Guest Author: Gadget
Crew: Lifeline, Skootch, Twisted, Lazysheet, Gadget
We decided to go with the #2 headsail, and as the wind freshened steadily throughout the starts, we were glad we did. We had a clean start, but were challenged to get to the windward mark ahaead of the fleet. Some of the stronger gusts on the upwind leg convinced us to forego the spinnaker and head downwind wing on wing. After rounding, it became clear that it was worth the risk, out came the bag and up went the chute. The gusts had abated enough that with nearly 7 knots of boat speed, we were able to handle them cleanly. Unfortunately, most of the damage had been done. We made up a bit of ground, had 2 out of 3 clean jibes, and a decent enough dowse, but managed to dip a clew in the drink. The rounding and final upwind were clean, the crew executing crisp tacks and a well judged lay line to the start finish. We managed to finish ahead of Sandpiper, a nice reward for our efforts. On the downwind back to the marina, we hoisted and flew the spinnaker with one sheet to dry it out, which worked well, and saved us the humiliation of hanging it in port!