Saturday, June 23, 2018

SYSCO Thursday Night Summer Series Class C Cruising Class Race June 21, 2018

Crew tonight were Justin and Aaron. John was under the weather and did not come out. The wind started out very light and built to a good 6 knots by the end of the night, typical summer wind. The course was "V", Start-1-4-1-3-Finish. The initial call was to use Buoy 2 as number 1, but was revised over the radio to a mark. We did not receive the notice, but I did hear the four horns and saw RC on the radio. Did not know what the announcement was about and forgot about it until we noticed the fleet using the mark instead of Buoy 2. I need to set the handheld on the RC's hailing frequency, channel 72.

This race started off badly. We were almost becalmed on port tack just trying to get above the starting mark when La Dolce Vita came at us on starboard tack. La Dolce Vita yelled at us a protest because she had to alter course to avoid us. La Dolce Vita was sailing on the current's wind and what little breeze we had. I estimated the breeze to be 3-4 knots. We had little maneuvering room because we were windward of Upstart and had to give her rights. La Dolce Vita displayed a red protest flag and made sure we knew we were under protest and had to do a 360 turn to exonerate ourselves. We did it later. We made it around the start line and went to port close hauled tack. We had Blew Streak on our starboard and she went to port tack also. We rounded the windward mark. The crew did a great whisker pole set to port. The wind died and we drifted back a little until finally it built back in and we got going again. The wind was very light, but we were able to grab the lead half way back to the committee boat. I wanted to stay in the middle of the river because earlier we noted that the wind was very light on the Oregon side. We managed to get by the committee boat but the wind was just barely keeping us up with the current and we almost drifted backwards over the finish line. We got to the mark 4 with a line of six boats. There was a little boat on starboard tack on our port two boats over. The rest of the fleet was on port tack so had to give the starboard tack rights. When the first boat got within 3 boat lengths of the mark, we all were overlapped, thus had to provide mark room. That's when Upstart shows up from starboard on an almost beam reach port tack on the starboard of Blew Streak. Upstart yells mark room believing he had mark room from the angle he was approaching the mark. He was well outside the 3 boat lengths from the mark. But the rest of the fleet was under the obligation to provide mark room to the boats inside. Upstart was lifting Blew Streak believing he had rights. Thus I was watching the boat I had to clear while Blew Streak was watching Upstart who was leeward of him. The next thing I know is Blew Streak came over and landed on Aventura. Our gunwale was under hers and we was stuck. Blew Streak and Aventura pivot so that all Aventura's wind was shadowed by Blew Streak. The current kept me plastered against Blew Streak. The wind kept Blew Streak plastered to Aventura. Upstart gets entangled with us. I have no power due to not having any wind. It took us a while to disentangle. Thanks to Blew Streak who started his motor and back out of the mess. You can see what happened to our course at mark 4 below. We rounded the mark and hardened our sails on port tack. Blew Streak was on port tack up to Ryan's Point ahead of us. We tacked earlier than Blew Streak. We did our 360 turn also shown in the track below. We had to do a quick tack to port and back to starboard near the mark as we could not make the mark on our first starboard tack. We rounded the mark fourth and maintained our position until the finish. Again we had a few boats at the leeward mark to give mark room.

The crew did very well. Aaron was on the boat for the first time while Justin was returning to the boat from the spring series.

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