Saturday, June 14, 2008

Last Wednesday/ WBRA races #9 and #10

It started out like any other Wednesday evening race, 15-18 knots of wind, flooding on the outside and a building ebb on the inside... so, naturally you'd want to be the inside boat. But this time was different. The wind stated to fade right at the starting line. You could see it blowing well up course, but it just wasn't reaching all the way down the water. We started and 107 got launched, Peter was on his hip and moving well, Tommy and I were up at the pin thinking because of the better pressure outside we would get to it first and ride the wind line up the course. Oh, and Wilson was dead in the water in no wind, ha ha ha we thought.
107 and 113 had better positioning and current, but then the wind just died for all of us. Oh, and Wilson was over early, ha ha ha we thought.
As the wind died, I figured Tommy and I were in the best position to pull out of it and lead the race. Peter looked poised to jump out as well. Oh, and Wilson was stuck back at the line with no wind and fighting to get back across the line, ha ha ha we thought.
Tommy pulled out of it first, took off and it was quite a while before we did, so I thought we were playing for 2nd place. And Wilson had finally restarted.
It seemed like a dumb idea after seeing him tack even closer to shore as we pulled away in steady pressure and he was seemingly destroying any chance he may have had at a come back, but that Wilson guy is pretty smart... smart ass too, but that's a story for another day.
From this shot you can even see the wind line and he's no where near it!
Other boats in the middle of the starting line are still floundering...
This is Wilson tacking on what turned out to be a perfect lay line. See the darker water up above and to the left of Anita Rock (the little buoy)? Private wind and plenty of it, so much so that with the combination of favorable current he ends up 2nd to the windward mark and we were in 3rd. I couldn't believe it!
We all rounded together at the leeward mark, Tommy was still up course, but I made some silly tacking decisions now utter perplexed by the Wilson voodoo magic and slipped to 4th letting both Wilson and Peter get by. They both passed Tommy so Wilson got 1st, Peter 2nd, Tommy 3rd and well... we got 4th on a night that was basically a crap shoot from the start.
I can't complain, though. We have 3 firsts, a 3rd and a 4th and still lead the series...
With that said, the races today had a different twist and I'm psyched on the results. When Richard, Don and I raced in Bogense and performed quite well upwind, passing many each time, some Danish guy said, "If you'd get better starts you'd be dangerous." A backhanded compliment at best. Today in the first start, Tommy wouldn't give us any room at the boat end of the line and we had to spin around and start late. It must have sharpened my resolve because we were flying back up in the mix quicker than I realized. AS we got closer to shore, I felt like we were on a lay line and despite my crew's wishes I tacked way before anyone else. I was right. Everyone over stood by a ton and we nailed it. We were first to the windward mark and won the race. Tommy was 2nd, Peter was 3rd and Wilson was 4th.
In the 2nd race the "I" flag was displayed and we were over early. We blew the sails, rounded the committee boat and restarted way, way behind. Again, stiffening my resolve, we weaved our way back up with the leaders by the end of the first down wind leg. After the rounding we cleared our air, banged the corner at the shore where the up numbers kept coming up and the current was favorable. We tacked on our lay line and found ourselves leading at the 2nd windward mark. Held them off downwind and won that race too. Peter and Wilson over stood the finish and let Mike sneak into 2nd, Wilson was 3rd, Peter was 4th and Tommy almost got Peter at the end, but was 5th. Next weekend, the Woodies Invitational.


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