Last Wednesday Night of the Year

Crew : Brian, Bob, Seth & RW
Winds: SW (250) at 3 to 6 kts
Current: flood - North Hill 1459
Start time: 1800 near max flood
Start/Finish: between GLP & Horseshoe
Course: s/f- DM (250) -s/f, *1.5, Distance: 2.3 nm
Shrouds: @ base

Arriving to the starting area with just enough time to stow the outboard & check the course prior to the five minute warning, we set up for a starboard at the pin. At two minutes to go, we led the fleet down the line from the RC. About two-thirds to the pin, Brian eased the genoa just a bit as I did the main, then accelerated with ten seconds to go for very good start in a 4 to 5 kt breeze.  At the time we tacked abeam the windward mark, we were the farthest offshore as most the fleet were working they way off.
On port, delaying too long on the decision, I did a severe duck of Mini Maxi, then crossed the stern of Jolly Mon, ahead of Cosmic and well ahead of Sans Souci, as all four continued farther offshore.  In retrospect I wish we had, as wind &/or current both must have been greater deeper offshore, as all but Sans Souci passed us to windward prior to the mark.  As we tacked for the layline (too soon), Sans Souci caught up and ducked our stern. Not making the mark, I screwed up and tacked nearly in front of them.  

We rounded just in front, with Sans Souci inside forcing us up.  After a few minutes they slowed and hardened up to our windward side to pass, allowing us a jibe to port towards shore (as Cosmic had done) where I believed the current less and a clear lane near a wind band closer to shore.  Jibing back to starboard, we patiently worked her in extremely light air towards the wind-band. Touch and go, it appeared we were slowly making trees on those offshore (most the fleet). Reaching the wind-band, we hardened up to beat Sans Souci to the mark by a comfortable margin.  

Following a smooth leeward douse and a comfortable rounding in close company of boats converging on the leeward mark, we immediately tacked for offshore. I wished to go offshore, as I felt our air would be clear of the many boats still working downwind, and with what little air there might be, the current would be strongest there.  Sans Souci stayed inshore to ride the wind-band we had just come down on.  We tacked well abeam the mark, to cross the line just 7 seconds ahead of Sans Souci for a fourth place.

Link to chart