Tuesday August 27, 2013
CONDITIONS: Wind East at approximately 13 knots, with clear, sunny skies
Course selected: Course 8 (Start to Blacks, Mile, Gov finishing at Start taking it to port), Start time was 6:15 with the Catalina 27 and smaller boats start at 6:13.
Diver Down and Aeolian were right on time at the line. Pair a Dice and Pacific Spirit did not fair as well and ended up late at the start. We were all playing catch up with Iris which was romping on ahead. For some reason, Pair a dice was able to roll Aeolian to leeward and followed Iris, Tessa and Diver Down around blacks. In the run to Mile, most of the boats ran a little hotter steering above the rhum line to Mile. Pair a dice tried to run straight to the mark. Iris was doing a great job of maintaining her lead and rounded mile pretty much right with Diver Down. In the run to Gov, pair a dice was able to roll Iris to windward. We love our long whisker pole which was a distinct advantage on this particular leg. The further we all moved toward GOV, the wind seemed to die more and more. Diver Down rounded Gov comfortably in front of us and continued further inside, after Pair A Dice rounded Gov, we got caught in a hole of no wind and the current swept us backward around the mark just as the other boats were coming down to round. We finally got some wind and headed further outside where we thought we saw more wind. The boats that took the inside track closer to the beach seemed to be moving in very light wind and were moving into some building wind. Alas the course was too long for most of the boats, as one by one they retired. Diver Down and Pair A Dice were slogging it out toward the outside in very light wind. Alas Bellisima (Erickson 35) joined us outside as the wind started to build again getting up to 15 knots again. Diver Down prevailed once again (by over 6 minutes) and Bellisima was second with Pair a Dice finally rounding third, having to tack again at the last minute to avoid the mark.
After the regatta, we all went to the yacht club for a Barbecue. We had the largest group yet with over 30 people. It was really great chatting and getting to know the participants s a little better. It was good to see almost the whole crew of Pacific Spirit show up for the Barbecue. We also got the lowdown on things that happened during the race, such as Aeolian snagging another strand of kelp which explains why we rolled them so easily. So much for my dream that it was our superior sailing. Those @#$%^ kelp monsters!
This seems to be the regatta season! In addition to our very fun Tuesday nights, there seems to be a lot of Regatta activity this time of year. The Double Ender was this last Saturday and the first of the Score Series was Sunday. Windjammer starts from San Francisco Saturday morning and ends in Santa Cruz and of course we have Big Brothers BIg Sisters on Sunday. September 22 is the Jack and Jill when husband and wife teams (or any Male-Female pair) can sail their boats against others. Both BBBS and Jack and Jill are a reverse PHRF start, which makes the starts much easier than fighting your way through a forest of boats of various sizes and speeds. Reverse PHRF start means that the slowest boats start first, sailors often refer to these races as pursuit races since the faster boat pursue the slower boats.
My wife chides me with "when will you ever get enough regattas?" One thing that keeps me coming back for more regattas is the chance to learn even more about sailing. Sure, you can learn while just out on a sail, but until you are comparing your progress against other boats (in a race) you have nothing to compare your progress and force yourself to learn even faster. Oh and the social gathering before and after regattas is nothing to scoff at either. I encourage everyone with a boat to participate in as many regattas as possible, just for the fun of it!