Jake Denney

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Saturday was an eventful day to say the least. Four races were completed in variable winds, generally 15-20 knots. The median wind direction in the first two races held at 320 degrees, shifting west in the afternoon. This westerly brought our course directly under BSC and momentarily caused our course to overlap with the BSC course. I apologize for this, our course should have been moved drastically a full race earlier than it was. There was only one barge today, but due to the location of our starting line and our angle across the channel, we were forced to abandon the race underway. 

Race 1 got underway at 12:20. With a big line, nearly every boat was on time and pushing the line well, with no one OCS. The wind increased as the first boats rounded the leeward gate. Race 2 started quickly with another Course 4. This time two boats were over leading into the final seconds of the pre-start. Boat #3 got under the line just in time, boat #5 over but returning quickly. This race saw alternating lefty and righty shifts, with gusts into the mid 20s across the course, making for very interesting racing. 
 
Race 3 started at 1:05 but was abandoned. Reefs were shaken out while the race committee reset the course to be clear of BSC. After finally getting off at 1;40, a strong lefty asserted itself as the new wind direction, causing the course to be adjusted again for the final race. This situation was unfortunate, and the amount of time needed for a second start to get off was regrettable. 
 
To speak to the widespread feedback I have received on the decision to abandon- it was a judgement call. In retrospect, the course should have been shifted before the start, removing the reasons to abandon. It is my opinion that abandonment should only be used when there are serious factors preventing competitors from completing a race in a fair way. Wind oscillations generally do not fall under this. In this case, it was the combination of the major shift and the likelihood of convergence with the BSC fleet during the downwind leg that caused me to abandon the race. This was a judgement call on my part. 
 
With the wind now at 290 degrees, a final race got underway following an abandonment for a barge which would come directly through our course. Originally, Race 4 was posted as a Course 4. However, after a general recall, there was clearly not going to be enough time for fifth race to get off before 3pm. The Course 5 was set and the final race got off. 
 
There were two major collisions during racing, and two break downs from equipment failures.
 
Jake Denney
Courageous Sailing

 

Hello Frost-biters,

We had wonderful temperatures this past week, and managed to get three races off in spite of difficult current and a light and shifting breeze. Thanks to everyone for your patience, as we had to contend not only with the weather but also large commercial vessels. Course 4 was sailed in all races.

Our first race got off at 12:45, after a delay due to an unsettled breeze. When racing got underway in an east breeze of 5 knots, there was close racing throughout the fleet. Of note, Boat 13 skippered by Alex Wisch and crewed by Amanda Farnham, took the inside from boat 19 (Team Marty Gallagher) coming into the leeward gate. Both boats went to course right, extending their lead over the fleet as the wind continued to shift to the southeast.

After delaying for a large barge, race 2 got off at 1:45 following a general recall. The fair current combined with the light breeze made it difficult for boats to keep below the line. Although the course had been shorted by about 1/3 and adjusted to the new sea breeze, the strong current and faltering winds made the down winds very long indeed. It was clear that leeward mark rounds were also giving some competitors trouble, as the current pushed boats upwind into the marks and a large cluster formed on the course left gate mark. Light winds have a tendency of compressing fleets, and race 2 was no exception. The winning team of John Pratt and Bob Coyle in boat 12 was in fourth or fifth coming down to the finish, but a magic spell or a personal puff gave them the edge they needed. Riding in from the outside, boat 12 came through just before the finish, rolling the team of Bryan Lee and Anna Marije Veenland in boat 8.

After waiting for the wind to come back and shortening the course again, race 3 was set to get off at 2:45. Again, the sea breeze had come back and the race would be a Course 4. Again, the light breeze and fair current pushed a number of competitors over at the start, aided a bit by an eagerness to resume racing. After the first recall, only one boat was called over early in the next start, quickly returning to clear themselves and keep racing. Good starts, a light but even breeze, and a further shortened course, all resulted in less time for the fleet to get separation heading into the turning marks. This made for some crowded roundings. In this race particularly, most boats at the finish had to be sighted exactly from the RC flag, with only inches between them and their nearest competitors. A good example of this was at the front. The Wisch/Farnham team in Boat 13 actively attacked the team of Pat Clancy and Chris Clancy in Boat 17, maneuvering to take their wind and roll them to leeward. Clancy/Clancy defended, bring the pair on a high reach coming to the finish. Boat 17 still ahead and to leeward, gybed to finish, pushing their bow across and saving themselves the win in race 3.

Congratulations to our winners this week. My apologies if I got your name wrong in the write up, I am working off the score sheet with team names listed. And remember- I am new to this fleet! Feedback, Feedback, Feedback.

See you all next week!

Jake Denney

PRO