Friday, July 18, 2014

SYSCO Summer Series Race 5, July 17, 2014

Again this was a normal summer wind pattern. The wind was from the WNW along the river. Crew was Bill O. and Doug C. Our start was typical for this series. There were lots of boats at the start. Estrella Del Mar (EDM) was coming up leeward but overtaking on starboard tack. He tried to push us up and into the starting mark. I held my course and could argue that he was the overtaking boat and had to keep clear. Then right after the crossing the line, we over took River Weasel (RW) who was coming up leeward on starboard tack. We did a port tack to get clear of the group and get clear air. We encountered traffic with a boat on starboard coming down river. We had to tack to port before I had planned. We continued on starboard passing in front of EDM. We had gained a boat length or two by that time. We tacked to port to go to the mark. Again we encountered traffic. Another boat on starboard tack while we were on port. This time I started to pass astern, but Bill suggested we could make it in front. But by the time I took a look at the boat we were too close to pass astern or ahead so we did a quick 360 turn and maintained our position. We rounded the mark and set the whisker pole to port. We headed upstream to 14 staying in the middle where we found the wind to be best earlier in the evening. There ahead of us was RW. We were back about 5 boat lengths. We started to catch them. Then they would pull ahead. We would again approach them even getting our sail shadow on their stern. Again they pulled away. About 3/4ths the way to 14 EDM caught and passed us. We were able to stay with her to the mark and was able to cut inside her and the mark and gain a couple of boat lengths in front of her. We left the mark on starboard tack. After a while it was apparent we were not going to be able to make the finish on this tack. About half way to the finish EDM tacked to port and passed behind us. When we were able to make the finish on one tack we tried to go to port tack, but the sheet was trapped by the whisker pole. Bill had secured the pole to the starboard inner shroud above the starboard jib sheet. We had to wiggle a bit and Bill went forward to free the sheet. By the time we got straightened out, EDM had crossed in front of us and finished second. RW had done a great job and finished first. We finished third. The 360 turn is visible in the track as well as the wiggle near the finish.

Fourth Race SYSCO Summer Series 2014, July 10, 2014

Nice normal summer wind.  Crew was Bill S. and Doug C.  The course was S-2-14-F.  We had a normal start with an added advantage of Estrella Del Mar (EDM) being over early and thus having to restart giving us a nice lead.

We rounded Buoy 2 second right after La Dolce Vita (LDV) who had an excellent start.  We set the whisker pole this time and kept it up until 14.  We were able to catch LDV.  We tried to shadow her, but she kept moving to port to get out of our shadow.  She finally moved to port enough for us to break away.  Bill was watching the action behind us and noted that EDM was catching us.  She finally chose to shadow LDV who was shadowing Upstart.  The three of them slowed down and allowed us to further separate from them.

We rounded the leeward mark and I cause us to go straight to starboard tack instead of remaining on port tack and gaining some ground to go straight to the finish on one tack to starboard.  We had to tack to port to gain the finish line which we did and got the horn.  We had finished first.  This was the first time finishing first since the first race of the spring series.  We attributed it to Doug being our lucking charm.  This was the first race for him since his heart trouble.  Glad to have him back.

Here's the track:

SYSCO Dual Bridge Duel, June 21, 2014

The race is 12 miles long.  Start is on a line from Buoy 14 to the northeast corner of Rose City Yacht Club to either Buoy 3 back to Buoy 19 or vice versa, Buoy 19 to Buoy 3 and back to Buoy 14.  There was a 4 hour time limit.  Start was 2:00 PM.  First warning was 1:55.

Crew for this trip was Bill and my son Tony.  The wind was light and variable.  We had gusts of 8 to calm conditions.

We elected to head west.  Last year we headed east and caught a fishing boat and did not want to repeat that experience.  This year there were very few fishing boats our as this race is being held at a different time of year.

We did alright down to buoy 3.  Rounded the mark and set the whisker pole.  We elected to head straight up the middle as the wind was best there.  At least we tried .  There was another SJ28 racing today.  They elected to race in the spinnaker fleet.  It was fun gauging our speed against theirs.  We tried to stay in the wind and made it almost back to the starting line when the wind gave out.  We had to anchor twice for a few minutes each. The wind did come back but we had not gone past marker 16 when 6:00 PM came.  They race organizers set a 4 hour limit on the race.  We turned around then and headed back to the barbecue.

The barbecue was OK.  We did get food and one beer each before they ran out.

I really enjoyed having Tony aboard.