Eight boats came out to enjoy our second distance race (it gets boring going round the buoys all the time) in spite of a weather forecast for light winds and rain. The course length was 22.1 nm. as measured from the 3 fathom line at each headland.
The start was on schedule, even though the fleet barely had steerage-way and the wind was oscillating between S and SE, because of the need to benefit from the tide. After about 10 minutes struggle the fleet picked up steadier and stronger winds as they got clear of the land past Point Hudson.
Sparkle reported some highlights of the race “We had a great race. Saw Orcas off of Pt. Wilson!” and “Felix & Sparkle rounded inside w/P. Is. to STB. Sea Puppy & Martha rounded to port just after. There was a 10 knot outflow wind from Discovery Bay and whitecaps. Because of the near constant wind shifts it made for a record number of sail changes and a wetting of the complete sail inventory and not because of shrimping but because of the rain. The race time was good for the current, with a nice push out and back.”
Felix was out to practice for the R2AK and does not have an official PHRF rating (it looks as if the provisional one is about right). Felix reported “We, on Felix, ended up not using the peddle drive during the race. It was tempting in the early stages of the race, especially as Sparkle passed us as we sat in a wind hole just outside Point Wilson. Given how the wind filled in for the middle of the race, we’re glad we didn’t peddle. This was my first distance race with PTSA and it was really fun. We also used the full sail repertoire, although the screecher ended up a bad choice. The orcas were a special treat.”
Commentary from Jim Heumann on Thatuna:
The weather was grey and threatening, rain was in the forecast with possible strong wind in the Strait. But it ended up being a fun race. Of the eight boats there were a lot of different strategies. Some boats went further out into Admiralty Inlet to catch the current (Sea Puppy and Martha). Others stayed closer in shore (Impulse, Blue Fin, Felix). And the rest were in between (Thatuna, Sparkle, Mabuhay). The wind was light at the start and it took Thatuna close to two hours to get around Point Wilson to North Beach with the spinnaker up most of the way. Then the wind picked up and the boats took off toward Protection Island. Which way to go around? Martha and Sea Pupply rode the current what looked like too far west but ended it up being a good choice. Felix, the Race to Alaska catamaran, kept the island to starboard and once the wind picked up took off like a rocket and rounded first. Sparkle also kept the island to starboard and met Sea Puppy and Martha as they were coming around the other way. Thatuna followed Sparkle, followed by Mabuhay, and Impulse (who was quite a ways back having got stuck in adverse current inshore neared to North Beach). Blue Fin kept the island to port. The wind continued at around 10 knots from the ESE (with oscillations) as the boats headed home. Felix quickly disappeared in the distance followed by Sea Puppy, Martha, and Sparkle. Thatuna lead the rest of the fleet back from the island close hauled most of the way to Point Wilson. The flood was really cranking by then and it was a bumpy ride home to PT. The wind lightened as we got back into the bay but there was still enough to cross the line in five hours and twenty two minutes.
The highlight of the day was seeing the pod of Orcas! At one point six surfaced a boat length from Thatuna. What a treat.
Protection Island Race 2016
Information is provisional and subject to modification. Results saved: Sunday, May 22, 2016 12:43:43 PM PDT
Division: PHRF (8 boats) (top)
|2||87||Sea Puppy||VonBorstal, Bruce||96||2||14:32:45.0||00:35:21.6||03:57:23.4||00:01:08.4||2.0|
|3||81||Sparkle||Hupy, Guy, McGinn,Brian||129||4||14:50:11.0||00:47:30.9||04:02:40.1||00:06:25.1||3.0|
|4||226||Martha||Schooner Martha, Assoc.||111||3||14:47:06.0||00:40:53.1||04:06:12.9||00:09:57.9||4.0|
|8||106||Blue Fin||Jacus, David||177||7||15:53:00.0||01:05:11.7||04:47:48.3||00:51:33.3||8.0|
|(1)||Start Date/Time = Saturday, May 21, 2016 10:00:00.0, Length (nm) = 22.10|