Wally called after the race to give me the official results and asked if I’d write the race report, well I’ll give it a stab.
It was a beautiful day at Lauderdale, sun shining, a picturesque sky with a cloud here and there, the kind water skiers like – cuz no wind.At the start Wally, single handed RC, reported a wind of 1.5 MPH with gusts of 2.3 MPH (I think he got the 2.3 reading when he blew on the wind speed indicator).
Jim and I had practiced a partial run up the lake earlier; I took Doug’s shore and Jim more the middle of the lake, what wind there was (east/southeast) seemed to be compressing (a little more pressure) along Doug’s shore line.Jim kept moving in the middle of the lake and half way up caught a nice lift toward the mark.At that point his course seemed to be the favored.My 20-20 hindsight would say that he is excellent at patiently keeping the boat moving in light to no air.
But the wind diminished toward the starting horn. As Wally said, the wind was 0 to 2.3 (mph) and the waves were 2 to 3 feet, (all the skiers that thought it was a beautiful day came out).Generally it’s not good, when the waves are bigger than the wind speed.
At the horn, the scratch sailors were off on starboard tacks. I noted Rob a few minutes after the start, had a wonderful port tack (well trimmed) moving nicely toward the east shore of GreenLake, well in the lead.Bruce struggled to get to the start line, but then started moving.John showed up a little late (8 min to start) got a bad start, but caught up on the first leg.Jim did an “S” turn at the lineout causing me to do an unplanned 360 so at the 5 minute horn it seemed like Dave, Jim and Scott were in the “driver’s seat”.I was a little behind and as was John still making adjustments or talking to his office. Jim and Scott held a short starboard tack and talked a while, I flipped over to port and headed toward Doug’s shore, I felt like it was the “right” move.Jim flipped to port and followed up toward Doug’s shore, at this point most boats were along Doug’s shore and the wind was dying a terribly slow death.I thought I saw wind out in the middle of the lake, in the direction of Curt’s house, so I quietly headed that way.As I remember, Dave was ahead of me perhaps noticing the same thing and I think Des, Scott and John were over in the same area.We all died together as the wind never materialized. Meanwhile Rob, who had been and maybe still was leading, had slowed as well.These are times that try a sailor’s soul, some would jettison horses, some throw crew overboard (but not Bruce), some would jump, I tried tacking (equally stupid) and anything else to pass the time. I looked over and all the boats becalmed along Doug’s shore - - - were starting to move!They must have caught the dreaded 1 mile per hour puff.Joe particularly, had a great tack toward the mark, his bow down, sail trimmed, nicely healed and moving.I believe Rob was in the same air and Jim was closing ranks if not passing.We Watched.This may have been when I heard Scott say, “I’m throwing in the towel”.The leaders from Doug’s shore rounded the windward mark, our group, which I think was Dave, John, Bruce, Des and myself slowly worked to the mark, as we watched the earlier sailors move down the lake in a small channel of wind.John and I rounded the mark together and enjoyed a decent (1.256 MPH) downwind puff.He took the lead down wind as we all learned that the race was shortened to 1.5 laps, no complaints from anyone!On the way back up to the finish line, Jim led a long parade of boats on a starboard tack - generally a long tack (with a few lifts) toward Curt’s house.I decided I needed to do something different (like a Johnson flier), but the lifts in that tack toward Curt’s were too appealing - so I joined in the parade, but was able to lift a little higher than they were.John and I were together most of this leg.I think we gained on the group, but not enough.Jim found what must have been a small east breeze and as he does so well, kept the boat moving.He steamed south toward the finish line, finishing approx. 1hour and 16 minutes after the start, with Rob right behind (Rob also kept patient and well trimmed).Dave was on a similar final tack, but I thought if the great sailing Macumba was with us, John and I might have a chance to cross before Dave. Dave caught the east breeze and started moving. I saw it coming but as I started moving, John was in my way, I should have gone to his downwind side, but knew I’d get stuck in his wind shadow, so I decided to pass him on the windward side, as he realized what I was doing he got the wind and headed me up (as he should have – I wasn’t as polite at the time).Dave went ahead to finish third (nice race), and the wind died again, John held his course very close to the finish line buoy and took forth or fifth*, I floated across for forth or fifth*, bumping the buoy and John in the process, possibly pushing him out of forth (Wally reported me as forth). I got stuck at the finish line and almost blocked Bruce’s finish (although he wasn’t moving much either). By now, the wind was again nonexistent.Bruce and crew crossed sixth*, with Joe, who fell back after great sailing in the middle of the race, finishing in seventh place.Dave C. finished eighth, which is a great job in that wind! Des, was ninth, I think he got stuck in the middle of the lake, a couple of times, it’s hard to sail when there is no wind. Scott, who showed up on time, decided to call it quits early, not a bad decision.
*As I have replayed the finish in my mind, I must have hit the buoy first before hitting John, I’m not sure exactly when I crossed the finish line.A real train wreck for no wind.Therefore, the final order of finish for John, Bruce and myself is under review.
Wally reported the wind at the end of the race was zero with gusts of 1mph.All sailed a good race in difficult wind conditions. Jim and Rob capitalized on the rare opportunities of wind very well, reflecting their Saturday practice.
This has been a long explanation, for a race I’d like to forget.
And that’s the way it was… or at-least the way I saw it.Peter, back to you next week (thank goodness).Jack