Absolutely gorgeous evening, tonight — warm, sunny, with just enough cloud to make a great sunset, and a big juicy moon rising early. It doesn’t get much better than this!
And neither does a race 🙂
Tonight was a match-race between Battlewagon and us. Kiwi had us at the line right on time, just to leeward of them, pushing them up at the committee boat. They came down on us — if they hadn’t, they would have been over early. We protested and I tried to goad them into doing their turns, but they refused. So, we started to leeward of them and half a boat-length astern. In other words, in their bad air. They pushed forward and as soon as we could, we tacked under their stern. They tacked to cover.
We were ahead and to leeward, and there wasn’t enough room to tack across their bow. In other words, they were controlling us. So, we got into pointing mode (yes! it is starting to make sense!), and climbed up high enough to start putting bad air on them. They tacked. We tacked to cover. But the difference in the quality of our tacks made a big difference. The guys nailed our tack and suddenly we were to windward of them and even.
With a focus on sail trim — fine-tuning the jib car, the traveler and both sheets, we got into a nice high fast groove, keeping pace and pointing just as high as Battlewagon. Next tack, same thing again. Afterguy and Lazy Sheet put in another crisp one and now Battlewagon was behind and to leeward. One more tack onto the layline and we were leading at the windward mark by about 5 boat-lengths.
A solid hoist extended our lead, but Battlewagon began to hunt us on the downwind, trying to steel our wind. I think we were just far enough ahead that this didn’t have much effect. Eventually, they chose a higher angle and more speed. We jibed twice to the mark, whereas they pushed out further toward Hamilton and came in with just one jibe to the mark.
Our douse was pretty smooth, except the halyard got jammed between the genoa and the spreader. Funny, we never had that happen before. Couldn’t see anything on the video, so it remains a mystery. Around we went, getting into our groove quickly, and putting in another crisp tack before looking back. Clearly our rivals had some trouble with their douse, because they were coming back from well below the leeward mark. (I learned later their pole up line had jammed in its sheave, causing no end of trouble, and Chris Cumming almost ended up in the drink! Fortunately, no one hurt and everyone back safely).
With the door closed, we focused on speed and pointing and put in one last tack to get the gun at the line. Great race! Great teamwork! Great result!
And now for the extra bit!
On the weekend I changed the fuel filter and the water separator filter. Afterwards, I bled the engine and ran on idle for about 30 minutes. Everything seemed fine. Tonight, heading out, the engine stalled several times. When it was time to come back in, she wouldn’t start. Odd!
So, we sailed into the marina and docked under sail. The wind was light, but it was shifty, so it became an interesting puzzle to solve. Twice, we were drifting backwards, and once — just as we were about to dock — the wind shifted 90 degrees and we had to bail. Here it all is on video.
After tying up on the ‘poop dock’, I was wracking my brain to find the root cause. Something was bugging me, so we checked. Sure enough, I had left the fuel shut-off valve closed!! Won’t make that mistake again 🙂
So, after snack, we fired up the engine and docked her properly in slip #214.