The summer that never wants to end threw us another beautiful show last night with warm temperatures, clear skies, and the feeling that we still had months to go before frost. The only clue that autumn will begin in a few days was the early sunset. And that meant an early curfew for the race.
With light wind, and a relatively long course, I started to wonder if we would make it on time! Just a couple of years ago, on nights like this we missed curfew a few times. But not tonight! We made it across the line with a good five minute buffer. Of the 35 boats on the water, 12 were not so fortunate.
Here’s a play by play of our race with some artful snaps from Four Hands, who captured the beauty of the low sun on a gorgeous evening.
We almost had a perfect start. We were approaching the line to windward of the fleet, and nicely ahead. But a bit too early. Rather than getting caught in a trap at the committee boat, Kiwi made a bold maneuver across the bow of Battlewagon to tuck in just behind Remarkable. Battlewagon rolled over us, but we were able to catch Sandpiper in our trap. They had to do a 360 to avoid the committee boat! Situated behind the big J35s, we tacked away to the Burlington shore to sail in clean air. Meanwhile Sandpiper recovered well, and sailed to the Hamilton shore. At the windward mark, there was very little air, and they were able to slip in front of us for the rounding.
Spinnaker up, and off to the better wind near the Hamilton shore. By choosing hotter angles and staying away from traffic we were able to make up ground. On the approach to the leeward mark, we crossed just astern of Battlewagon, gained an overlap just in time and secured the inside lane for the douse. That was a moment of beauty! Down came the kite, and we managed to squeeze a couple of smaller boats between us and Battlewagon. What a great gain!
They tacked, we tacked to cover. Nice! But there was traffic ahead for us. A string of smaller boats that would spray us with bad air if we held our course. So rather than match-racing Battlewagon to the finish, we tacked away to find a slot of clean air
At the approach to the finish line, we had a shot, we kept getting lifted, whereas Battlewagon was a bit ahead on the other tack, getting knocked. However, it was not meant to be. In the light air, they got us. But we made curfew!