It was Fatherís Day and looked as if it would storm all day. Thatís what the forecast was, likely thunderstorms all day. But it moved off to the East and we were able to start the race in very nice wind coming straight down Middle lake. Everyone got off to a good start but Walker who lagged a bit, still getting used to the newer boat. Rob, Dave and Doug were out there in front but everyone was close behind. Mike, Jack and I started two minutes back and right away I felt the wind starting to build. Onepart of the forecast I remember was winds up to 15 mph. Maybe this was going to be my day, I love the heavy stuff. The three late starter didnít gain much going up the first leg the pack was moving good and there seemed to be no problems. Then the first one occurred. Rob when down about 2/3 up but didnít spend much time in the water, he was up and going pretty quick. Dave rounded first followed by Curt, Doug and Jim. Scott was next but he hit the mark and had to do a 360, he never made it. The boat spun and Scott was flipped out of the boat and then the boat sailed away. It sailed all the way to the shoreline and Scott had to swim to the South shore to get it. Good thing it didnít head East, it could have gone all the way back to the starting line. Downwind was not as competitive as we would have liked. It was hard to do it wrong, plenty of wind regardless how you did it. Pretty much stay in the center, look back and stay in the dark water with the breeze. Not many position changes in the downwind. Curt was third, didnít see it but downwind rolls are pretty common in this breeze. Got to make sure the vang is OFF or when the boom comes around it will take you right over. Curts boat was swamped so he was done for the day.
The second time up it was all Dave and Doug. I was very impressed how Doug, all 160 lbs of him, was handling the heavy wind. Usually we heavier guys have a leg up on him in the big breeze, not today, Doug was Dug in an flying. But not enough to pass Dave who looked as though he would lead wire to wire. John was 4th to take a swim in the middle of the race. Almost in the same place Rob took his. I remember that time up being very gusty, it almost caught me. Best prevention is to be up over the side of the boat at all times hiking out, then to be ready to ease on all the puffs, donít try heading up or anything else, puff hits Ė ease until the boat settles down then crank it in. Lots of work, never stops. To be sure we had our outhauls tight and the vang full on. Could also put on the Cunningham if you are lighter. I tried the traveler down a bit but I lost pointing so I put it back and tried to keep it flat with my weight.
Not much on the 3rd time up for me, but Mike hit the grove on this one. He got into the rhythm of the wind and was pointing up the lake on ice boat angles. He got close to Dave, Doug and Jimand he could smell a win. Never saw him sail better or more focused, not a single bad tack or flub, but took all the lifts and just screamed to the lead.Jack too got it figured out, passed me than then caught Dave, Doug and Jim. We must talk to these two guys about how they were dealing with the heavy wind, what their settings were because they both got it right.
Last downwind saw Dave and Jim get in a tangle just as they tried to round the mark. Jim must have been at fault because I saw him do a 360, but Dave took the worst of it, he became # 5 of the day and dumped. Last time up I really tried to catch someone. I was in 5th and had been close enough to Jim to catch him but he began to cover and I knew it was over. As I play it back in my mind, I think I sailed to healed to be fast. Itís always tempting to heal because you can point higher, but itís slower. I should have used a bit more Cunningham and let the traveler off about 3 inches and focused on speed instead. We need to see how Mike and Jack did it, because they really dominated in the last two weather legs. Maybe one or both will write something up and send to John for the web pageÖ..
Mike finished first, way ahead. Jack was comfortably second with Doug (hats off to a great race Doug) in third and Jim 4th. I really thought I could have taken Jim but it wasnít to be. He seems to get more focused if I get too close. Des was the 6th to go, got caught in the last minutes of the race. Boat swamped and we spend the next hour getting it home. But the water was nice and the sun was shinning. I think he chalked it up as a very good Fatherís day.
I also want to mention Bruce and Walker who DID NOT TIP OVER and finished the race. Well done guys, a major accomplishment on a day like that. Scott caught up with his boat and finished an amazing 6th. Rob finished with an 8th, Dave got a 9th and John 11th,you just got to love that dedication and persistence. Rob got up so fast after his tip, Judi didnít even see it or mark it on the official sheet. Well done Rob. I think most of us will remember this one.
The official order of finish:
Des and Curt did not finish, swamped.
We missed Bill and Dave Cleveland and Beginner Ray. Ray made the right call.