Thursday, May 26, 2011

2011 WNR Race 4: Finally, a course that isn't A1...

4 boats braved the expected light conditions to start race 4 of the 2011 AYC Wednesday Night Series. In a light 5-10 knot southeasterly, we started on course B3 which meant we were going to have a nice long sail out into the bay, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful evening. During the prestart, we determined that the boat end of the line was favored. We expected there to be a right shift during the first beat, so we wanted to be able to go right. We made a timed run at the boat and started with good speed. We had Second-2-Nun on our leebow with Argo on their leebow. Skybird started on port at the pin and was behind all of us, but going right. We quickly forgot our overlying strategy as we focused on driving the boat fast. We rolled Second-2-Nun and they tacked away and we were left trying to match course and speed with Argo. As soon as we felt that we could head back to the right without running into the shallow water off Bembe Beach, we decided to go, and Argo went with us. Well, the right had turned out to be the right side of the course after all as we came across, Skybird was now ahead of us by several lengths (they had been several lengths behind when we crossed them initially). The good news is we had good speed and had managed to work up on Argo and Second-2-Nun had not gained. We tacked on the starboard layline to the red mark and with a good tack and good speed, passed Skybird back to gain the lead at the first mark.

The course to the 2nd mark was about a beam reach. Rather than using the kite (we felt it was a little too tight for that sail to be good), we elected to stick with the jib and dropped our leads forward. Skybird had the same thought after rounding several lengths behind us. However, Argo and Second-2-Nun decided to go with their kites and this paid off for them as they were definitely faster than we were on the reach. Second-2-Nun was able to pass Skybird but didn't quite catch us, rounding about 2 lengths behind us.

The next leg was a beat. Skybird tacked out early to clear her breeze, while we went left with Second-2-Nun following close behind us. As the beat wore on we were able to gas them and work ahead. We went all the way to the port tack layline and came into the mark in first by several lengths. Second-2-Nun was next, followed by Skybird, then Argo.

The last leg was a broad reach in to the nun at the harbor. About 3/4 of the way down the leg, they announced that we would finish at the nun. No positions changed on this leg as the steady southerly breeze propelled us all through the gate in the order we had last rounded.

All in all it was a great night of sailing and a beautiful sunset! Look forward to seeing y'all at the Miles River Race this coming weekend!

Full results available at:

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