This is the best of summer. Bright sky with watercolour clouds, and a steady moderate breeze. It was the kind of night where details matter — technical sailing — and there was time to focus on the details. And it was the kind of night PERSPECTIVE loves best.
But the evening began with a hiccup. The engine wouldn’t start! Odd, since its been starting like a charm lately. David got busy troubleshooting and trying some workarounds, but no luck. With the wind off our starboard stern, we sailed gently out of the slip under mainsail, while Calvin was a few docks down with a long black docking line on our bow to make sure we started our turn. Piece of cake — and we picked him up at the poop dock without even stopping!
We took our time choosing the headsail. #1 or #2? That was the question. The wind was just right in the middle of the zone. When the moment came to decide, it was gusty, so we opted for number 2. By the time we started, it had eased a bit, and we were starting to wonder if #1 would have been better. We’ll never know, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t have had much effect. With the smaller, flatter genoa, we could power up the main the whole time, and point the boat nice and high. Might have gotten more speed from the #1, but would probably have been overpowered, and sacrificed some pointing by having to ease the main.
As it turned out, it was just fine!
We had our eye on a starboard start near the pin end of the line, in order to push out to the better wind near the Hamilton shore, but we were a bit early. I tried to dump speed and add distance, but we were still going to be about 20 seconds early. Battlewagon were going for the boat end of the line, and running a bit late, so we tacked onto port, rode the line a bit to get speed and then hardened up right at the gun. It was a well timed start, and we crossed well ahead of Battlewagon.
A short time later, we tacked and found ourselves parallel to Battlewagon, and well ahead. We pushed well into the Hamilton shore, put in another clinical tack and were almost laying the mark. This gave us the time to tweak the trim, get the most out of the boat and enjoy the ride.
David went solo on the foredeck for the first time tonight — flawless! Squirrel trimmed the genoa perfectly. Lazy Sheet’s releases on the tacks were textbook. And Gadget got everything out of the mainsail as the wind grew and faded. It was a pure joy to get everything right!
Around the mark, hoist and away! We had a sizeable lead on our rivals by now, and settled into making the boat go fast downwind. We put in a couple of jibes to stay near the rhumb line and extended our lead. We doused a wee bit early, just to make sure it all went well, and enjoyed more technical sailing up to claim our gun!
And then a special treat: we sailed the boat right into the marina, and into our slip, docking PERSPECTIVE like a dinghy. Clinical!
Afterwards, Brian Garrett stopped by to commend us on our boat handling. Nice! Here’s a video of our start, and cool docking 🙂