Spring Race #7
Wind – vacuum
Tide – Low 3:54
“If you’re not first, you’re last” – Reese Bobby
Wild race last night. A massive storm passing through Maine brought thunderstorms as far South as Fall River and sucked the air out of Newport. Great job by the RC in being patient and setting a fair course once the breeze filled in a bit.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about tonight other than whatever you’re doing, try to go fast. There was nothing about our race tonight that went according to plan. We thought we wanted to win the pin and lead left, but the set up didn’t really work for us so we ended up not being able to make the pin on starboard. I think there was a big wind shift, but Kyle is pretty convinced the 2 extra beers I had during the AP played a part. Scotty quickly realized that we should tack since we were in such bad position, but at least we ducked the whole fleet with good pace in a nice lefty! We hung out there with 107 to windward and 224 (nice to see you out there), who were over early, out to the right.
Somehow, the left near the Dumplings (where we wanted to go) got really light and we started to look better and better where we were and we were leading our small group to the left.
Next thing we knew we had a clear lead, wow. We’re in first! We rounded in front with 107 right on our transom.
Light air runs suck. Everyone hates them and when you round first they are extra stressful. There’s few
more frustrating feelings than rounding the top mark first and watching the boats behind press down inside you with better pressure, locking you out from jibing to get to the new shift. From the minute we set we we looking for an opportunity to jibe and we never thought we had a good look, too much bad air to sail through. Eventually, the forecasted NW wind came back in as we were becalmed and were the last to get it. We’re in last! I say last, but Bill Shore was South of us heading towards Castle Hill last time I saw him. Has anyone heard from Bill?
Fortunately for the home team, we eventually got going as the rest of the fleet started to slow down, presumably a bit in the lee of Rose. Having a full spinnaker (instead of a hanging one) became a real advantage over the rest of the fleet. We probably had more focus on that run that we’ve ever had collectively on board. It became apparent that if we simply kept moving, we’d get back into the race. The new leaders who were the first to jibe really slowed down after jibing back to starboard and we were crossing. We’re in first again! If we can just manage to get around the mark . . . Fortunately we were able to ghost around with the lead and hold on the short beat to the finish, with 226 nipping 33 for second.
It was one of those races where at the end all we could do was laugh really, as the race could have gone either way for us at any time. My takeaway from the race as I said at the beginning is to always make sure to be going as fast as possible at all times. It’s easy to get distracted when things aren’t going your way. But you can’t compound the mistake by going slow. Who knows, you may find yourself being the only boat with a full spinnaker on the course and sail around the entire fleet.
Great job sticking with it by our team for the night of Scotty, Nate and Kyle Martin.
See you North of the bridge next week!
Tim Dawson for #254 Aeolus