We’ve all heard the fisherman stories about the one that got away. Tonight was a classic. After one of our best starts ever and a great downwind leg where we passed three boats, a second place finish slipped from our grasp as the wind died and Battlewagon had enough momentum to drift by us before the finish. It was the one that got away!
As we arrived at the dock we were greeted by warm sunshine and a promising breeze from the east. Checking with the Windy app, showed that this was not the gradient breeze, but a sea breeze that had built during the afternoon as the sun warmed the land, That meant we expected it to die down and be replaced with a gradient breeze from the N. Well, the first part of that prediction was correct, but as the wind died, nothing came in to replace it!
This meant that the highlights of the evening were near the beginning. During the pre-start, Lazy sheet reminded me to shadow Top Gun so we could lean how they approach the start. As a result, we were heading to the line just astern and to windward of them. They were a tiny bit early and swerved to kill time. We avoided getting pushed over and started with speed right on time, abeam of them to windward. What a treat!
But wait, that’s not all: we held our lane with them abeam to leeward for almost ten minutes! We’ve never lasted this long with them in a drag race, and were pointing just as high. Then, ever so slowly, they edged just forward a meter and we began to get trapped in their backwind. Within a minute we were sorely headed and they crossed our bow. Despite a solid upwind, we rounded fifth at the windward mark, though not far behind anyone in particular.
By now the wind was softer and we jibed back toward Hamilton shore on a hot angle searching for wind. Our jibes showed some signs of a long winter on the land, but even so, our course carried us ahead of Sandpiper, Battlewagon and Raison d’etre. Approaching the leeward mark, we were in a strong second place as the wind died to nearly nothing. Our rounding was tight, grabbing the inside lane amongst a lot of slow traffic, and it looked really good for the boys in blue as the whole fleet slowly made its way to the finish.
But then the wind shut down completely and we drifted slowly along. I tacked too often and we lost what momentum we had. Meanwhile, Battlewagon found a whisper of something aloft and held a smooth line to windward of us, overtaking us just before the finish line.
So for PERSPECTIVE, it was the one that got away. At least the Raptors won!