CATALINA TUESDAYS June 9, 2015
ONE EXCRUCIATING NIGHT
All indications pointed toward a wonderful night of sailing. Sailflow and Predictwind forecasted great wind. In the morning I noticed how blustery it was and anticipated great wind. Getting to the harbor, the flags were certainly flying confirming a great evening of sailing. Naturally, with this much wind we aggressively chose course 4 again: start, wharf, gov, finish. It seemed like a no-brainer. We blew the horn for the 5 minute warning for a 6:05 start and the wind started subsiding. From the time the horn blew until the start, the wind decreased from a steady 9 knots to 4-5 knots. By the end of the evening we would have welcomed 5 knot breezes.
On Pair a dice we decided a starboard tack start would be in order and set up for this. The problem was that we ended up with Diver Down directly to windward of us taking what little wind there was. They romped on ahead. On Pair a Dice, we watched as boat after boat in the parade tacked over to the inside and got stuck in a hole. It seemed like nobody was moving at all! We continued to sail further out on starboard tack and noticed that the wind was shifting ever so slightly and creating a lift for us. It lifted us so much that we ultimately sailed around wharf without ever tacking! We knew we were taking a flier sailing so far from the rest of the fleet and we really thought it would pay off for us when we saw a dark band of wind forming on the water from the East. It quickly closed on us and just before it hit us died completely.
Meanwhile we watched with amazement while Pacific Spirit and Makani rounded wharf and headed for Gov, they seemed to catch some great wind inside and were leaving us in the dust! It was excruciating bobbing around in no wind. The rest of the boats had retired and gone in and Pacific Spirit and Makani and Pair a Dice were still out in the quickly disappearing light. We were moving so slowly I quipped on my boat “I do have to be to work at 9AM tomorrow!” It is not like me to give up on a race, but this was too much. I announced on the radio “great race tonight, Pacific Spirits has won with Makani second”. It did not take long for Makani to reply “I thing we could take them!” and quickly Pacific Spirit came back with “Game on!”. We finally furled our sails and motored over to observe the finish and Pacific Spirit finished just ahead of Makani. Pair A Dice was DNF! As painful as a bob-fest can be, I gotta hand it to Pacific Spirit and Makani for their great competitive spirits!
You can observe the tracks on Race qs on this link. You must have google earth downloaded on your computer.
For this race we only had 3 boats upload their tracks. Please download and use this free app on your cell phone.
Bringing up YOUR game:
We all want to improve in our sailing abilities. Many of the boats are going to great means to improve their results. Improving the bottom of your boat, lightening the boat and getting a folding prop really helps. If you are serious about racing, emptying all of your holding tanks is step number one. Use the Race qs app to evaluate your helmsmanship. If your track shows you wandering all over the place, it only makes it more difficult to beat a boat with a steadier hand on the wheel/tiller. Are your tacks efficient? Races QS evaluates each tack with multiple parameters. The QRs beta indicator on Race QS indicates how well you are sailing, the higher this number, the better you are doing. One other thing is a clean bottom: essential if you are racing!
See you next Tuesday.
Barry L. Keeler
Sailing Pair A Dice