As the club is scoring this race, Bruce Thompson and I are tied for first heading into this one. Naturally, I plan to get a great start, lead wire-to-wire, and win. So much for that plan.
We got a great start at the pin end, which appeared to be favored for getting down the course - closer to the leeward mark on the downwind start. Again, a traditional downwind start for the ALYC. Would it have been so painful to send us up to a weather mark first? Apparently, downwind is how ALYC starts, and that's that.
Only half of my regular crew was on board, B, plus Claudia who is delightful, obedient and very new. While I thought B was up to speed with whisker pole work, I learned quickly that I was mistaken. He and I have only spent one session doing the pole, and that simply wasn't enough to get the concepts cemented in place. We spent the first 4 minutes of the race discussing how to set the whisker pole, and quickly slid from first to last place.
In retrospect, I should have had him hold the tiller and keep the boat on course, while I set the pole up... but i didn't realize until too late that would have been the right course of action. Oh, well. We live and learn, right?
I spent the long downwind leg jockeying for position between Jane and Dave, i.e. between 4th and 6th place. Somehow, I managed to break the overlap ahead with Dave toward the leeward mark, and then Jane had an encounter with a starboard tacker coming the other way, and took my stern. So I got the mark rounding ok, then spent the rest of the race trying to figure out what tack to be on. We did catch up a little on the boats ahead, but not nearly enough.
So Bruce ended up over the horizon in first place, and I got a well earned fourth place. I think this series will go to Bruce, unless a miracle happens next week.