First I would like to thank the RC crew of Captain Judi with help from John and Michelle. Great Start and Finish and thanks from Dave Cleveland and Curt our first swimmers of the year.
Since we were all starting together at the Start Horn it was tighter on the line than later in the season. It was important to get a good start and get the cleanest air. Jim, Walker Des and I on starboard, all got clean air going left and staying left. Most of the fleet tacked to port and went right. It appeared we had made the right call because we had a good breeze the first several minutes of the race. When we tacked back we still had a strong breeze and were confident that we had made the right choice. As we neared the center of the course we began mixing with those from the right. Mike was ahead followed by Scott and a few others. Guess they were doing better than it looked from my perspective. Jim had stayed on his first tack longer than I and passed me on the left. This is not going as I planned, but keep in it. My next tacks proved to be good and I was able to get far left and pick up a stiff wind lifting me to the mark. Next thing I see is Bruce crossing ahead and going hard, seemed like he was pointing much higher than those around him. Several of us got to the mark at the same time. I believe it was Scott then Jack then Jim then me. But lots of boats close behind. Dave Cleveland took a tumble just as he came around the mark. He was not last when it happened. He was able to get it up and finish but far behind. Curt also took a swim and somehow took on enough water to swamp the boat. He had to be towed by RC to his dock. I didnít have a chance to talk to Curt; maybe he can write us his version of the spill.
One the first downwind it was Scott and Jack followed by Jim and I and Doug. Jim and I gained on the next leg up and were able to pass them. Now it was Jim and I followed by Jack and Scott and Doug. It stayed that way for the next two laps; Jim in control followed by the rest of us. Scott took a flier left on the last time down and died somewhere near the girl scouts. I didnít see Doug again so Iím not sure what happened there. I was just keeping Jim as close as I could and trying to hold off Jack. The race was kind of decided the last time downwind. Jim was solidly in the lead, me next and then Jack to the left a bit. Jim went a bit too far right and was slow coming down to the mark at the end of the run. Jack on the other hand had stayed low and was accelerating the last 100 yds to the mark. Jack made it first and had the inside. But then he made a fatal error. Approaching the mark he came very close to it and then turned. In doing so he created an opening to his windward side between him and the mark. I had come around wider and then tacked into the hole he left for me. This put me above him meaning I am going to get the wind first. It made all the difference. That and the wind velocity: it was coming in as strong or stronger than it had been all day. So I cut through that hole hiked up and going fast, I got by Jack just enough to be in the drivers seat. So from this point on I just cover Jack, if he tacks I tack, if he keeps going straight, me too. About three quarters up the course I realize that I can win only if I can cover Jack and stay ahead of Jim. Jim had rounded just after us and I had no idea where he was. I was so focused on covering Jack I totally lost sight of Jim. Well if I canít see him Iíll just stick to the plan and cover Jack.
I canít say enough about that last leg up. In first place for the first time all day and that strong steady wind never stopped once till I crossed the line. When I finally saw Jim he was hiked on the low side riding a much slower wind duking it out with Mike for the third place spot. What a day. It just does not get better than this.