Summer Series 8/18/12 Races 4,5,6 Hayden Legacy Lives
Just another great day racing sailboats on Lake Monroe, well not exactly…
A diverse group of boats, Sunfish, San Juan 21, Catalina 25, Precision 23, Hunter 23.5, Viper 640, and 29erXX, sailed in LMSA summer series races 4, 5 and 6, on Saturday August 18, 2012. The first race was very exciting. The storms to the South and West of the lake were close enough to generate winds of twenty plus knots without lightning. I was grateful for that. We shortened sail and I was thankful for the depth of the reef on the Hunter 23.5 mains’l. The wind veered just prior to the start which altered my strategy to start at the very favored pin end. Starting in the pack accomplished naught other than fouling the Viper. Up the first beat, the Sunfish (Jeffrey Hayden) was being unreasonably persistent in his attempt to roll us to windward. I admit that this audacity inspired my creativity and resolve. Being rolled by a fourteen year old in a fourteen foot boat that I had to give fourteen percent was too many fourteens. Allow me to demonstrate the definition of “lee bow”. He tacked away. When the wind relaxed, we shook out the reef for the last run but it did not help our finish. Jeffrey, being forced to the favored side of the course, (you are welcome) finished second only to the Viper and soundly spanked his dad and gramps in the San Juan.
In the second race our original start strategy was good. Coming in on port, to a short line, against skilled and confident competition may have been optimistic, even daring but it was successful. It entitled us to clear air on the favored side of the course and a short tack to the lifted layline. The payoff came at the end when we completed that race significantly ahead of Show Me and the Hayden Fish.
Third race, same start, worked well, proud, confident, and serene. First leeward rounding, jib hangs on bow pulpit, not fast, cleared, still ahead. Show Me, clearly behind, in spite of our slow rounding, rounded smoothly, is further left, pointing higher and going faster, unpleasant. We tacked onto starboard, short of the layline, but too late to keep Mike and Andy (Show Me) from crossing ahead and slam dunking. So, the Hunter manages a boat length gain albeit two lengths to leeward of the Precision and both are a hundred yards leeward of the starboard layline. As we continued well past the port layline, keenly aware of the fact that tacking would put us on a port tack, imbedded deeply into Show Me’s port beam, the glaring search for a hint of Show Me’s intent to tack intensified. At the first degree of Show Me’s luff, we tacked. I am very appreciative that Show Me did not fake that tack and return to the original course. That would have been so ugly. Hopefully, they would blow the last windward rounding and we could overtake but alas no. The genoa on the Precision has significantly more area than the Hunter so we were toast on the last run. The wind hollowed out a hole for a minute for Show Me and we gained until we arrived at the same hole. A steady and powerful wind line was approaching from astern with a Sunfish surfing and planing in front of it. Gee whiz. Three more boat lengths and this will be, what is that noise? Not yet overlapped, here comes the 29erXX, to leeward, chute flying, at ten to twelve knots, one length to go and we are headed directly at the pin. S and M stuff the 29erXX, the spinnaker, trapezes, tiller extensions that look like outriggers, and a triumphant smile, right smack into that space in front of the Hunter sail across the finish line and off into the distance.
At the scoring party at Wolfy’s, we discover that in the second race there is a tie for first place in the Portsmouth fleet. The corrected time for the Precision 23 and the Hunter 23.5 ends up at 0:24:11. Enthusiastic discussion of how either boat could have made up a single second ensues, until I realize that the scoring program only goes to seconds. Extensive calculations are accomplished based on an infinite number of decimal places to find that the Precision corrected in front of the Hunter by 14 nanoseconds. Actually upon further investigation with a slightly clearer perspective I find that the actual difference between corrected times gives Show Me a 126 millisecond advantage. I am going to go with a tie at 24:11. Just another great day racing sailboats on Lake Monroe, well not exactly… wb