Friday, May 24, 2013

SYSCO Spring Series Thursday Night Race, May 23, 2013
What a wet night. Rain fell continuously throughout the race. Wind was from the south about 4 to 6 knots. There was just enough wind to get around the course. The course was roughly Start-at-R, C, R, C, Finish at R. Really it was the "B" windward/leeward course. Strategy was to start on starboard tack near the committee boat. The tactical ended up parking behind the start line and then going to a starboard tack. This worked well as we were first to start and were not over at the horn.

The wind was flukey. Both laps we tacked too soon and had to tack back up to the windward mark. The track tells it all. The track ends at the second windward mark. We ended up doing a close reach starboard tack back to the finish line in almost a straight line from the windward mark. Don't know our finish, but we DNFL. The RC announced our time limit to be somewhere around 20:56. I am not sure about the time, but it was suppose to be 2 hours after the start.

What would we do different next time? We encountered La Dolce Vita on the first windward leg after we had tacked to port. They were on starboard, but we were slightly ahead of them. We ducked behind them which gave up position. A more agressive stance would have been to tack to starboard ahead and slight leeward of them so we could force them to tack. Also, when we duck behind a boat, we should trim the sails for speed and use that to our advantage, rather than just falling off and coming back up to close hauled.

Another wonder is if instead of heading upstream in the light air, we headed downstream. Downstream toward the I-5 bridge usually has more wind than in the broad stretch of the river where the race was held. We were watching the water surface for wind, but did not see any more pronounced tells toward the bridge. There are many if-only's in racing.
The results are in. We are still in first for the series. We placed third Thursday.

Upon review of our course, I noticed we followed the same track back to the windward mark after tacking to port. Even thought we traveled much further up river. I stated to the crew that I wanted to go up further before we tacked. I felt we would not have to endure the low winds at the windward mark as much if we came up to the mark on port tack.

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