It was nice day of sailing with a north-northeast wind 5-10 mph. The current was a big factor as the trapezoid course was set on the DC shore. Robert Bennett and Jim Greenly ran trapezoids and trapezoids windward-leewards. Thanks to Robert for taking my spot and allowing me to sail.
It was a day of many firsts. All five races had a different winner but the first race was the most special. Since I wanted to try out the trapezoid I had to get together a fourth mark and I was planning on going out on RC so I missed the first race. But as I was sailing out I saw the finish. I saw two boats very close crossing the finish line. I recognized the orange hull (its hard not to) as Ian’s but I could not recognize the other boat. He was wear green shorts and a sail number I did not recognize and I know almost everyone’s sail number since I was the scorer at one time. What I was watching was the first bullet for a person who has sailed with us for five years. So the big congratulations go to Kevin Cowley his first first. Eric Petersen finally finished out of third with a solid second on the day and Ian Connors took the day. The last race was won by another person who got there first first this season Jim Klein.
3rd Place Writeup:
Yesterday was a cold day with a nice breeze. The wind was from a north-northeast direction and we were sailing on the DC shore almost in the channel. The current was definitely a factor in the first half of the day. The right side of the course was nearly in the channel which made for more current. The wind would shift but they were small shifts. The starting line was set shorter than most days which put a premium on just getting off the line. We sailed trapezoids.
There were two things that stuck out most for me during the day. The first was the short reaches and the downwind leg of the trapezoid. In the second race I rounded the top mark in fourth. Nabeel, Eric P and Will S were in front of me. On the first reach there was not an opportunity to make a move so I did not move up. Everyone pretty much sailed the rhumbline from the windward mark to the first offset. As the leaders rounded the first offset they all jibed. I instead rounded the mark and just bore off to a downwind course pointing at the third mark in the trapezoid. By the leaders jibing and me just staying on the opposite jibe I created the opportunity to make up some ground. As the downwind progressed the leaders sailed a little too high and then had to sail lower at the end to get to the third mark. With this I was able to move up to third. The next leg was a relatively short one to the leeward mark of the trapezoid.
Nabeel and Eric P started to sail high again on the little reach. I believe Nabeel was trying to protect the inside. I was sailing the rhumbline and the leaders sailed high enough that I was able to get underneath them. This is one of the situations where rounding on the outside is ok. I was trying to convert a third to a first. I had gotten underneath and just far enough ahead of Nabeel that as the three boats rounded I was on the outside but ahead. I had converted to first at the first leeward mark. However, on the last windward Eric P picked me off to win the race. The point here is even on the short reach legs moves can be made to move up.
The second thing was the last start of the day. I had started near the boat end all day and the last start was no exception. I had positioned myself to be right at the boat but one person had positioned himself even better due to the current going slack. That person was Keith Barron. At thirty seconds we were both luffing slowly approaching the starboard end of the line. At this point I knew if Keith did not fall off I was not going to be able to start. As twenty seconds came and went Keith was hold his position like a champ. At ten seconds I was nearly bailing out as I was going to hit the committee boat. At less than ten seconds Keith finally started to bear off. At that point I was just about to tack and go around but since I was not head to wind luffing I pulled my boom to windward and the boat sailed sideways putting me right at the boat. I was a second or two late but was right at the boat. I salvaged a decent start. The point
here though is, I always sail better and make decisions better when I am not being controlled. If at thirty seconds instead of waiting for Keith to fall off I should have realized that Keith had the boat and I had to re-position myself. Either by falling behind him and moving down the line or tacking away and circling around. On the line it is always better to be proactive versus passive. So Keith I will not even try to barge on you anymore.
Congrats to Ian on the win for the day and congrats to Kevin on his first bullet. And thanks to Robert for letting me sail. We go at again this Sunday.