Just results, commentary later. (more…)
The weather forecast models for race day were in unusual agreement – wind 6 kts increasing to 7 at 16:00 (vast overestimate) – wind direction SE ish at 11:00 backing to N ish by 16:00 (unfortunately, accurate) – occasional light showers (the occasion was most of the regatta and they were not light).
This year the Race Committee was shorthanded so all eight boats were started together as one PHRF class. All courses were short due to the light winds but, except for race 1, met the target of about half an hour for the first boat to finish.
The wind died for a while during the first race but from then on slowly increased throughout the regatta but rarely exceeded 5 kts.. As there was no dedicated mark boat driver to move marks during a race there were long delays between races to rotate the course (in one case, twice) due to the backing wind. When the course was realigned it was also extended to keep the races about 30 minutes long as the wind slowly increased.
The delays eliminated the possibility of a sixth race to generate a throwout. However, a scan of the standings indicates that, even though some boat’s point totals were close, consistency of placement over five races was such that it was unlikely that there would have been more than one or two reversals of adjacent positions.
In spite of the frustrating, and uncomfortable, conditions the regatta was an excellent test of light, and shifting, air sailing skills and tactics.
The Committee Boat left the Boat Haven with a light Northwesterly and set the S/F line between I and T. Once set it was noticed that the wind increased a little and changed direction. The CB raised anchor twice to reset a square line but by start time was about back where it began. The course was the usual SITF (3.1 nm.), which was to turn out to be rather short for the conditions.
The wind had grown to 8 kts at the start (with the line still square) and soon after the fleet rounded the windward mark it was around 18 kts. at the CB, and when the last boat finished the gusts were topping 24 kts.
The first boat finished in less than 35 minutes and the last about 10 minutes later so there was plenty of time for a second race. However, only the youngest crew in the fleet considered the idea with enthusiasm.
Don’t forget – there is no race scheduled for July 4 th. So if you go out and can’t find the orange flag on dock or boat, that’s why.
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. (more…)
We had a very good race. SYTF was pretty darn close to spot on with the wind direction. About 7 knots at the start and over 10 at the finish. 10 boats came out for an all Thunderbird event.
We had a general recall at the first try so the start time was 18:25.
Due to conflicts with the R2AK Ruckus there will be no Race 2 next Wednesday. We will be back with race 3 on the 20 th. and DON”T miss the Annual BBQ, Aquavit and Pickled Herring All Day Regatta on the 30th (Celebrating the Solstice).
17 boats participated in one beautiful day of racing and one very wet one. On Saturday, long triangles were used for two twice around races with relatively steady 9 to 11 knot winds, except for a major change in direction during the second lap of the first race. This caused a delay while the course was rotated almost 90 deg. before race two. The 8 to 10 knot wind (announced by an enormous thunderclap) was steady on Sunday, but so was the rain. As Stig pointed out, “That was very wet rain.”
Lucky Star accepted a handicap reduction to join the A fleet, and still had a good performance. Some controversy over Hakoom’s finish on Sunday is discussed after the results.
Thanks to Barb Trailer & Co. the food, beverages, and camaraderie were excellent. Gravenstein was an excellent and accommodating Committee Boat, and the crew of Martha J were speedy and responsive.
This year over half the boats were from quite a way out of town. Thank you all for making the effort and helping to make the CMR a success once again.
Just results, comments later. (more…)
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.
During the day the wind was very light and variable, but by mid afternoon it became warm and sunny and the wind began to strengthen and settle on a steady direction. When the Committee Boat arrived on station to set up the course the wind was 8 -10 kts with a few small, short lulls and gusts. The wind direction was steady at 290°M which made I/T a fair W/L course.
To make good use of the good conditions it was decided to extend the distance, and practice a downwind finish, so course SITIF (41/3 nm..) was set. Just before the start the wind backed a little which caused crowding at the now favored pin end of the line. Right after the start there was an interesting (as viewed from the CB) entanglement between 3 boats and the pin.
About halfway through the race the wind backed to 270° – 280° and built a little to 10 -12 kts. with some lulls to 7 but few gusts. It made the final leg a bit of a reach but still allowed for some tactical sailing.
As this is race 6 there is a throw-out in the standings report, but this year we still have two more races on the schedule so hold back on the celebrations or lamentations.
This week we had a dock start. The wind at the dock was very unstable, 6 – 8 kts. with long lulls to 3 kts and sharp gusts to 12+. The wind direction cycled between 250° and 290°M. The onset of rain did not change the wind.
The wind had been checked earlier at the Boat Haven and had been found to be much steadier, ~7 kts from 280°, which made YT a good W/L leg, so course SDYTYDF (5¾ nm.) was set.
A reaching start in such an unstable wind makes it very difficult to judge speed, time and distance from the line, but after the practice gained from a General Recall (over half the fleet was over early, some by more than a boat length) the second start was mostly good.
Next week we should be back to using a Committee Boat. (more…)