Tonight’s wind was like a reluctant child practicing piano. A whole lot of not much with occasional moments of cooperation!
So the wind was light, but the crew was lively! David, Lazy Sheet, Gadget and I were tuned in to all the nuances and ready to eke every bit of boat speed from our reluctant maestro. The biggest moment was right at the start when we were at the boat end in a big hole. Momentum carried us over the line at a decent time, and just ahead of Battlewagon and Sandpiper. We footed off to preserve the tiniest bit of speed, and noticed there was better wind toward the Burlington shore, if ever we could get to it. Ever so slowly, we gathered way and found progressively more conviction from the wind. Top Gun had started near the pin end, away from the hole and had a good head start into the more favorable wind to the North. Meanwhile Sandpiper and Battlewagon were mired in the hole at the start line, powerless to gain way.
And that made all the difference tonight.
From there we paid close attention to our trim to keep the boat moving well, and watched other boats to make good choices about where to tack. Top Gun stayed well ahead, and the other two stayed well behind, with their own private contest brewing. We intended to tack below the layline to avoid the starboard tack parade, but a nice little lift and stretch of decent pressure took us right to the mark, so we laid it perfectly by accident.
A clean hoist, a quick jibe onto a bit of a hot angle toward more favorable wind in the middle of the bay, and we gained on Top Gun who showed us where the holes were up ahead. Even so, we fell into a few pockets of dead wind and despair — and one ten second puff of magnificent speed! At one point I began to look over my shoulder — we were so far ahead, but moving so slowly anything was possible. But then, the wind shifted forward a bit, and we were able to follow it to the finish line, even while boats to leeward of us had to drop their kites and come in close hauled to the finish. Flukey!
So a great result on a very satisfying night. We lingered late on board, despite the frosty temperatures, just savouring such a great start to the Thursday night season.