This week we were dealt a gale warning. While the skippers were consulting their auguries the wind at the Boat Haven, which had been increasing all afternoon, was light and unstable. Speed varied between 3 to 10 kts with occasional gusts, the direction varied 20 or more degrees either side of magnetic West. There was little indication that a big blow would arrive any time soon so the fleet opted to go out for a race with a dock start.
At the dock the wind was much steadier in direction, cycling 5 deg either side of West, making YT a useful L/W leg, so SDYTYDF (5.7 nm.) was set again. By start time the wind was 8 – 12 kts and rising, complicating making a good start but most boats nailed it, the leader with 3 feet to spare.
The mystery of a strange “echo” after each horn blast was solved when a huge male Sea Lion was found trying to take a nap on the float below the dock.
Watching the fleet round D, a line across the bay ahead of them was noticed where the water became darker and scattered with whitecaps. The building wind produced a great downwind leg, only two boats ventured a kite but it did not appear to gain them much over the rest of the fleet. It was about this point that two short-handed boats wisely decided to retire. The following windward leg was a challenge for over-powered boats to stay off their ear, a quick hand on the mainsheet was key. The final legs were a romping reach.
The finishes were not as close as usual but under the conditions more or less a minute between boats over a 5.7 nm. course is pretty good. The wind at the dock during the finishes was up to 12 – 18 kts. with gusts well over 20.
NOTE:- Next Wednesday, Race 8 is the last of this series and will be celebrated with a barbecue afterwards in the fore-court of our sponsor Admiral Ship Supply. Please save something for the RC who, by nature, get to dock last.
To keep the momentum going, the first race of the Summer Cats-paw Series is the following Wednesday, June 6 th. Same time, same places.