Wednesday, May 04, 2016

SYSCO Spring Series - Race 2 Thursday Nights - April 28, 2016

I can't believe I have not posted in over two years. The race was course TT ( Start-1-3-1-3-Finish ). The wind was like the normal summer wind from the west-northwest. Poncho put a "1" buoy out in the middle of the river across from McMennimens. The "3" buoy was located off Rose City Yacht Club. The committee boat, start, and finish was about at "C" mark. Crew for the night was Bill S. and myself.

We chose a starboard tack to start at the mark end of the start line. We had made a run at the mark and discovered it was way over toward the Oregon side of the river from the normal start lines. We adjusted. We were a little early to the start at 7:00 PM. We are in the "C" Cruising class with La Dolce Vita (LDV), Braveheart, River Weasel (RW), and Blue Streak. Blue Streak did not show. We walked the line for the ten seconds and turned when the flag dropped. La Dolce Vita was on our tail while the other two boats where behind her. We went to port tack as soon as we could to get over to the main channel to get into the current. Upon looking at my track later I discovered we tacked too soon back to port. If we waited a little longer we could have remained on port tack long enough to eliminate two tacks later. The wind was good enough to carry us. We ended up tacking to starboard a little early and passing behind LDV. They were making better time to wind than Aventura. We are going to have to experiment with the sail settings now that she has new rigging. The head sail sets differently now. We tacked back to port to get up to the windward mark. We were doing fine until I heard Bill say we are in a collision course for Braveheart who was on a starboard tack. In the moment all I could think to do was a 360 turn, which would get us up behind her and clear. You can see the kink in our track before the windward mark. It shows as a yellow area between two light blue tracks. On hindsight I think if the crew was ready we could have just tacked to starboard and be in front of Braveheart and to leeward. We would be almost in a line to the mark if we headed the boat a little. The result was that we were the last around the windward mark.

Bill set the whisker pole to port with the boom to starboard making us on a port tack downwind. We inched over to the 20 foot depth and then headed for the leeward mark, which I did not see for quite a while. We ended up looking a the track not heading straight for it but a curve to the south. Meanwhile RW did a beeline to the mark. She stayed in the channel a little more. We were catching her for a while, until she got into the shallower water with more wind. We did alright because both LDV and Braveheart went over to the Oregon side and tried to beat the current but lost some wind.

We caught up to Shadowfax an Elite 36.1 owned by Michael Nance. He was in our class last year with Estrella Del Mar a 29' boat. He is living aboard his new boat now and carrying all his belongings. I latter learned that he hit Vaporware on the start of his race and spent some time untangling the two. In the track you can see where he slowed us down toward the end of the leeward leg of the race.

We rounded the mark with Shadowfax who turned to a starboard tack while we turned to a port tack to get back the the main channel and the current. About that time a barge had to come up from the I-5 bridge through the racers. He was far enough downstream that we went to the main channel and tacked back to starboard and headed over to the middle out of his way. We sailed on starboard looking for the windward mark. By this time the sun was setting. We could not see a mark. So I headed for buoy 2, thinking the mark had been picked up. We finally picked up the mark and saw Poncho off to the starboard of the mark. We could see her navigation lights, but could not see a flag. But why else would she be down by the mark, but to shorten the course. It was getting dark anyway. We finished second.

Click to enlarge the image:

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