The original hope for the evening was to have enough of our regular wind to run two races to make up for last week’s cancellation. Aeolus laughed!
The Committee Boat left the marina with the normal light Northwesterly breeze but beyond the breakwater the air was very light and confused as to direction. While waiting around for the evening breeze to settle in it was noticed that a strong wind line in Admiralty Inlet was moving into the Bay.. The CB went to investigate and found an apparently steady 5 – 7 kts. from 350°M which would make SBGF a good windward/leeward course. Although winds from North through East in this area are rarely settled, the pin was set. Before the CB could anchor the wind backed 80°.
The CB waited to see if the wind shifted back. When it did not, the pin was retrieved and the CB headed back into the Bay where wind was now apparent. W/L course SCGF was set and the RC hurriedly completed their preparations and lowered the AP flag. Only then was it noticed that the wind had completely died. AP went back up.
After a while the wind came back, slowly built and started to fill the bay, but it had shifted to 285°. Fortuitously the CB was anchored on the line from I to T. A passing competitor was pressed into moving the pin to square the line. The course changed to SITF (3.1 nm.) and the fleet was started, 45 minutes late, into a 3.5 – 4.5 kts. and building wind.
Several boats started running the line about 10 – 15 seconds too early and even though it was a long line they arrived at the slightly favored, and crowded pin end to be forced head to wind by boats already there.Two boats appeared to tangle with the pin or each other (or both), did their turns and continued on. Doug, on the bow, and Joe, at the tiller, are probably still arguing if Caveat was over early. She almost was, luckily the start line runs to the course edge of the pin.
The wind pretty much held direction and even strengthened for the first upwind leg and the first third of the downwind. Then it began to fall apart, softening and becoming patchy. Two thirds of the way to the tower Gennys had replaced Kites and boats were hunting for cat’s paws that seemed random in direction. Pacifica avoided this mess by sailing in a wide arc to the South and carried spinnaker and stays’l to be first at the tower. Unfortunately, due to the strong current, she had to run her engine to avoid hitting the tower.
The final windward leg initially continued the cat’s paw hopping, but approaching the finish, the wind stabilized in its original direction at about 2 kts.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Midsummer Regatta – see poster below.
continue reading » Summer Cat’s Paw Series – Race 3, Results and Standings