Summer Vashon 2012

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Summer Vashon 2012

Postby cklamp » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:36 pm

Wow, you guys all missed a good one... What a fun day and a fun race. The weather wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad either, i'd say just about right for a decent sailboat race.

No cal 20's showed up.

We ended up with 3 Fleet 1 boats, Jessie with Jim and Anne, Charmed Juan with Stephen Jenson, and Mizu with myself and Jim Altice. I didn't make it to the skipper's meeting as it was at 8 am and our start wasn't untill ~11, so I caught a few extra zzzz's. JimM and Stephen made it though, and we got the courses from them. We were all on the water by 11, and the wind was pretty decent, doing around 8 or so mph probably, and the big boats all took off, and looked like they were doing ok. The race pro chose the 14 mile course for us as the winds were right for that course. We got our OD warning around 11, we had some northerly winds so we all had the whites up, and with about 2 minutes to the horn the wind died... yeah, totally died, so it took us a few minutes to cross the start.

I talked to Jim and we decided since the water was somewhat around "slack" we'd try to high tail it across towards vashon if/when the wind picked up so we wouldn't have to fight the current, but it took a good hour or so to get across to Vashon since the wind was so dead. Stephen and Jim had headed east a ways, but the wind was so dead that Jim and Anne were floating backwards and at one point were further west than Mizu and Charmed Juan, read that as going backwards:) Mizu we got stuck in a riptide of sorts and while the sails were full we were literally going sideways with no discerniable forwards or backwards motion. I told Jim to turn the rudder so we could try to ride it out, but it was hard over already, so it did nothing.

I started noticing my wind vane was slowly starting to point more and more southerly, so I figured the wind had to be changing to the 8-12 southerly winds that had been predicted, so I threw the Chute up. It pretty much clung to the shrouds and forestay, but slowly yet surely it started to fill and Mizu was off. Jessie threw up their spin and they were off as well, and shortly after that Charmed Juan's blue kite was flying as well, and we had a boat race!

Seriously, we had a race. I started the day more interested in just having fun and enjoying a nice day on the water as opposed to seriously challenging for 1st, and Jim was trying to get some nice spinnaker lessons for future use on parveen, so we didn't start off very aggresively. But I put some of the lessons in flying a spin I got at NOOD's to work, and Mizu was leading the pack for a while in the middle of the water. Charmed was bearing down across the water towards vashon and Jessie was coming up as well, and after 2-3 miles or so we were all within talking distance of each other. I had speed on Charmed so we tried to go over the top of him, but Stephen didn't want to have any of that, so we backed off. Then Stephen and Jessie got into it, so we snuck off downwind a bit to let them go out and got back into the lead for a bit. We headed out as we felt the wind was a little stronger, and Jessie and Charmed gibed back towards vashon and came in behind us. The two took the lead from us, but by this time we were closing in on the J mark that we usually use for TTPYC's races quite rapidly. Jim was driving Mizu really well and I was getting every bit of speed I could get out of our heavy chute.

At the halfway point it was about 7 miles of distance, and we all rounded the mark within about 25-30 seconds of each other.

Jessie crossed first, with Charmed about 10-15 seconds behind, and Mizu about 10-15 seconds behind Charmed. Later on the Race Pro came over and said they were amazed that happened, they just didn't expect us to all be that close at the mark, even the three of us were quite surprised it happened.

After rounding the mark we all headed back across away from Vashon, but it just didn't feel right to me, so we kept Mizu out in the middle as the winds felt better, and we thought the tide which was coming in now might help us out. We were too far from the pack to get a really good gauge of whether or not it was working, but it felt ok, so we kept on that idea. At some point Stephen started coming back out, and we crossed each other, probably within 30-60 seconds of each other, after a few slight detours avoiding a tanker, so we figured at least it wasn't hurting us.

But, we could also see that Jessie was pulling away a bit at this point. Again, really hard to tell how far ahead he was, but it didn't look like much. Charmed and Mizu started crossing each other more and more, again seemingly a minute or less apart. The wind had picked up quite a bit, and Stephen was having to spill the main a bit more, I had to spill the main once, and had my hand on the sheet another time but we were able to ride it out. The wind was consistent from the Mark in the respect there was wind, but it was pretty puffy at times, and was taking some weird patterns as if we were on Lake Union.

We got closer and closer to the finish and we could see Jessie was going to take it.

Charmed and Mizu crossed paths again with Mizu in front for 2nd now, but later on Charmed crossed in front of Mizu back into 2nd place. We both tacked near the finish line, but Stephen going in close to land had more wind and was able to take 2nd. The wind actually die on Jim and I near the finish and it took another 3-4 tacks to get across.

I don't know official times, but in the end after 14 miles of racing and about 5 hours or so, we all finished what appeard to be about 5-7 minutes apart. I think it's some of the closest Fleet 1 racing we've had. That's really crazy close for that distance, and you all really missed out:) It really was a blast, so hopefully more of you will make it out next year.

We didn't expect it, but TYC had some nice 1st-3rd place mugs for us as well.

Thanks to Jim for crewing with me, and Jessie and Charmed Juan for coming out to make a game of it!

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