Resonance Log Series A Race 7
Wind SSW 5-8knots
July 13th 2016
Mast blocks neutral
Lake level low for mid July
Course 4 double sausage
Start time 5:41 pm
On Board Resonance
Brian, Marianne, Courtland (age 12) and Zander Doyle (age 10)
This was a great race for the whole fleet. Seven Sonars finished closely and there were five lead changes. The course was square for the mid-range of shifts. The start line was slightly boat favored but only by 5 degrees and this was off-set by what looked like and turned out to be more wind on the left side of the first beat.
We had planned to start boat end and at about 40 seconds to go were battling for position at the boat when we realized the line was wide open farther toward the pin. There was left puff forming as well so we begin sailing down the line in order to get left of the fleet. We ended up starting fairly close to the pin in no traffic. Viento was over early in a crowd at the boat. Mumbo won the start about a third down from the boat. Clear air and left puff coming helped us gain back the distance the boat end starters had on us with slight boat end favor. After three tacks on the up wind we rounded first with several boats close behind.
Mumbo sailed downwind in more breeze to the right of us and passed into first. They had good speed and lined up the puffs better than we did.
After the leeward mark I was reminded how important a good leeward mark rounding is. We rounded and came out high and pinching slightly. Mumbo was about four boat lengths in front but about a boat length to leeward of our line. This proved helpful in that we were able to choose our destiny. If you round behind and to leeward of the boat in front you either have to sail in bad air to get to the right or tack to starboard to get clear going left. Either choice is less good than being in clear air going right and able to tack when you want. This is only accomplished with a good rounding at full speed.
The long windward leg was shifty with velocity range. Our goal was to sail the lifts and to get to the right of Mumbo near the top of the best so the last cross would be with us on Starboard in case it was close enough to force them to duck. We ended up doing only one of these and it worked. It turned out the shifts were bigger than I thought and therefore more important than positioning. We tacked nine times on the second windward leg. We ducked Mumbo on port tack and they ducked us on the next cross. We were dead even for close to half of the leg. This was really exciting especially for Zander and Courtland. It turns out they are more competitive than I thought. After Mumbo ducked us we sailed left for what turned out to be a left shift and puff that brought us to the mark about three boat lengths ahead. Whew!
After holding Mumbo off on the run we decided to engage for the last short upwind by forcing them left of us. After a good leeward mark rounding we started pinching on port. This makes it so when Mumbo rounds a few boat lengths behind even if they have a good rounding we are automatically between them and the finish. Since Pauli’s Exclusion Principle taught us that two object can’t be in the same space at the same time, we know they can’t go through us so they’ll have to sail extra distance to go around us. Our goal was simply to stay between Mumbo and the finish line. Because we had pinched up before they rounded we were not only more lined up with the finish but there was the extra bonus of them being in bad air. This drove them to want to tack to port. In order to stay between them and the finish we let them get a slight bow forward position on starboard tack so that as we are going left we are more directly in line with the finish. The more left we go the more bow out we allow them to get. If they tack to port and try to go right which they tried we tack directly in line with the finish which is straight in front of them. This worked well as far as positioning but only worked with the fleet because there was just enough separation to allow us some breathing room on the third place boat Eclipse. If the third place boat is close behind second this tactic is no good as you can risk loosing to the next boat. In this case Eclipse was coming on fast but they were too far back for the short upwind.
Zander ate his share of Peppermint Patties and so did the rest of us. They held there form at 88 degrees.