for the first 50 feet off the line, then I never saw anything but his transom for the rest the race. He and I were tied for third in the Series, he won the race…….
The wind was good, the temperature was perfect, another beautiful day to sail on Lauderdale. The weather mark at the west end and the leeward near Sorenson’s shore.
Rex and Ray started first with Walker, Joe ,and Des going next.There were 8 of us at the five minute horn and it was crowded yet orderly at the line. I was very impressed that everyone seemed to get a good start.
I planned to go up the middle. Far left seem to be good but before the race I caught a bit of a great lift up the center.This was one of those lifts that win races, it just grabs the boat and points it right at the mark at high speed. This lift was right out of the west. The wind was forecast to come out of the west but at race time it persisted at southwest. But we knew that at any time it could shift west, that was the source of the lift. So up the center I go, Jim goes left and Mike goes right, both take nice long tacks to their destinations and given that they finished first and second, I think they had it figured right. I didn’t go to either side very far because I wanted to find that lift and ride it up the middle but going up the middle meant more tacks and in lighter wind more tacks are slower.
Walker made the mark first and Mike was close behind so it told me that going right might be better than up the middle. The downwind was pretty much of a parade, I tried very hard to go right and left butI could never catch the boats ahead, there were so many ahead and only after one leg, a bit discouraging. But I was ahead of Jack and that made me feel a bit better.
The next time up was the same, I went more right but in order to catch that great lift you had to sail parallel to the finish line, felt like sailing away from it at times, but catching the lift seem to make it worth it. I didn’t go as far right as Mike, thought he might get caught in the lee of the trees so again I took too many tacks. I look up the lake and see that Jim had caught the lift and he was pointing well above the mark, I mean well above. He cut so much distance off that leg that it put him in front , never to be behind again. Mike was looking good on the right but when he got within two hundred yards of the pin he died, nothing, nada just sat there as Jim rounded and headed down. Rob passed and so did Dave. I’m glad Mike didn’t have anything sharp in his boat, he would have slit his wrists. The downwind was a parade, no passing going on.
Third time up I go right again, determined to go far enough to catch that lift but as the winds got lighter off to the left I let it go and ended up going up the middle. I think Jim had the best plan, it was left off the start to around Doug’s, then go right past the center of the lake then ride the shifts. Now that the race is over it seems very right, especially since he kicked our butts by 1000 yards. I just had it in my head that the lift was not to the left so I never went there.
Mike had recovered and was back toward the front, the old Mike would have been so frustrated he would have finished poorly, the New Mike was back working his way up to a solid second. I finally passed Dave on the third time up but was passed by John who I don’t remember seeing close behind me, Rob too was right there and Walker as well. Last time down, I’m right behind Walker , I mean just a few feet behind and am determined to catch him. I try everything, walker just sits there calmly pointed to the mark, I go behind him, try reaching right then reaching left, I must have jibed 15 times trying to catch him, every little change I adjust the sail the direction my weight, I’m sweating like crazy, and don’t gain a inch. As we get closer to the mark I see Jack coming from my left and he has caught some serious wind, should have covered by getting between him and the mark but by the time I realize what was happening, he had the overlap and the buoy room.He did a great rounding and left me no room to cut inside so he was on top going up the last leg, Walker too rounded before us so I have two big sails between me and the good wind, I got to tack out of this. We work our way up, Mike is well up there and Jim is barely visible. We work our way up and again I am working to catch that lift and change everything. Rob and John and Dave are all ahead, I just got to catch someone. As we near the finish I can see from the lead boats that the west wind is at war with the south west wind. The shifts are 50 degrees or more, we have boats headed in all directions trying to get to the finish. I came in from the right and caught “The Lift” that I had been hunting all day but it was too little and way too late. Jack and Johnand Dave had gone far leftbut Rob had been left and caught the good wind to finish third, (Mike and Jim finished some time ago you see) but I had a chance to catch a few boats at the end. My lift didn’t bring me all the way to the mark, I needed to tack, then Jack catches the southwest wind and screams across for the 4th, I don’ t see John, he was right with Jack. I tack then tack again for the line and get the horn. Dave crosses next and then John. It turns out John saw another pontoon boat to the left of the mark and thought it was the committee boat and went for it, wrong. Committee boat is always on the right side of a starting line and the right side of the finish line. Compliments to Jim on a smart race, to Mike for no meltdown and a great recovery and to Rob for his second 3rd place finish this season along with his First place back in July. I want to make sure everyone is aware of the picnic on Aug 30, you are invited whether you sailed or not this season. Please feel welcome to meet after the race at Des and Joan Johnsons. We have some special entertainment planned that you won’t see anywhere else. Be There!!0
Order of finish is and your respective score going into the last race so you know who you have to beat.
Jim – 32
Mike – 35
Rob - 47
Jack – 33
Dave – 35
John – 53
Walker – 61
Des – 64
Skip – 61
Joe – 46
Rex – 151
Bruce RC -50
Sailors who we missed on Sunday and current score for each
Dave C- 73
Bill – 91
Next week is the last race of the season before the Harry S Truman, see you there