It was a beautiful weekend for everything including a race on the lake. The winds were about as high as we dare go in our overpowered scows. Judi reports that it was 12-15 at the start and 15-20 at the end. Iím sure some of those gusts were even greater. The course was set up with the weather mark up by the West end narrows and the start off of Pebble beach. It was a good course except we were getting some strong winds from the channel area that made it interesting at the leeward mark approaches.
The first group got off to a good start with most boats staying on the starboard tack, Rob, who port tacked at the start had a great clean air start off to the right. Clean air is less important when itís blowing 15mph; itís more a problem of too much air. The group converged in the center with Bruce, with this lucky grand daughter and Des and Rob all being in good position. Jim, Curt and Doug started next; Curt had his daughter along with him to help keep things pointy side up. It was a struggle for Doug even with his diet of beef sandwiches and the worldís best French fries he is still too light for these winds. Five of us started at the back, Skip, Mike, Jack, John and I. Jim and Jack went left and the rest of us went right. I am not sure which side made any difference since it was howling all over the place with lots of gusts to threaten your stability. I found that if the wind held for any period of time, say 30 seconds, I was able to get the boat healed very slightly, (almost flat) I was hanging out all the way with a lot of vang and going like a scalded dog. It was very exhilarating.I knew at that point I was faster than anything out there and tried to keep it going as long as I could. But this being Lauderdale, the wind would let up a bit or shift and I was back up over healed and trying again to get it under control. Talking to Jack after the race, he says he had exactly the same experience, no wonder I couldnít catch him. Anyway it was fun and fast between the struggles and I was able to gain on the fleet ahead. First time down I followed Jack but there were few passing lanes, everyone was going full out in the gusts and maintaining control. I expected to see a lot of capsizing at the leeward mark but to my surprise everyone made it around. Second time up was much like the first, keep it as flat as possible and tack with the shifts. The port tack had better lifts so we keep the starboard tacks to a minimum. I once got on a nice starboard tack with a lift and was able to close on those ahead. But I only got two of those in the whole race, the others were going almost away from the mark but it had to be done. Next time down I followed Mike, we were pretty close to the leeward mark with him having the inside lane. When I donít get the inside lane, I stay wide for two reasons, I donít want to hit anyone and If you play it right you can cut between the boat ahead and the mark, and end up to windward going to weather. I cut inside and it worked, I was ahead of him then I hear a yell and look over and Mike is down, said later that he was distracted by me and got broadside to a puff that did him in. Later on the same leg a rope that was tangled from the first capsize caused a second one and Mike had had it and headed for home. No damage he reported later. Now I was Jack I had to catch if the adage holds, you have to beat the ones you start with to win a series. I could get close, sometime real close, but could not pass him. Third time down I followed Dave C, (Dave Asbach was on the committee boat doing his duty and wishing he was in it. He does very well in these big winds). Dave C was having a good race; he was in the back of the lead group but ahead of Des and Rob. I have never seen him sail better. Maybe because his girlfriend and son were watching, but regardless he was sailing well. Before the race I advised he put on a lot of vang, outhaul and Cunningham, Dave only weighs about 140 lbs. He asked about the traveler and I suggested dropping it about 6 inches. He did. This gave him very good control of the boat and he could concentrate on sailing instead of just keeping upright. At the last leeward mark I finally caught up to him and figured I could pass anytime during the last leg. I took of footing to the right but when it came time to tack, I see Dave had pointed higher and was not yet behind, I tried harder on the next tack but again he we still ahead. This should not be happening, I can always pass Dave C, and with his traveler out how can he point so high and still be fast, I tried harder still but we were running out of leg. I went left, he went left, I went right and so did he. I donít recall telling him how to cover the boat behind but he picked it up somewhere. I made a last desperate attempt to go too far left hoping heíd follow and then I could reach under him and pass, no such luck, he didnít take the bait, but tacked over when he knew he could make the line and did so with me and my humility following close behind. I only learned after the race that my girlfriend (ML) was watching too.Some things we learned here, a bit of traveler out flattens without costing too much pointing and you will sail the best race of your life if you know your girlfriend is watching. Well done Dave, I believe youíve got it. Bruce and his granddaughter, (Rachel I think) won the race handily. Too the lead in the first leg and kept it all the way this after missing the last 3 races due to a fishing trip that got extended due to weather. Well done Bruce and Rachel.
Bruce and Rachel
Curt and Kathy (it would appear that the little extra weight helps)
Jimhe was pleased
Jack supprised that he finished that well
Dave CBEST RACE EVER
Peter loved it
Dougpromises to eat more
JohnI only saw John a few times and he looked good and under control
Skipsays he should have done better
Rob, He and I crossed a few times, looked like he lost a bit at the very end.
Des, says he was a little tired, I was real tired so itís good to know that Des gets ďa little tiredĒ
Joe, looked strong every time I saw him, not sure why he finished here. I expect there is a story.
Mike went home early
Rayditto. Donít blame him, tough wind for a new guy. Next time Ray, let out the traveler when it blows, it will flatten the boat right out. Something I am going to do next time.
Rex was out there but had some equipment problems and left before the race.
We also missed Walker, and Scott and Bill
Next week is the first Regatta and picnic at Hamiltonís, if you havenít already please let them know you are email@example.com or 742 4847 or 608 833 5876. Bring a dish to pass, drinks, and chairs. See you there.
JUDI JOHNSON"s Work sheet for the race with the wind direction and speed