Today we did not get a new hole in the boat! Remarkable! (Literally, Remarkable didn’t put a new hole in the boat. They averted collision with us when we were trying to get across their bow without right of way — we didn’t quite make it, and had to do our penalty turns. No harm done, but lots of excitement!) It was a Remarkable avoidance.
But let’s not overlook the fact that we got across Top Gun’s bow just prior to this event. That was also remarkable!
How did this happen? (Pardon a brief diversion into rig tuning and sail trim, we’ll get back to the race report in a moment). Well, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about pointing, depth of the genoa and depth of the mainsail, so today we tried a couple of experiments. There was about 8 knots of true wind speed, so we went for the #2 genoa rather than the #1. Less power, better pointing. I was on the fence about trying the flatter mainsail too, but opted not to, in case the wind slackened later in the evening. Instead, we put a lot more backstay tension to bend the mast and flatten the mainsail. As a result, we were able to trim away the backwinded bubble and the boat was fast and well balanced. It worked! Delightful!
I’m convinced this played a big role in our upwind performance tonight. Combined with a good start and great driving by Gadget on the helm we were right up there with the big boys half way to the windward mark. And then we had to do our 360, which meant we rounded last again 🙁
But downwind we worked our magic with the spinnaker and made up a lot of lost ground, dousing just astern of Battlewagon. There was some new guy interfering with Four Hands on the bow during the douses — boy does he (me) need practice up there! Each time I cleaned up the foredeck after the douse I routed something in the wrong place that made a meal of our first upwind tack. After the first douse, we fought back from this setback, and hoisted for the second time just astern of Sandpiper and Battlewagon. Downwind we closed in, then opted to put in three jibes to sail hotter angles. Despite some not-so-clean jibes, it worked and we overtook Sandpiper, rounding just astern of Battlewagon.
On the home stretch we fell back a bit as the other boats enjoyed a nice lift near the Hamilton shore, but it didn’t sink our feeling of victory.
And Remarkable didn’t sink our boat.
A great race, by a great crew on a beautiful night. And great work by Gadget on the helm!