This summer has been full of gorgeous sailing evenings, and tonight was right up there with the best. With a nice full breeze that promised to clock around, the race committee set the most elaborate course I can recall. And it was a long race. Our elapsed time was nearly an hour and a half. And there were three very different spinnaker legs including a hot jibe at mark 1. Again.
Now, we all miss our regular Tuesday foredeck captain, who a few weeks ago buzzed around the boat like a chipmunk. But the bench on PERSPECTIVE is deep, and all this spinnaker work went off without a hitch thanks to the great work of Nonsuch with support from Afterguy. And this time (in lighter breeze, I have to admit), we nailed the jibe mark maneuver.
We had a great time and a great night, but this race belonged to our friends on Battlewagon, who had a great start, sailed the upwind legs perfectly, nailed their maneuvers and held off Top Gun to win the gun! Our upwind legs were more of a mixed bag — didn’t sail in the strongest breeze, had some trouble getting into mode — so there was a pretty big gap between those two boats and all the rest of us.
But the final leg was dramatic and great fun. We rounded the jibe mark just behind Remarkable and just ahead of Sandpiper. Up ahead, and slightly to windward, Pandora II had their giant spinnaker out, and some white sail boats also needed to be overtaken. We were to windward of Remarkable, who didn’t have their spinnaker up. We wanted separation from Pandora II so we could overtake without their wind shadow affecting us, but whenever we sailed slightly a slightly lower course, Sandpiper made gains on us from behind, and there was the risk of Remarkable pushing us up.
We gingerly threaded the needle, so that we weren’t too affected by Pandora II. At the line, Remarkable got us by 9 seconds, and we got Sandpiper by 13 seconds. That’s tight racing after nearly 90 minutes! (A difference of less than 0.2%) And after correction for handicaps, the finish order among the three of us was reversed: Sandpiper -> PERSPECTIVE -> Remarkable. I’ve never seen that happen before.
So, Four Hands, wherever you are, we hope you are enjoying sailing the Dalmatian Coast. Rest easy…we got this!