.

In retrospect, at the start, had we tacked back to starboard once clear (rather than following Tumult) we would have faired much better. Tumult would have likewise, had they consolidated their cross & tacked to windward of the fleet.
- starboard off the line was the shortest route to greater pressure at the top of the course
- on starboard the boat would sail in the more favorable flood into harbor for a longer period.
- on the subsequent port tack the boat would have been positioned in better pressure with the favorable westerly flood.
- continuing on port off the line took resulted in less pressure & a stbd hitch back in less favorable current.

Link to chart

Of note, check last year's West Harbor race in similar wind conditions, but with an ebb: 08/01/07

Go to top