Monday, October 06, 2008

The Single Handed Race - 2008

Sorry, only one picture... I had my hands full. The Estuary in Alameda is such the perfect place to hold this race, flat water, medium light winds and not as ferocious currents. The race started off well enough, except Tom Reed Sr. shot off the front and Peter Jeal was slightly ahead of me as we all tacked over to port immediately after the start... the line was really badly favored at the pin end. I had some trouble getting my jib in by myself, but managed to settle in for a give and take kind of windward beat... sometimes I was gaining, sometime I was losing, but at the windward mark Tom was a ways ahead and Peter and I were close, but he was ahead of me (see above picture for visual on where Tom and Peter were, can't believe I actually pulled out the camera for this shot). We rounded the leeward mark (a channel marker) and headed back up for a 2nd loop around. Peter tacked over to starboard and later I found out his jib sheets got fouled and this really screwed him up. He fell back to 3rd and mixed it up with the rest of the fleet. Meanwhile, Tom sr was making good progress, but got headed a bunch and I managed to find a consistent lift that he never got. As we approached the windward mark Tom was straight ahead of me, but had over stood the mark on the latest of wind shifts. I tacked at the same time as he did thinking like my Swedish friend Donald Bratt once told me... tack early and hope for a lift. It worked. I got inside of him and fiercely protected my inside position in the classic style that Bill Madison would use. Tom muttered something about over taking boat and proper course, but he didn't have overlap and I didn't see a rule violation and he didn't put up a flag... he's probably right though. He's only a 7 time Folkboat season champion and not too shabby in the Knarr fleet now (3 time seaon champion). A minor tacking duel in good pressure and I ended up first, Tom 2nd and Peter 3rd. Those MP sails were the best purchase I've ever made... perfect for the light condition, too bad you can't get that same cut any more.


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