What a lovely evening! Warm, sunny, and more wind than forecast. It was about 8 knots or so, with a few soft patches and it backed nicely right when we needed to jibe to the leeward mark, so we got to sail high and fast with the kite up. Four of us on board handled the hoist, jibes and douse with no trouble, and we used our new GHYRA-learned algorithm to keep tweaking to get more boat speed.
Our start plan was to go for the pin end of the line on starboard and tack over to port quickly, as we saw ALL the sharks head over that way. But on our way to the pin end, it became apparent that all the other boats had the same goal in mind, meaning we got smothered by a lot of canvas. We opted instead to tack over onto port nearer to the boat end of the line and surge into clear air. Great decision! By the time we crossed our fleet, we were just behind Top Gun and ahead of everyone else.
WE SHOULD HAVE TACKED THEN TO CONSOLIDATE OUR POSITION AND STAY IN THE SAME AIR AS EVERYONE ELSE.
But we didn’t, and were punished with a light patch that saw two boats overtake us: Remarkable and Battlewagon. Drat! Never mind, Eclipse and Sandpiper were well astern.
Hoist was clean, a quick jibe after it filled and we sailed a hot angle in pursuit of Remarkable. Battlewagon had some spinnaker troubles after their jibe and we pulled away. The wind backed, we jibed and had a quick run down to the leeward mark. Remarkable maintained their lead, so we decided to douse early to make sure it was clean, and the last leg was a simple fetch to the finish line.
And why was this report called “Dinghy Time?”. With the engine still not starting, we sailed in and out of the marina, just like dinghy’s do. Piece of cake, thanks to great advice from Nonsuch — we left and returned under genoa alone. Sweet!