The last night of racing at the Courageous Corporate Challenge set up as a close fight with the scores a tight spread of 7 points among the top 3 teams. After a couple of weeks of cancellations due to violent thunderstorms the evening’s conditions set up in typical Boston Harbor fashion. A shifty southwesterly coupled with strong outgoing current from both the Charles and Mystic Rivers.
With a threat of thunderstorms looming 18 boats headed out to the race course. As the first race played out it became clear that several breezes were converging across the course and course-middle was death by velocity header. The call of the night? Get a great start, connect the puffs and choose one side of the course or the other. On the left clearer air and pressure reined but boats that went that way had to contend with a severely headed port layline as they got close to the windward mark. Was it worth to over stand and avoid the headers? Absolutely! Boats that were patient came into the windward mark with velocity and were able to sail through swirling winds around the mark. But as port tackers closed on the starboard layline they faced the challenge of negotiating around starboard tackers at a mark that was set so close to the shoreline it left very little room to maneuver around starboard tackers.
For those who tacked out and went right 100 percent commitment was the operative word for boats. It was tempting to tack on the mini velocity headers but in the end a patient skipper who hit the starboard tack layline could take advantage of breeze bending perpendicular to the shoreline, riding it all the way to the windward mark.
Skippers who focused on boat speed, connecting the pressures, and getting to the next header won out over those pinching to climb. The strong teams; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fidelity and Alphagraphics understood that footing off to the next header got them up the course much faster and when sailing the run staying patient through the little shifts but not being afraid to gybe in the larger shifts. After four races the consistent finishes from Bank of America Merrill Lynch gave them the night’s win with seven points and overall Series Championship. Fidelity was close behind with 12 points and second place for the series. Third for the night and the series—Alphagraphics.
With four races in the hopper and lightening flashing over the Tobin Bridge the teams heading back to base for post race partying courtesy of Capers Catering and Premier Bartending. All-in-all the Corporate Challenge was a success in the quality of competition among the 20 teams racing, the introduction of sailing to many new corporate members and the over 60 thousand dollars in funds raised for Courageous youth programs.
Courageous Sailing relies on our corporate community to not only sponsor more than 100 youth each summer but also to add to the growing number of members in the Courageous community. For all your support we are ever grateful. See you out on the water!
For Monday, don't forget to let us know early if you need a skipper, or would like to be put on the waitlist for an extra boat.
Have a great weekend all, stay dry, and we'll see you on the water!