Monday, February 04, 2013
Goals for the weekend:
1. To test a alterations to 2a/3a mainsail and 2a jib design across the weekends forecast ‘wide’ wind ranges i.e. moderate to very windy.
2. To work on generating ‘height’ upwind, to hold lanes etc
3. Race against some top FF sailors.
Saturday. Actual wind speed 5-15 knots, actual direction SW-W.... 3 Races. 1st warning signal 12:05, triangle and sausage courses.
Race 1. 3 laps. We had a nice start at the boat end on starboard which saw us in control of the fleet for the 1st few minutes of the race as we all legged it upwind in a right shift... we felt fast. Most of the fleet chose their moments to tack to clear air or for strategic reasons, all passing our transom. We waited for some indication of a left shift before tacking. After the tack we were well ahead of the fleet, we then felt the breeze go right and with a starboard boat coming at us decided to tack back to starboard. The breeze continued to go right up this beat with a big increase in pressure. Not good for us. After 3 laps we were virtually at the back of the fleet, we battled back to finish 3rd.
Race 2. 3 laps. Not such a great start, a little late for a short line and giving away the bias for our strategy. We rounded the top mark deep after another random shifting beat. GBR3957 and 3937 were doing a great job of getting the most out of the beat. Again at times we felt fast, perhaps with a slightly lower ‘VMG’ than certain competitors. With an increase in breeze for the last lap and pair of reaches we managed to just pip a boat on the line to salvage 4th from a long way back.
Race 3. 4 laps this time..Keen to not make the mistake of giving up the bias even on a short line, we won the pin end, waited for a shift and GBR3951 to clear out, tacked and were in control of the fleet. The breeze continued to go left up the beat with us on port. A late right shift enabled 3951 to get back at us and we rounded pretty much together. From there our race started to unravel. The breeze dropped right off and the unpredictable got even more unpredictable and we never got back into the race and scored a 5th (our throw out).
Sunday. Wind speed 15-30 knots. Similar wind direction, similar sized shifts...
Race 4. 3 laps. We started well in a solid 20 knots with the current Nat champ a little too leeward. They put their bow up pretty hard to avoid being rolled by us, we felt fast for our first outing in the big stuff. We tacked to port and were lifted 15 degrees or so, the rest of the fleet continued on starboard. After two more shifts we rounded 1st with a significant lead. We hoisted for about 20/30 secs on the 2nddeeper reach. 2nd lap and 3rd laps went well, we played it safe with a big lead and cruised home with no kite down the reaches for the gun.
Race 5: 3 laps. This race was amazing fun, with some enormous puffs up and downwind. With a right shift we were able to hoist on the 1st reach and sneak into 3rd by the gybe mark. Down the 2nd reach and near the leeward mark another huge gust snapped our guy rope clean in two so we dropped the spinnaker and sailed on under two sails. Matt managed to tie the sheets together and down the next run we gybe set and the leaders bear away set and closed the gap downwind. Up the last beat we had good boat speed upwind. The last two reaches would decide the regatta..3937 rolled 3957 for the lead, we then rolled 3957. A tight gybe in front of 3957 and we were off, but not able to catch Simon and Dave in 3937 who won the race and the event.
We were really pleased with the comeback and the pace which we had over some very good sailors in that breeze. We finished 3rd overall and the top 3 boats were separated by 3 points.