|Race Day 5: Report from on the boat by Isobel Sturgeon|
We awoke to a gorgeous South Florida winter day. The wind was out of the north blowing 12-13 steadily. The temperature was warmer too. We got a great start in the first race and pulled ahead. We made few mistakes calling lay lines and shifts. Again our crew work was spotless. We had a couple of rips in the spinnakers, but they held in the lighter breeze. We squeezed out a first place by four seconds.
In the second race, it was almost an exact replay of the first. The TP52s could not plane in these conditions so we were pretty much racing in the same conditions. It was an upwind finish, where we usually pull ahead of them. At the finish line Roger took our time and watched for their finish. We owed them 9 minutes 2 seconds. Roger counted out the time as our crew cleaned the boat and continually looked back at the finish line. He counted: "Three minutes! Two minutes! One minute! 30 seconds! 10, 9,8," Then began to laugh and said, "It's not even close!" And the crew began to laugh. When we arrived at the dock, our Managing Director, Dave Cardinali, told us that the Race Committee blogger reported that we finished ahead of them by 9 minutes, 3 seconds. One second!! It really is hard to race boats so far behind. We have nothing to gauge our performance against except ourselves. Turns out, we beat them by 9 minutes, 17 seconds which gave us a corrected time victory by 21 seconds.
It was great to finish the regatta on an up day. We always want first place overall, but in this regatta, we have to be happy with second. We can only hope to race against more boats rated closer to us in the future.
|Race Day 4: Report from on the boat by Isobel Sturgeon|
Wind 13-15 kts but few gusts. I reiterate: medium air is not our best. Two dogs, no sauce, or upwind, downwind twice, two legs 2.5 miles. Once again, it was very cold for us Floridians. Stocking caps and long johns were in fashion. We had a good start and sped ahead reaching each mark far ahead of the other boats in our fleet. Down wind we were not able to get Rosebud up on the step. But the TP52s, being lighter, could plane. They caught us on each down wind leg. We ended up with a 4th. And if it sounds like a repeat of yesterdays blog, it is. A bit repetitive here at KWRW.
Second race: again, no one would take my bet on what the course would be. Yup, upwind, downwind two legs with upwind finish. Sometimes the buoy regattas feel like a tread mill. Our crew didn't make any mistakes. But Ran was able to plane and capitalize on the information we telegraphed whenever we reached a mark or bit of the course ahead of them. We scored a 5th. Having been there in a TP52 racing larger boats, we know how fun that can be. But it was hard on us. Still it was another beautiful day on the water. The water was a turquois and the sky had clouds that broke into beautiful sunshine in an eerie winter sunlight that is rare in the Caribbean.
At the end of the day we were fighting for second place. Ran was in first and only had to show up on Day 5. We need to race perfectly to keep in second place in the regatta.
|Race Day 3: Report from on the boat by Isobel Sturgeon|
Wind 13-15 kts gusting to 18. I reiterate: medium air is not our best. Two dogs, no sauce, or upwind, downwind twice, two legs 2.5 miles. In shallow water, poor maneuverability. It was very cold for we Floridians. Stocking caps and long johns were in fashion. We had a good start and sped ahead reaching each mark far ahead of the other boats in our fleet. Down wind we were able to get Rosebud up on the step and surf a bit. Got a first by four seconds over Anema & Core, Ran got a third, 11 seconds behind that. Going into the second race we were all in very good spirits.
Second race: no one would take my bet on what the course would be. Yup, upwind, downwind two legs with a fifth leg upwind finish. Sometimes the buoy regattas feel like a tread mill. Wed targeted Ran at the start but failed to follow through and cover when they tacked away right after the gun. We never really got ahead. At the weather mark they were close behind and down wind they gained more since they could plane in 14 kts and we need 17 kts. We had to change jibs as well and so we had men on the bow which also hurts our planing. At 17 kts we need people in the back of the boat to get the bow up on the step. Then, we overstood. So factor it all in and we got a 5th. Boo! And because it was a cold dry north wind in the subtropics the 13 kts felt like 20. After that, I was too cold to have a cold beer. Not the best day racing. But it was a beautiful day on the water. The water was a turquois and the sky had clouds that broke into beautiful sunshine in an eerie winter sunlight that is rare in South Florida.
At the end of the day we were in still in solid second place. Ran was in first. We need four firsts to win the regatta in two days with two races each day. I wonder... will it be upwind downwind twice for the first races and upwind downwind finishing upwind for the second like the last three days? Or will they show some imagination and throw in a reaching leg? I can only wish. Otherwise, it's a bit of a treadmill for the crew and owners like me.
|Race Day 2: Report from on the boat by Isobel Sturgeon|
We were expecting 25-30 kts of wind. At 8:30 AM got a green light from the race committee because the wind was around 15 kts gusting to 17. The first race was two dogs no sauce (upwind - downwind twice, with an offset mark at the weather mark). We sailed well. Part way through the race the wind built to 17-18 kts. We could finally get on the step and plane. We lost our cheat sheet that told us what we owed the other boats and thought RAN beat us by 1 1/2 minutes, corrected time.
The 2nd race got started in the heavier air which held through the race. It had the sauce we like with our dogs. (A fifth leg and upwind finish). The wind was shifty but our tactics were decent. We didn't have a lot of room for anything fancy anyway because there are shallow spots all around. In fact, the weather mark was moved after the first rounding because the race committee had it in the wrong spot. We were grateful because we had absolutely no sea room beyond the mark. If the finish had been there we would have had to do a 180 after the finish to avoid grounding. Our crew work was graceful. We used two spinnakers rather than try to pack one in such short time (2.5 miles) and heavy air when we could better use the weight on the rail. We thought we got a first but it turns out we took second (behind RAN) by 34 seconds corrected time.
After we crossed the finish line in the 2nd race the race committee told us we had gotten a first in the first race by 7 seconds (unofficially). We were very happy. Smiles broke out all around. Then a dolphin fish breached in front of the boat and Matt Smith broke out his fishing line...no bites.
The wind continues to build and the cold front is coming in late. But the temperature is dropping. More tomorrow :)
|Race Day 1: Report from on the boat by Isobel Sturgeon|
Wind 13-15 kts gusting to 17. Medium air is not our best. Race legs 2.3 to 2.5 miles. In shallow water we have poor maneuverability. We notified the race committee that we had only .4 mi after the start line on starboard before we would be forced to tack. I felt that gave everyone on the water notice that we would tack for sea room no matter who was in our way. I'd rather hit another boat than shear off our keel.
We had a good start and sped ahead reaching each mark far ahead of the other boats in our fleet. We had one spinnaker rip because of crew error; it happens. It was our new orange Team DYT spinnaker which we repaired between races. We got a third in the first race to a TP52, RAN, on corrected time. I hate losing to TP52s.
The second race went better because it had an upwind finish. The TP52s get us in a downwind leg, so adding a weather leg at the end of the race is a help. It poured hard during one upwind leg. It was difficult to see and the rain hurt. But it tasted good. We got a 2nd in the race. RAN got us by 25 seconds. They got two bullets on the day. It's difficult to race such disparate boats because you don't really have a great gauge to see how well you are or aren't doing.