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!