Write up for Saturday, August 8
Prepared by Dave Franzel
What a gorgeous day to be sailing! Both Predict Wind and Sailflow called for a NE wind around 9kts shifting to E between 12 and 1pm, then continuing from that direction without much change in velocity. There were a lot of cumulus clouds which earlier in the Summer might have presaged an increase and a shift to the right, but each time we looked at those clouds they were further inland and not advancing to seaward as t...hey do when a sea breeze is immanent.
Prior to the start of the first race, it was not evident to me that either side had more velocity nor did it seem likely we woiuld see the forecast right shift on the first beat. Wind velocity was about 5 knots. Our rig was set at 15 and 6. We started at the boat with 342 and 245 to leeward. They were both sailing faster than we were and eventually tacked, crossed us, and lead around the mark in that order. Chris, sailing Ted’s boat, came out of the right with speed and crossed us on the starboard tack layline. We rounded fourth. That was the order at the finish despite the effects of the right shift that arrived on the second beat.
In retrospect, I wanted my jib cars slightly further forward, maybe an inch less weather sheet and I should have kept the bow down more. In 5 and under keeping the boat moving at speed is the main priority. That keeps the blades working. You aim lower but track higher. Patrick and the guys in 245 were doing that very well.
Wind was up to ~9 so we tightened the rig to 18/8. In that range I find having the jib clew about 1 1/2” from the cabin top works very well. There was periodic chop which I dealt with by putting on just enough backstay to stabilize the rig and reduce forestay sag, then easing it again in smoother water. In fact, the backstay was my main control in that race. We started at the pin with Frank and Chris to windward. When they finally let us tack we were on layline and managed to arrive at the mark first, followed closely by Frank and Chris. That held until the final run, when Frank’s team executed a jibe better than we did and passed us for the win.
Wind might have been up to 10. Again we started at the pin with Chris on our hip and Sam to windward of him. Chris tacked away early and when we were able to cross Sam we tacked as well. We got to the mark first, with Chris close behind. On the second beat sailing parallel to Vitamin J and about 4 boatlengths to windward I became curious whether using backstay as primary gust response control or responding with only the mainsheet would be more effective. Remarkably, in those conditions, they worked equally well.