This was the second race of the day on MillLake and was the race for the ROJO Cup.
Since we had 3 new guys starting back for the first time this season, the starts were a bit more balanced, with 6 boats scratch and 5 boats back 2 min.
Joe had had some starting instructions from Zack last week at the Sailing Tune Up and we determined to do better. He had a great start. Problems at the start were that it was starboard favored right up until the gun went off and then we get this big shift left and one by one everyone swung to port. Unfortunately some swung before being clear of those still on starboard. So some friendly ducking occurred and everyone got going right. Everyone except Rob that is; the sudden shift left messed him up good and he could not find the wind to get going, so he sort of sat two boat lengths back from the line desperately trying to get the boat moving. I and 3 others (Mike was RC so not there with us) stare at him expecting any moment he will catch the wind and go. We just sat there and watched. Next thing I hear the 2 min horn and realize that I am 10 boat lengths away from the line, not moving and cannot believe what had just happened. So we dig in and get going, first Jack and then me and Scott and finally Jim. Jim was so far back I heard him say, I might as well head home!!
But we did get going and it wasnít too long before we were catching the back of the fleet. I look out to the weather mark and see Curt, Joe and Dave Cleveland round it in that order. Now I didnít mention Dave in the first race because he was never quite in the first race, bad start, lots of pinching too high into the wind and too many tacks looking for better wind rather than getting the boat to go and keeping with it. It was just a bad race for him. But now he is third to the mark and moving fast. And how about Joe, second to the mark. This guy took Zack seriously and was showing it. No fancy moves just solid steady sailing. Curt never let go of that lead, wire to wire he was the man.
Again I found myself following Jack, we were again gaining on the fleet but I was having trouble catching him. Finally on the first downwind I was able to gain some on him and rounded the leeward mark right on his tail, we both headed left in a medium breeze going about Ĺ way up side by side. He was to my right but far enough ahead to tack left and clear me. And he did. Right after he did I look up the lake and see this beautiful dark grey water coming from the Sterlingworth and headed for the Island. This was a good stiff breeze and I wanted to be in it. The breeze I was in was not all that good and I was tempted to tack out of it. What if Jack found something left and Iím poking around here waiting for that wind. I kept saying wait, waaaiiiitt, itís going to be great just be patient, wait, just a bit more wait ÖÖhere it is itís here its building yes yes better, stronger than I though and on the same tack it just grabbed me and Iím off like a scalded dog. Donít care what Jack is doing, this is great wind.
I hit the lay line and tack, no knowing if this wind is only good on port tack, but no it grabs the sails and again Iím on the high side riding a yellow rocket straight for the weather mark.
Had to drop down just a bit to keep the speed, put in a short 10 second tack and was around the mark. Sailing the same course really helped today on the downwind. I found a path I like and kept it for every downwind leg. It was fast and predictable. I look around and see that Des, Joe and Curt are the only ones ahead, I pass Des and begin to reel in Joe and Curt. I know Curt is hurting up there. Itís hard to hold that lead when you think someone is gaining and I was gaining. The pressure on him is intense. He thinks every move he makes might be wrong and after such a great race he loses at the end. He is really focused at this point. So I work to gain on Curt and Joe up and down again. Now we are on the last leg up and I am really cooking, obviously gaining but running out of time. I again catch that strong wind from Sterlingworth and am on the layline to finish. Iím 200 yds out on starboard, Joe is ahead on port, comes up to the layline and tack in front of me to keep his position between me and the finish line. But Iím gaining and gaining, the horn goes off , Curt has won, but I want to pass Joe and give it all I got and Iím gaining I am less than a boat length behind, Ĺ a boat length and the horn, Joeís done it. Great race Joe. 2nd wire to wire. I mentioned I passed Des a ways back, but I was the last to do so, he battled with Jack and held him off for the 4th, very good day for Des considering he beat last years champ in both races. Not sure what happed to Jim better he explain it sometime.
Finish as follows:
Rob, once he got it going he really got going
Scott, no idea what happened here
Dave C, was in the race the whole time
John, this guy got 2nd in the first race today.
Mike was RC
We missed Dave A, Doug and Bill today. Sorry you were not there, it was an exceptionally beautiful day on Lauderdale.