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Another Classic Wednesday Night Summer Race- July 22, 2009

posted Jul 24, 2009, 8:31 AM by John Edwards   [ updated Jul 28, 2009, 9:47 AM ]
The July 22nd Wednesday night race at RVYC was another classic Victoria summer evening. The temperature was about 25 degrees C on shore, and about 20 degrees on the water, so it was T-shirt racing. There was a 6 to 8 knot southwesterly that was shifting back and forth about 20 degrees.  At the start of the race there was a significant ebb current that flowed south through the course, however by the end of the night it had switched to a flood heading north. 

There were four TBirds out for the evening, Vidas in Owl, Geoff in Sirocco, Bryan on Kolus, and myself on Cool Breeze.

We were the fourth start so it took a while to get going, however at the gun all the 'Birds were on the line with assorted other boats such as a San Juan 24 and a Crown 23. Larry, the owner of the SJ24 had lent his boat to a women's crew practicing for the Canadian Women's Championship so he came on board with us as guest tactician.  His input proved to be very helpful.

Cool Breeze was on the line at the start closest to the committee boat, which is where we wanteed to be.  We quickly drove over the SJ 24 below us forcing them to tack away, and held that windward position as we sailed towards the windward mark.  We were a close second behind Owl rounding the weather mark.  Cool Breeze and Owl both did jibe sets. We did ours by doing a white sail jibe.  Before the race started we had sailed up the course, and found the side to be favoured.  After the jibe with the genoa, we put the spinnaker pole up on port, and hoisted the chute.  We have found this is often more efficient than trying to jibe set with the chute at the mark, and getting the jib and spinnaker all tangled up together.  This is what happened to Owl, and while they were geting everything cleared away, we grabbed the lead. The rest of the downwind leg was in light air favoring the port jibe.  At the mark we were clear ahead of Vidas with both of us approaching the mark on starboard with Cool Breeze on the inside. We dropped the chute, then jibed and hardened up around the mark. Vidas was behind us.  As we sailed up the course we kept Vidas behind us by tacking to cover when he tacked.  About three quarters of the way back up the course, we thought we were on the lay line, so when Vidas tacked out to the left, we let him go. There were other boats in the fleet that we were also racing so we did not want to overstand.  Big Mistake!  We suddenenly sailed into a header, and Vidas gained significantly.  As soon as we felt the header, we tacked to get back in front of Vidas, however he had pulled up so that he was only a couple of beat lengths behind us at the windward mark.  In the process of getting back in front of him we went through some kelp, and picked up a streamer on the rudder that was there until the end of the race.    At the leeward mark we did our jibe, then hoisted the spinnaker as before.  Again it went well, and Vidas had some difficulties but cleared them quickly.  It was now a horse race to the leeward mark.  Owl is supposed to be the fastest downwind TBird around, and she showed her speed, even though Vidas and Hilary had put their cruising cushons on board that day in anticipation of going cruising this weekend.  That probably equaled the fact that we had an extra person on board in the form of Larry.  As we sailed down the leeward leg, it was neck and neck.  As we came past the finsih line, one of the J80's from a fleet ahead finished, and sailed right behind us.  This did not help as we were blanketed for a few seconds as he crossed.  A couple of minutes later, another cruising boat crossed behind us.  This made the difference and we were now about a foot behind Vidas' stern going into the leeward mark. If we could have held the overlap, we would have had control on the upwind leg. Such was not to be, and Vidas stayed on top us through the last upwind leg to the finish.

Behind us Sirocco and Kolus were having a good race, with Geoff coming out on top.  He had his best start for a Wednesday night race, and felt that he sailed his best race.

After all this excitement, the fleet sat down together on the lawn, and shared som BBQ ribs and burgers (and associated beverages).  All in all a great summer evening. We will be back at next Wednesday, although Owl is going crusing, so we will have to find someone else to duel with.  Next Wednesday is Pirate Nite, so we will be dressed in theme.

Arrrrgh me hearties! The skipper says that lashings shall continue until crew morale improves.