The wind was out of the south today, 180 degrees, straight south. We really don’t have a good location for a straight N S race. Bruce and I set up at 8:00 AM with what we had but it had to be radically changed to get the course to be fair windward leeward.
The winds were light but with some nice lifts. It was a pretty crowded start with Dave and Mike and Bruce seeming to get the best of it. Doug got stuck in the back row but it didn’t deter him. The wind lightened up after the 5 min and I barely made it to the line 2 min. later. But that lull let Jim and I catch up to the back of the fleet in the first leg. Dave and Connor (how was celebrating his 9th BD) Cleveland sailed a pretty good first leg but got the “confused” close to the mark. Rob used to have this problem too. When you get close both tacks seem to take you away from the mark so you hang there pointed too high and not moving. Fall off either way and get going, the next tack will take you right to the mark. Dave lost several places at that point but hung in there and remained with the pack for the balance of the race.
Dave Asbach, who is always good in flukey wind held the lead at the first mark and every mark after that except the last one. Doug went right after the last leeward mark so as not to follow Dave who went up the middle. The wind had been clocking around to the right all morning so Doug picked up some lifts and passed Dave by just seconds. (Clocking around means the direction the wind comes from changes like points on a clock. If the wind is coming directly from the first mark at the beginning of the race and you assume that is 12 o’clock on you watch, as the wind comes from the 1:00 or 2:00 it means it is clocking to the right. If it were to clock to the left it would start coming from the 11:00 or 10:00 o’clock position. If the winds clock on our lakes, it is generally to the right.
I was in the race about half way up the first leg but not after that. Jim continued to work his way from the back of the fleet up to a 4th place finish, I never got closer than 8th. I had some good runs but the people in front were too good, not making any mistakes.Bruce had a heck of a race, did well last week and this week got a 3rd. Very well done, he was up there the whole time.
The wind never did let up to cause us to drift, it had some great lifts in it and steady wind down.We completed the race of 3 and ˝ laps in about an hour with no one lagging. Beautiful day, tough competition and all smiles at the end, looking forward to next week on Middle lake. We need a good stiff West wind for this one. Also the free clinic with Zack at 9:00 am on Monday. Let me know if you plan to attend. firstname.lastname@example.org
See the following contribution from Jim, who sailed a much better race than I.
Race 2 had parade written all over it with fairly light winds and a course that didn't require a lot of tacking to weather or options heading back to the lea mark. Also seemed like one of those "right place at the right time" races with an occasional puff here and there and unpredictable small holes you could get into without warning.
Before the race, Doug and I tried figuring out which side of the windward leg was favored. He went up the left side and I went right. I tacked back when he did and crossed each other dead even half way up. Didn't seem to matter which way you went but he mentioned he got a little header as he got closer to his shoreline.
He headed back for the start and I went a bit further up the course and felt like the right side as you got closer to the mark might have an advantage once you picked up a lifting breeze coming from the middle lake channel. Headed back for the start.
Watching the fleet take off two minutes ahead is always a little deflating, especially in lighter air and knowing that the fleet is pretty evenly matched under these conditions. Dave had a great start and took the early lead up the left side with everyone else in close pursuit. In spite of what was learned prior to the start, and knowing it was unlikely to make up much ground doing what the lead pack did, I wanted to try the right side on the first leg but I ended up starting on the pin end of the line with Peter in much better shape above me on the committee boat end. Not good. But we caught a great puff off the line and made up some ground on the fleet early on. Half why up I flopped over and headed right. Sure enough, the top half seemed favored with a bit of a lift heading toward the mark and I got by a couple of boats before rounding. As I rounded the mark and looked down at the leaders, I noticed Dave, Doug and John were heading straight down the course while Bruce and Mike stayed below them in clean air. I followed Bruce and Mike and we seemed to have an advantage. Not much happening. however. As lead boats rounded and headed back up, everyone took the same route up the left side on the second leg so I stayed on port tack for a couple hundred yards after rounding before heading back up. Staying right seemed to work and gained a little more ground on the leaders. At this point I really had no idea who was where on the race course. I knew Peter and Scott were in the hunt somewhere, John, Joe and I were duking it out here and there, Scott, Doug, Mike and Bruce were hot on Dave's trail. I was just kinda in the mix hoping for a lucky puff or something. Got focused on really working the puffs heading back down wind, slightly up in the lulls and slightly down in the puffs, and snuck by Mike below me and John above me, again staying out to the right. Everyone else was above us riding a nice puff down but slowed up when they had to ease back down in order to fetch the mark.
Last run up to the finish, Dave lead Bruce up the left while Doug went right and caught a huge shift that took him straight to the finish without a tack until just before crossing the line. From my perspective following Doug up the right side, I got the feeling that Dave and Bruce felt good about their plan of attack since Doug was no where near them and didn't seem to be a threat. As Dave flopped over and headed for the finish, out of no where comes Doug up the right side, Doug tacks just ahead of Dave and beats him by a boat length. I'm hoping to do the same thing to Bruce for third but he was in total command all day was a comfortable two minutes ahead of me at the end.
When Peter asked me to write a couple of paragraphs about this race, I said sure, no problem. But I'll tell ya, how he manages to sail competitively and see exactly what everyone is doing throughout the entire race and sit down hours later and put on paper in concise, humorous and humble reporting is beyond me. .......
All I can say is I saw Mikes back most of the day, John and Joe above me going down wind most of the day, Dave, Bruce and Doug too far ahead to catch, and the rest is a blur. See you on my home course, MiddleLake, on Sunday.