Winds: NNW 4 to 8, gust 12; to nill at finish
Temp: 65 F, Baro: 29.67; 63 & 29.65 at race end
Weather: clear w/ possible overland TRW
Current: flood - North Hill 1642
Start time: 1800, 01:15 into flood
Start/Finish: just between Horseshoe & GLP
Course: s/f –D/M-s/f; 251 @ 1.5 nm Distance: 6.0 nm
Brian cinched up the shrouds on the motor out in anticipation of a good breeze, and we got the motor off in time for a good line assessment, and thru in the flattening prior to raising the genoa. We discussed changing to the older genoa due to the stiff winds; which would have been a good idea had we considered it sooner. Also, we probably would have benefited from another turn on the shrouds.
A minute before the gun, I tacked just short of the RC’s starboard layline and led Salud towards the line. Momentary brain-fart. Not fully compensating for the current push, I should have luffed up in the lee of the committee boat more, or shy of the line sight, bore off down the line; instead we were OCS. Quickly bearing off down below the line, we jibed around ( a 360 to the left), tacked and restarted, losing maybe thirty seconds or so and still leading a number of boats off the line. The crew did an excellent job with the sails, no communication, just knowing what to do, a maneuver which would have taken much more time in light air.
Ahead on starboard were Salud, & the two J24’s (Wunder Dog & Dragon Z Balls). In a short while Salud tacked off on port. Our thought was maybe for less waves (?) as starboard was favored by 15 degrees, plus a five degree lift or more by the current. With a 14kt breeze we gave little away to the J24’s, as Watercolors slowly overtook to windward before our tack towards the layline.
At the layline, I tacked early yet we still overstood some in the current. We jibed shortly after the set for clear air and had a great run, Bob getting a workout on the sheet. With a couple more jibes, we converged at the leeward mark with the J22 (Plain Vanilla) on our starboard and rounded right on her stern.
Tacking as soon as traffic allowed for clear air, we found our heading on starboard still favored (around 230) as on the first leg. I became concerned that there may have been more air along the shore so we tacked to port. Our tack back to starboard (supposed to be short of the layline that far out) ended up as a slight overstand in the current. About halfway up the starboard leg, around a quarter to seven the wind dropped a bit and we shook out the flattening reef. Shortly thereafter, there was a terrific thunder clap from large build up over Groton Long Point, and we discussed the probable affect on the wind.
On the run, with the wind moderating wind & backing some, our preponderance of port jibes took us farther west than the previous run. I shied away from favoring starboard as that jibe now put the current right on our nose; with the thought of delaying our easting on starboard to nearer shore in less current. Three-quarters the way down the run, the wind quit, dropping to 2 kts and less for a couple minutes feeling like we threw out the anchor. Momentarily sensing a new wind from the thundershowers to the east, we briefly doused the spinnaker and raised the genoa. But as the southwester eased back we hurriedly put the spinnaker back up and painfully made our way against the current, past Horseshoe and on to the finish in 4 to 5kt airs.
Congratulations to Salud for a 1st in Class & First in Fleet.
We were less than 8 minutes from the line (in prevailing conditions) when the wind quite; versus the 17.5 minutes it then took us to finish.
1st leg (uw) 21 minutes
2nd leg (dw) 15 minutes
3rd leg (uw) 18.5 minutes
4th leg (dw) 31.5 minutes
4 minutes, 29 seconds faster would have put us in 3rd
5 minutes, 35 seconds faster would have put us in 2nd
7 minutes, 34 seconds faster would have put us in 1st
8 minutes, 31 seconds finish with the previous 11 minute conditions
Link to chart a
Link to chart b
Link to results