APRIL 22, 2014
You would never guess it was April because there are no April showers, but at least we are getting some spring winds. All day Tuesday, I kept checking outside and watching the wind: it was nuking all day long. By the time we got out of the harbor, the wind had become a lot more tame. There was still a lot of wind, but not enough to have a reef in for us. Since the wind was blowing from the North, straight off shore, we decided on course 13. This course begins taking start to port, then Gov, Mile, Blacks then finish with start mark to starboard. We had 6 boats out this night: Sailing Pair a Dice, Pacific spirit, TOAD (Beneteau 32), Emeritus, Tres Santos and Free Spirit.
On Pair a Dice, we decided that a starboard tack start was preferred and worked our way into being right on the line in front. Though we managed a good start, the other boats were slowly grinding us down on the way to GOV. It appears that we were consistently getting headed while Pacific Spirit, our closest competitor seemed to be consistently lifted! We attempted to tack over to get to windward of them, but by the time we crossed them, they breezed right by us. We couldn’t believe it when they were able to round GOV without even tacking just ahead of us. Their boat handling was impeccable to make such a rounding.
On the way to Mile, Pair a Dice was able to set the pole a little quicker and moved into the lead, rounding Mile comfortably ahead of Pacific Spirit. On the long run to Blacks, Pacific Spirit was once again grinding us down closing the gap between us. Looking back at mile, it was very interesting as TOAD, Emeritus and Tres Santos seemed to be rounding all at once Blacks then Tres Santos.
This night was particularly challenging with the gusty conditions and with the wind shifting up to 30 degrees at times. Though Pair a Dice had a good start, what helped Pacific Spirit pass us on the way to GOV was an excellent example of keeping sails trimmed perfectly and squeezing every bit out of every lift that came along. The fact that they made it around GOV with no tacks at all is a tribute to their excellent boat handling (helmsmanship and sail trim).
There may be some confusion about my rules discussion last week. At the starting line before the start, the leeward boat can luff a windward boat up and even force the windward boat over the line. The leeward boat, having right of way can pinch a windward boat off and prevent them from “Barging”.
When rounding a MARK in close proximity, EVERYTHING hinges on inside overlap when either boat ENTERS the 3 boat length ZONE. This overlap, if close, is usually called by someone in the cockpit of the boat that is being passed, since it is easy to sight through the plane of the stern and tell if there is an overlap. If close, you will see someone sighting the stern and calling “no overlap!” or even indicating that there is an overlap if there is one. You will see more experienced skippers set their boats up so that as entering the zone they can turn the boat to break an overlap! If you can achieve an inside overlap AS either boat enters the zone, you are entitled to room at the mark. The size of the 3 boat length zone is determined by the first boat to enter the zone if the boats are different size. This all gets interesting when the inside boat claims they have overlap and the outside boat says there is no overlap. In these situations, you will hear the outside boat call “don’t go in there, no room”. In more competitive racing, these situations often end up in the protest room.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS NEXT WEEK (APRIL 29) IS BARBECUE NIGHT AT THE YACHT CLUB. PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING YOUR FAVORITE FOOD TO BARBECUE AND SOCIALIZE AFTER THE RACE. AS USUAL, THE BAR WILL NOT BE OPEN. BYO-EVERYTHING!
Officially this is not a potluck, but many of us bring extra to share.
Looking forward to seeing you next week.