Monday, May 21, 2012

ALYC Sundowner Race 2

We left the dock as the "wind" went from a moderate breeze to a light breeze, and saw it shift from SSW to S in direction a few minutes before our race started.  The start was essentially a beam reach, and the race ranged from a close reach to a broad reach, out on starboard, back on port.  At times, the race was a drifter, then gusts came out of nowhere and pushed us forward.

The race was almost a parade, although I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory...  I had a great start, right by the pin, moving at "full" speed, right as the horn sounded.  I might have got there a half second early, but the R/C called "all clear", and I started to breathe again.  Steve Reed was two boat lengths behind me, but I got hung up looking at him and not steering my boat, and let him go to weather of me and roll on by.  We stayed in second for the entire trip around.

In retrospect, I should have luffed early and decisively, and made it clear that if anyone wanted to pass, they could try, but only to leeward. One problem I had is that I thought the south wind (beam reach) was shifting back to a southwest wind, but it never really happened, and I'm not sure why I thought it would

Later in the first leg, we were in a gust and I had a chance to threaten Steve's lead: I went to weather slightly, he luffed hard, and I dove to leeward.  Back in my windsurfing days, a move like that might have worked, but in a J22 in light air?  Not so much. 

By the end of the race, I was 150 yards behind Steve, and the third place, Jonathan, was 200 yards back.  It was a parade, but not a tight one.

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