Race A4 make up for T storms
Thursday June 30th 2016
Wind WSW 0-6knots
79 degrees mostly clear
Mast blocks neutral
Lake level low for June but medium
Start on time 5:41. (With two recalls to follow)
On Board Resonance:
Kelsey Wheeler 2014 Dartmouth grad looking for work in Boston area as a scientist. Currently doing Psych lab research at Dartmouth. Let me know if you have ideas for her and I’ll pass them along. Richard Joseph
A few fleet members have asked me to continue log accounts after last year. Hope to work on log notes for you with the goal of education. The author is helped as much or more than the reader. Remember to be writing in your note book after each race too! I still have my sailing journal from age 16-22 yrs and it is still helpful when relearning tactical situations and weather.
The race course got set and the wind shifted left causing a postponement followed by a general recall. The third sequence where the fleet started was a fetch to the windward mark. The fleet stacked up by the pin. Mumbo Jumbo got the port tack pin lay line call correct and won the start with speed at the pin. Good one Mumbo! Eclipse was shut out above the pin and we would have been also but for being bow back enough to tuck in behind Mumbo’s stern. In thinking through the start and the two practice starts I had figured it would be better to be second best at the pin than front row mid line. Viento chose front row at the boat and had a clean lane and speed. Overdrive and Windshifter had good speed and clear air at go but were stacked close to leeward of Mumbo. This was an interesting and unusual race from the stand point that with fetch legs on all but one ( leg 3) positioning mattered more than speed. When positioning is the priority sometimes drivers scare there teammates in front of them with boats close by.
The first leg on port fetch the fleet just sorted a bit as some clear air lanes turned into bad air. We only had one choice to follow Mumbo trying to stay about a half boat width to windward of her line so as to maintain clear air and hope she rolled over the boats just to leeward which she eventually did. Once those boats (Overdrive and Windshifter) were slowed by Mumbo’s wind shadow we turned down to get close to them so they couldn’t tack. This is the type of positioning change that teammates always wonder about because it feels like the other boats are passing you as you bear away but in fact you are pinning them in place.
At the windward mark Mumbo rounded ahead and while bow back we had two boats pinned to leeward so they had to sail extra distance while waiting for us to get to and then get around the mark. As luck would have it the positioning paid off and so did starting to the left but behind verses further down the line. This is sometimes the reverse in similar situations.
Now we had a problem. Mumbo was ahead and the only leg we had to do anything of substance as far as passing was going to be leg three. We also had five boats within six or seven boat lengths right behind. This was the closest the boats have been as a fleet all year. Cool! But stressful!
Leg two has to be the positioning planning leg because there is nothing else to do but steer, trim the main perfectly for speed and make sure the jib trimmer is doing the same. About half way down leg two we had a little team powwow. Game plan: set pole before mark two, set spin just before the mark so it is full as we round, and get immediately on Mumbo’s air….oh yeah and stay to her left as we reel her in from behind. Somehow the plan worked and not only did she get reeled in but we were lucky to get an overlap by mark three on her inside. That was the ‘stay to her left’ part. In case of overlap, BE INSIDE!
The fleet stretched out a bit as the next two fetch legs played out. It looked like mostly puffs and lulls that cause this but also some bad air based on the upwind angle of leg four.
We had no children on board because we have two of ours at sleep away camp and the youngest Zander playing U10 baseball. His coach scheduled practice in Hanover 4:30-6:00 everyday. Sooner or later this will end and they’ll be back aboard. In the meantime we ate peppermint patties without them. It turns out they don’t melt quite as easily as Hershey’s bars.