Sunday, May 06, 2012

SYSCO Spring Series, Thursdays, May 3, 2012
The race course was listed as S-1-4-1-3-F. The committee boat was set up south of buoy 14 as the finish. Poncho set a starting mark out south of the committee boat. The winds were up to 14 knots at the start of the race. We had a good start, crossing the start line about 10 seconds after the horn. Our plan was to stay in the channel and use its current to push us to the windward mark. The mark was placed up into North Channel upstream from the Tomahawk Island wing dam.

We did not round the windward mark first. Estralla del Mar did. Our first tack was too soon. We were doing great speed and then tacked to starboard. It shows in the track above that this was not the wisest move. We over estimated the current carry the first time. We had a full crew again. So Chuck was foredeck. He had problems with our whisker pool and it seemed to take forever to get it set. Bill O. even went up there to help. Chuck needs to spend some time with the pole and make friends with it. We will practice it this Thursday when there is no race. On the first downwind leg, we stayed closer to the Oregon side thinking the current would be less and we could get better speed than those boats that stayed in the channel. We were behind Estrella by about six boat lengths by the time we rounded the mark. The mark is the eastern most end of the track.

The second upwind leg we again stayed in the channel taking advantage of the deep water current. The wind was dying now. We still had the head sail furled to 100%. We rounded the mark still a bit behind Estrella but we had made up some in this leg. The first tack after the mark was too soon, from observation of the OpenCPN plot. We stayed in the channel again as long as we could. Then we tacked to the mark. The wind was dying even more as we rounded the mark. The second downwind leg was just a problematic as the first. Chuck really has to make friends with that whisker pole. We crossed the channel as best we could. At times the wind headed us and we could make upstream more. After crossing the channel, we were able to turn into a beam reach to the mark. Poncho was sitting at the mark with the course shortening flag and we were able to finish second. We were also the last boat to finish in our fleet as the wind continued to die. Two boats finished out of 5 that started.

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