Day 2 was designed as a passage
race but it turned out ot be some weird 3-leg diminishing sausage course. 5 mile beat, 5 mile run, 3.7 mile beat, 3.7 mile run, 2 mile beat, 2 mile run. At the bottom of each run was an offset mark of about .5 mile. All the beats are against an incoming current
of 1.5 to 2.0 kts.
Very stupid. Additionally this race was pretty much all the marbles. In last week's 3 races the winner earned 1 point second 2 points etc. 3 races and best score is a 3. Worst is a 21.
This week 1 race points are doubled. Last place is 14 points. 2 races this coming week - same as week 1. Of course we are oblivious to the point system at this point...
Anyway building on our learnings from last week we decided the rig was too loose and we aren't sheeting hard enough. As conditions change we have to react faster to tuning the boat. And for Pete's sake stay in the middle!
We had a great start but another change this week was PY, IRC and J24s all started at the same time. Last week we had our own start.
We decided to stay as upwind as possible without getting flattened. There was a 42 foot Swan and a TP52 hitting the line with us. We definitely didn't want to get crunched.
We ended up as the 5th boat on the starboard tack. Pretty good except next to us was a monster boat. We let her accelerate and made a short tack to clear air - Note to self get the hell upwind of everything bigger short of hitting the committee boat.
After the second tack we started identifying our class. Good news! We had good position and we were following the 800 lb Gorilla of J24s here (Angel). We followed her and while we were pointing as well we did not have the boat speed. We stayed in touch for about 10+ tacks - about half way up the first 5 mile beat. Then she was a mile or so ahead. I put her at 15-20% faster than us. And we were doing well.
We were pacing all the other boats and we were crossing and uncrossing with probably the boat we should be competing with (Jock). Each tack or so one or the other gained the advantage. Quarterdeck was behind us and closing. She was about 4 boat lengths behind and we we both on Starboard tack.
We tacked they tacked and then - Scream! (girls on board) - Kawahaaaammmm!!!! - We looked back and they tacked right into a starboard boat - a big one - that we had timed our tack to pass behind. Lot's of screaming some gear
trailing in the water but thankfully no one hurt. Then they keep sailing and they are now bearing down on us. The skipper
has a bit of a dazed look on his face so we start shouting for him to do his turns - we didn't want him anywhere near us.
He finally gets the clue and does a 360 - He was supposed to do a 720.
After that we got back to focusing on Jock. We decided it was lightening up and we adjusted our rig settings. Good call. We got speed and pointing ability on Jock. We eventually beat her to the top mark by about 6 lengths. We were in 3rd place! The other boat Juno is the 400 pound Gorilla. The only way we beat her is if she makes a mistake. Angel can make a couple of mistakes
and we won't catch her. We were a couple of minutes behind Juno. Not bad after about 2 hours of racing
Then we decided to rewrite the book on downwind sailing. tearing out chapter after chapter of good advice. Basically we sailed 60 degree reaches for some damn reason. We had 5.5 kts boat speed in fading conditions but our VMG was between 4 and 4.2 - Duh...
Everytime we crossed the centerline the bad guys were closer. Until they caught us... one... by... one... and in our paralysis we didn't let the cluebird land on our shoulder and change our tactics. We did repass one boat. Who passed us again... We ended up losing 3 places on the downwind - total idots.
We tell ourselves all is not lost
- we'll get them in lap 2 but after about 3.5 hours of racing
the committee decided that their course was stupid and shortened the race to one lap. Realization dawned on us as we approached the bottom gate that no one was going back up wind
Notes to self -
1/ If you are doing something different than everyone else it is because you are the smartest or the stupidest - you have to figure out which.
2/ When saililng downwind it generally helps to point the boat downwind.
3/ When you round the mark in 3rd place and out of touch with 2nd and 1st - you play defense. We were acting like we had a point to prove. We should have watched the other boats - especialy Jock who went right - and covered. For Pete's sake they had to pass us!
Oh - well hard knocks and hard lessons.
PS - Like the groovy team shirts I designed and had made? Like, how could you lose with shirts so cool - LOL...