Monday, September 23, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013 - RYF

The morning meeting got off to great excitement because Chuck has a new library card.  What that has to do with the racing, I don't know, but it was fun.

We left the harbor on time, with two people on each mark set (Rick & Karen at the gate and Gaetan and Martin to windward)  and a small but experienced team of Darcy, Janet, Scott, Collien, Nikki and Lisa were aboard Carrier.

NW wind shifting to north (more on that later), usually 12-14 knots but as low as 8 with plenty of 16 and 17.  The waves were 2 to 3 feet, with occasional monsters, but the sky was very blue and it was pretty!

8 Etchells
11 T-10s
5 Shields
2 Luders
about 130 sailors

Pretty, yes- and good sailing, but it was not an easy day.  We set the first race for 335 (or something like that, I'm going from memory) 1.25 and 1.0 and went into sequence.  But we had to postpone before the first start because the P flag did not come down on time.  The timer was interrupted and there was much conversation because several watches had been set off one stopwatch, which we THOUGHT was synched to the GPS, but somewhere a mistake was made.  We decided to keep rolling and were only delayed 5 minutes.  We had 3 OCS on the first start, only 2 returned.

The boat that didn't come back was a past RC Chair, so we decided to give him a professional courtesy by abandoning the race on leg 3.  I'm kidding about that, but we did abandon because the wind shifted and we signaled a change to 350, but the new yellow marks went in at the wrong place.  Seems there was a math problem when calculating the reciprocal.  This is an easy mistake, especially with only one experienced person on the markset.  Unfortunately, the RO and DRO realized it too late, and we were unable to correct it fast enough, although Argo was racing around and doing their best.  Lessons learned:  have those wheely things to help out on each boat, use the chart in Erik's Booklet, check sooner and maybe having extra marks in each mark set boat would give more flexibility.  The sailors were not happy, I'm sure, but they understand and we did not get any unreasonable complaints.

The next race, the re-sail of Race 1, got under way when the boats returned, and when we got the course set up.  The team on Argo had all their marks in the water at point, so there was a lot to pick up.  We considered a longer course, but decided to keep things short and the boats all finished in about 70 minutes.

The last race things got tricky!  After the Etchells started, we postponed and considered abandoning because a 40 degree left shift came in.  Would it go back to the northwest or stay north?  The breeze at the top of the course was 30 to 40 degrees different than the start area for about half an hour.  But it came back and the Etchells did end up with a beat.  After a postponement we started the T-10s, but it was not a pretty picture, as the northwest wind came back.  Several tried to start on port tack but were very early and had to jibe around.  They couldn't lay the skewed line on starboard once they got more than a boat length to leeward.  The best starts were the boats that stayed clean on starboard and then tacked to port,  The line was more square for the final Shields start, which had only two boats left.  One of the Luders had a break down, so they both had gone in.  The breeze came back to the course we'd set at 360 (couldn't find enough zeros for a 000 course).  

Things settled down after that first leg, and all the boats finished, except those that had equipment failures.  We decided that the sailors had had enough bouncing around in the chilly fall like air after the two completed races.  We returned to CYC to watch some America's Cup racing.

The debrief in the bar but upbeat, and Collien was awarded the blue star for her work getting us back on track and then managing multiple postponements on her first day as timer.
Janet B.