Here's what I saw, but I too want to hear from Mike.
We moved the venue to Middle lake because the wind was forecast to build to beyond our limits and the race might have had to be cancelled. Seemed like a good call because there was plenty of wind in Middle but not too much.
We set the course with a 50 ft offset at the top mark and a gate into which you enter at the leeward end and could go right or left. The idea for both of these additions is to minimize the congestion of boats at the marks as discussed at our Brunch.
So the wind was maybe 10-12 at 10:00 and everyone seemed to have a good start. Some of us caught a starboard tack wind right in the middle of the lake that actually lifted us above the layline for several seconds at a time. As we began to work our way up I kept crossing with Mike and Glenn, sometimes ahead, other times behind but always pretty close. I believe Mike was first to the mark then me then Glenn. The downwind was all fun, stay in the dark streaks that were coming down the lake and you were fast.The second time up it was apparent that the three of us had some separation from the fleet and were looking good. Mike and I were very close the whole time up. During the next two legs I saw no one but Mike, he was the one to beat today. The third time down I caught a black streak early that he didn't catch and I passed him. So we are going for the gate I'm a bit ahead with only one more leg to go and I'm to the left and should be able to cover him and take the win,,,then we look back and the entire lake had turned into one big black streak, complete with whitecaps. I yelled at Mike I think we should finish here :). We rounded and headed up . I was on port, vang on hard, traveler almost all the way out and heading up. Remember those lifts I mentioned earlier on the first tack, those that lifted us above the layline,.. well those same winds on port tack move from 45 degrees front of you to directly over the beam, so I'm hiked out working like hell to keep it flat and next thing I know the wind shifts to and I'm swimming. I hadn't dropped the windward board yet so I need to get it down if I have any chance to get this thing up again. But then Bill shows up and lifts the mast and after a struggle I'm back in the boat and we're going again. A few boats passed but we're still in this thing. Or so I thought, in just a few seconds I'm swimming again. Bill helps me up but I'm exhausted and can barely get back in the boat, need more upper body workouts I guess. I finish in 10th I think. Jack also took a tumble, on the downwind, probably got the nose down, that can be a real experience we'd love to hear his story. I also heard that Jim lost it just before the finish. a story there too no doubt.
Mary Lou told me later that she and Bill were side by side in their respective vehicles and looked up to see the massive black water heading down the lake. She said to him Bill, I think you're going to be busy.......
Many thanks to Bill who not only was up at 7:30 to help set the buoys but did his rescue think in very trying conditions. We are so fortunate to have him in our club. Then he went on to serve brats at his place afterward.
Thanks to to Joe and Bunny for a well run race in trying conditions.
And a big congratulations to Mike for a hard fought race and a well deserved win.
Due to keeping the gear at Bills instead of here, I don't have the results yet. Maybe Joe could post them.
FROM MIKE JEAGER - WINNER OF THE RACE
Well as many of you know I love high wind races. Remember I started sailing on lake Mendota at UW Madison where winds were high and waves big. I think I concentrate and focus more than in our lower wind races. I actually was off by five seconds on my water so didn't have great strategic start but it ended up getting me to the boat end and a quick tack to port that left me in pretty clear air and a nice lift when I went to starboard. I basically was trying to cover Pete. He and i exchanged positions for three legs. On the last leg up he did go far right. Feeling confident I did not cover he closed from probably 30 second lead I had to a 10 second lead. He passed me on athe last downwind on the aforementioned streak I didn't get this time down. As we approached the gate I looked back and said to Pete be careful their is a monster coming or something to that effect. Pete stayed on port. I said now or never and immediately flopped over to sb after rounding the buoy and my boom went into the water and was within a millisecond of going over and as I was hanging on and flailing over the side wildly I saw Pete go over and divine intervention popped me back up. From there on I just knew I just had to stay upright. If you have race q you can see I was hugging the left shore on starboard and sailing on port away from the mark just enough to get back sb. I was keeping my I on Glenn who with that leverage was closing but had a big enough lead to reach to the finish which included three foot boat waves. Once I heard the horn I dove for the bottom of the boat as the boom was casting itself above my head. Now for the boat and my sailing upwind in this stuff. Max traveler out, max vang max Cunningham, max hike and the secret ingredient in winds over twenty raise your board 20%. Slide more with less weather helm. As for the sailing I focused on the cycles of puffs and "lulls" which were consistent and somewhat predictable from the black water and was always instantly ready to ease. Now for the other secret ingredient: I am mostly retired so I was out on the water twice including Saturday. I wanted more but it didn't work out but just having a little feel helped immensely .
Great race Peter and sorry the defense of your trophy had to end up with a swim.
One last thing. I owe Mary an apology. On the last leg up she had just arrived to help overboard Jack and was slowly crossing squarely in my path. I said "Mary can you move". I easily ducked below when I new she was stopping there. The safety of our sailors is paramount and those helping us deserve our gratitude. Handling a 28 foot pontoon with as much sail area as our boats in a25 mph gust while trying to help one of our tipsters is not easy on a light wind day let alone what we had yesterday. Sorry Mary and thank you for being there.