It was a gorgeous evening with more wind than expected. We softened the shrouds down to the 0-8 range, and didn’t hesitate to hoist the #1 genoa. Kiwi put in a solid start, well timed full speed around the middle of the line and we hiked hard to hold our lane. Battlewagon to leeward, Top Gun to windward, and Sandpiper just behind them.
We believed there was better wind toward Hamilton, so we tacked over early, and were able to cross ahead of Sandpiper. Next cross we were astern of Sandpiper, the result of some knocks. By the windward mark we had regained third spot, not far behind Battlewagon, with Top Gun just a short way ahead of them.
Hoist was solid, and then we made our move with a quick jibe aiming at the better wind toward the Hamilton shore. We weren’t too happy with our spinnaker trim until we hit the slightly better air. Then we got her trimmed up and Kiwi started to get the feel of the heat and burn approach to sailing hot angles with the spinnaker: head upwind slightly until the boat picks up speed; this shifts the apparent wind forward, and you can slowly turn downwind until eventually the speed burns off, and then you heat it up again. We pushed far toward the Hamilton shore. Top Gun and Battlewagon stayed on the Burlington side in lighter air, Sandpiper split the difference. The question was: was the extra speed worth the extra distance?
Coming in to the leeward mark, the answer was definitely YES. Top Gun were not far ahead, Battlewagon were astern, and Sandpiper behind us got the inside line on them for the rounding. We held our douse until late, and the lads brought the kite down in no time. Check it out:
Around we went, well ahead of the other two boats for the beat the finish. In fact, we were handily outpointing Sandpiper, spilling some bad wind on them. Somehow the spinnaker sheet got afoul of the jib sheet. Four hands sorted that out, and we put in a pair of tacks to finish second, respectably near Top Gun. A great result on a great night!