Crew: Brian, Seth, Bob & RW
Winds: SE to E avg 8.5, gust 12
Temp: 63 F, Baro: 29.82; 60 & 29.83 at race end
Weather: high thin ovc; fog developing east end of FI Sound
Current: ebb - North Hill 1522
Start time: 1800, 02:38 into ebb
Start/Finish: just between Horseshoe & GLP
Course: s/f –W-s/f; 177 @ 2.1 nm Distance: 4.2 nm
Shrouds: +2,+0,+1

A minute before the gun Sans Souci crept windward of us, effectively pinning us below the line in the light air.  We slowly luffed the sails and pulled above their stern just as the gun went off; 20 seconds short of the line. At the line crossing, we tacked to port with Sans Souci following suit ahead and to windward, as Dragon Z Balls blew past on port between us and the committee boat.  
We eased off the genoa slightly and got some breathing room in Sans Souci’s lee, slowly passed them and pulled ahead.  Would it have been better to have tacked twice for a clear lane? Maybe if she did not follow suit with a cover. 
Brian mentioned the fog developing at the far end of the sound, concernd with the affect on the wind. 

Our pre-start strategy was to sail to mid-channel and assess tacking to starboard with the current for our easting. Yet, we were lifted significantly on port (some twenty degrees & favored), along with Watercolors safely abeam to windward and Sans Souci trailing our windward hip. Our pre-start tacks had been (230 port) & 140 (stbd). Now we were 205 to 210 on port. I feared a starboard hitch would cross the channel too severely and cancel out the current boost.  So we hung in on port up the west side of the Dumplings, as did Watercolors & Sans Succi. 

Wunder Dog took a course east of N. Dumpling then west of S. Dumpling and tacked to starboard as soon as she cleared S. Dumpling.   Watercolors continued a bit farther south prior to tacking, we went even farther (current on our nose, time ill spent) and San Succi continued past the NH nun R”2” prior to tacking. Nearing North Hill we posponed our tack to long, and suffered some in the wind-shadow of NH. Was this the leg where Wunder Dog & Watercolors pulled away?  Had we tacked sooner (farther from the FI shore), the wind may have been less fluky and the current boost possibly stronger.  Crystal Slipper (the only other boat passing west of the Dumplings) passed comfortably to our lee in what appeared to be a much steadier breeze.  Here we also stretched away from Sans Succi considerably.

One more port took us up to the layline where we tacked with little room to spare at the rounding and set for a long reach to the finish.  Had we had the foresight, this would have been an ideal time to try out our new reaching spinnaker.  Shortly after rounding we noticed the fog bank had moved in to obscure the Connecticut shore and the finish. With it came a headed cool damp breeze of 10 to 12 knots, making for a tight reach to clear the rocks off Flat Hammock, inside of the nun.  In this fresh breeze I doubt we lost anything on this leg to our competition.

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Link to chart b

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