Spring Series Race #6
Wind: SW 12ish
Tide: High 5:24
Apologies for the late report. After last weeks race, focus quickly turned to the weather picture for the Bermuda Race. A potential developing low off Hatteras put the faster boats (other than Comanche) at risk of seeing some serious boat breaking conditions for our types of boats. In the end 47 boats decided not to race including the entire Gibbs Hill Division.
This was an interesting race in that it took place during a current change. The course set was Q, 8 twice around. We had a good start in the middle of the line, with 253 having a slightly better start to windward of us. A small right shift gave them advantage early and they crossed and put a loose cover on us not far from Ft. Adams. As we continued on port in clear air, we considered stepping back to the left as there was good pressure and some left shift closer to the shore. We were in a similar situation a few weeks back and lost ground by not stepping back to the left. However we noticed 226 tacked early and looked better and better to leeward the further we went. There was a very distinct current line showing the current ebbing on the right side and still flooding on the Newport side. We decided to carry on across the current line into the ebb, which resulted in gains on the boats that stepped out past 253. We rounded the top mark in 2nd behind 253 with 226 right on our stern.
Thankfully on the run both 253 and 226 jibed early, keeping them in the ebb flow. 226 says they were heading for the wrong leeward mark. We stayed on starboard to get back into the flood flow and hopefully better pressure. This proved to be the race winning move for us as it got us into the lead at the leeward mark coming from better breeze and current. The race was tactically pretty simple from there as it made sense to get to the right side into the ebb, so we loose covered the groups behind, protecting the right side. It was a big advantage to be leading. We had a nice extension on the beat, but managed to give most of it back with a not so great set at the 2nd weather mark which kept us having to work hard for the rest of the race to keep the lead. 253 finished close behind in 2nd and a great performance by 33 to get to 3rd and keep the series close.
Thanks as always to the RC and look forward to seeing everyone out there tonight for the Spring Series Finale.
Tim Dawson for #254 Aeolus