With our fearless leader away, and light wind, no one expected anything unusual. A good start ahead of most of the fleet, heading towards Burlington. Once we tacked we were behind most of the fleet. We lost track of Top Gun, Sandpiper, and Raison d’Etre, but were focused on Battlewagon, as our closest rival in the Tuesday standings. As we headed to the windward mark, Four Hands quickly got the bag set, muttering to himself, “That was a really short upwind leg”. Then we rounded just behind Pandora II, with Battlewagon just ahead of them. A sharp and well-timed hoist let us pull ahead of Battlewagon, and we settled in and looked around for the rest of our fleet, who was nowhere to be found!?!?
We quickly realized that we had rounded mark 14, along with 1/2 the other boats, included most of the sharks. But our first mark was #7, much further down the bay. Kiwi called a quick douse, and we turned around, managing to stay ahead of Battlewagon. We gathered ourselves, and got back into the race, which for us was now a two boat race.
We sailed well upwind, and did another good hoist, directly from the hole this time, and were just ahead of Battlewagon. Sailing hotter angles let us put some distance between us down the bay, but in the lighter air by mark 3, they made up some ground. The wind died at the mark, and the douse was a bit messy. We managed to stay ahead just enough to finish mere seconds before our rivals. What lessons did we learn? Don’t always follow the sharks, no matter what the commodore says 😉