Crew: Brian, Bob & RW
Current: ebb - North Hill 1443
Winds: NNE 5 to 10 kts clocking E to SE
Start/Finish: between GLP & Horseshoe
Course: s/f- D/M -s/f, Distance: 3.0 nm
Shrouds: @ base
The day dawned cloudy and rainy with a threat of thunderstorms. At 1430 a significant storm passed through, lasting for nearly an hour. Then another shower came through between 1630 and 1715 while I monitored a few inquires over channel 68 on whether we would race or not The fleet turnout was certainly small due to the weather.
Contending with a late departure compounded by a strong ebb, we arrived at the starting area in nick of time at the five minute gun with not a moment to spare to remove & stow the outboard, access course and set up for our first downwind start in the two years. Our strategy, with a NNE wind was to start on the starboard jibe and favor the shoreline westward for current relief.
At a minute to go, we were pinned by Dragon-Z-Balls (not yet racing) to our inside, delaying our jibe back towards the line. Finally clear of DZB, we jibed to starboard along the line and hoisted the chute just prior to the gun though not nearly as far west down the line as I had planned. Cosmic started the farthest down the line, MiniMaxi just in front of us and Watercolors to our rear.
Watercolors overtook us halfway to Horseshoe, as we favored closer to shore and slowly gained on Cosmic directly ahead and MiniMaxi farther offshore (in more current but with less wind). A bit past Horseshoe, Brian noted that the J22/J24 class starting five minutes later were a port jibe nearly direct to the mark (meaning a clock to the east or southeast, somewhat reminiscent of two weeks ago, Link.. ) We rode our private little wind band to its end off the airport, and were the last to jibe for offshore. First to go was MiniMaxi, followed by Watercolors and Cosmic. The wind had clocked too far forward for the chutes. Had we jibed sooner, we might have been able to carry the spinnaker, though I was worried about being swept by the current in the light air, prior to the new wind reaching us. As it was our point of sail (a beam reach) was max aft for the genoa; any father aft would have required the spinnaker.
We hardened up around the windward mark and after a couple of minutes not comfortable splitting from the fleet, tacked to starboard. A bit past Seaflower, we tacked back to port towards a fresh band of wind to ride in to the finish on starboard. The RC shortened to one-lap due to a dying wind and building fog. Our second 1st place of the season.
Link to chart