Sunday, June 05, 2011

SYSCO Spring Series Race 5 (Actually 4, because Race 2 was called.), June 2, 2011

The course was R-C-14-R due to the southwest wind at the planning stage, but the wind changed to westerly by the start. The starting line was setup east-west at R just off the Kaiser dry docks. The start was not awful. We did get over the line withing a minute of the start. We were accompanied by the usual suspects, Second Half and Brenda Lou. We started on port tack and managed a sort of broad reach but more close hauled to crab straight for C mark. The mark was set further south than it usually is in the summer due to the abundance of water. We were in a crowd of boats by the mark. The wind by the mark was lighter than on the Washington side. A note I should have made to myself. We rounded the mark about 3rd or 4th.

After the mark we set the boom out starboard and the pole out to port. I started the crab toward the mark. We were close the the marina but not within the 150 foot line. We were among three boats that took this route. Second Half and Brenda Lou were the other two. Second half had ducked in around the mark first coming to the mark on port tack. He set his pool to port, too. His lead varied from 3 to 7 boat lengths. But he was not heading toward the mark but a distance to the right of the mark. This distance grew as we approached Buoy 14, the mark. I had been crabbing to the mark the whole time and thus the extra distance Second Half had given himself to round the mark gave me enough lead to round the mark before him in third place. I was not aware that two of our fleet had already rounded the mark. They had taken the middle of the river course from C to 14. The had more wind and current, but the more wind was enough to get them around the mark before us. Current did not play as much a part when the river is this high and the wind was light and gusty.

Some more interesting things happened at 14. First there was this rain squall. It hit us about 10 boat lengths from the mark. Which greatly increased our speed. It hit us first, then hit Second Half, but the difference was another help in closing the gap. The second interesting event was a log floating down river. This log was some 50 feet long and full of snags. The timing of this log could not have been better for us. There was enough room for us to round the mark, but by the time Second Half rounded, he had to go around it. Which further lengthened my lead. The rain was now in our faces, but there was wind. Plus the current gave us a boost. We managed to maintain our lead to the committee boat and place third.

We were awarded second place for the series. Each race had its learning points.