Written by Ted Johnson
Here is a quick write up for last Sat. Lucky for us there was only one race, and as such, not much to recall.
We got to the line a bit early and performed our typical prerace drills. Fortunately for us, we overheard two Rhodes sailors talking about the results of their 3 minute split up the leg. They sailed the course on opposite tacks for 3 min, tacked, and compared notes and position when the met again. Well, they felt that the pressure was a bit better on the left but the current relief was better on the right and after 6 minutes of sailing, they were basically on a collision course. Darn! That wasn’t all that helpful, but at least they performed the test and were willing to allow us to eavesdrop and ask questions.
We observed that the pin was favored and that port tack was currently the long tack to the windward mark. There was enough cloud cover that the sea breeze wasn’t a sure thing making the left a little more uncertain in our eyes. We decided to start near the pin and see what happened. Shred won the pin and within seconds was gassing us. Both Africa and Spring were over early. With Africa and Spring clearing themselves, and the majority of the fleet now on port tack, we saw an opportunity to clear our air. Because neither side appeared to be paying early, and the majority of the fleet was still going right, we stayed on port tack. The compass was up and down but ultimately was farther left than when we started. We tacked well before starboard layline. We felt that the upper left had more pressure and as such sailed to port layline. We rounded in first with Chinook close behind. Because the offset was upwind of the windward mark, we both were required to tack to clear the offset.
Downwind we stayed on starboard for pressure and favorable current. We jibed short of layline and jibed again for the mark. Super conservative sailing here.
We believed the two OCS boats made considerable gains going left on the first upwind. This in combination with Chinook tacking immediately after rounding made the left a good choice for us. We tacked far short of port layline and played it conservative the rest of the leg.
Downwind, we played it the same as the first downwind.
What I think paid most was that we were sailing (not by choice, we couldn’t find a fourth in time) close to 150-200 lbs lighter than we usually do. The wind was light and I think that gave us a speed advantage downwind.
Have a great week!