This summer continues to provide phenomenal sailing in the evenings! With perfectly comfortable temperatures, just enough wind to keep the boats moving, and a dramatic sunset, tonight was among the finest.
Yes, the wind was on the light side, and we really had to be attentive to find the opportunities, but the vibe on board was sublime, as we calmly accepted our lumps and then stealthily seized our moments. The result was just what we needed on Tuesdays — a finish ahead of Battlewagon (on PHRF) and two spots ahead of Sandpiper.
And we had the extra bonus of having Ihab on board, a keen participant in the BSBC Shark sailing program who just started sailing this year. Although we only called upon him to master the art of Ballast Engineer and Spinnaker-hauler-inner, it is clear that he will become a strong racer.
So, how did this race transpire?
Leg 1: Pin end and port tack favored at the start. We approached on Starboard, but got caught in a bit of a trap with Top Gun to leeward. Fortunately, they didn’t have enough boat speed to push us over the line. Meanwhile Battlewagon nailed the pin end on port tack and got across us all. We tacked. Sandpiper tacked to cover. Bad air! Tack toward the middle, then back again. Crossing Sandpiper, we’re on port… a deep and painful dip. By now we are behind the whole fleet. Conservative decision as the wind got lighter: push well beyond the layline before tacking. Great move! Sandpiper struggled to make the mark, and we rounded just outside them.
Leg 2: Great hoist, and quickly into a good mode, pulling away from Sandpiper on a hot spinnaker line. Up ahead we see Christephanie heading toward Burlington shore to pick up some better wind. Hot to it, then soaking deep in it. Great decisions, good trim and all the weight forward and leeward. Sandpiper well astern, and the gap to Battlewagon is closed down. Douse was a bit funky as we tried to free-fly and jibe the main, but everything got backwinded, so we just pulled down the kite and jibed around.
Leg 3: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE SHOULD ALWAYS DO UPWIND!!!!!! (oops, pardon the exuberance, but we had both speed and pointing on this near fetch to the finish line). Somehow, we got into the right mode right away and pointed at least ten degrees higher than Battlewagon (and most other boats), without sacrificing speed. It was such a pure delight to cut off a major corner on the course, and it put us in a position to take a bite out of Battlewagon. Meanwhile, Sandpiper was astern and fell off our line. We couldn’t quite fetch the committee boat, and focused on VMC. We dipped Pandora without changing course much, but then had to do a deep dip on Battlewagon, since we weren’t ahead enough to clear their bow. Once beyond, a quick tack to windward of them, and then a quick tack to finish at the committee boat. Battlewagon took the pin end seven seconds ahead of us, but it was enough to get them on PHRF.
Great teamwork, great conditions and a great result. Let’s do this again!