So we’ve had a couple of races now under our belt and I think I can report that our speed and point appear good. In the LLS regatta we saw good upwind performance, and had an ability to hang with our closest competitors (Hawk, Samba and Zephyros) and I think actually gain some ground uphill. I attribute this to a few things coming together — shorter headstay, tighter backstay and rig (removing some of our forestay sag), flatter sails, better weight management and a concerted effort by everyone to keep the boat flatter. Flatter is for sure fast on Spirit. And I’ll tell you, the boat has never been more enjoyable to drive upwind in a breeze than this year.
We’ve had some flashes of brilliance off the wind too. During the very light air in the LLS we managed to work a few puffs to get ahead of Samba and Hawk and in the stronger breeze last night we showed we could reach with the faster boats . . . right up until we couldn’t! hahaha! I’m actually glad to see us get a good wipeout under our belts. The winds were gusty and it was a good reminder to all of us to watch our position, ease sails early, and drive the boat down a bit in the strong puffs.
So the bottom line is we are on a reasonable track here. For LLS we were solidly mid-fleet (8 of 15). For JYC an 8 of 9 sounds bad, but the lessons learned (relearned) in tighter racing, rounding and higher, gustier winds, were worth it. The LLS start left a lot to be desired, especially after carving out a nice spot at the boat and then deciding to be 30 seconds late, grrr, but the start last night was much better — still room for improvement there tho.
My final point is to ask you to show up to race understanding that everyone has a piece to contribute. Everyone should be thinking ahead to the next maneuver and the next wind shift. I think we are immediately up to speed on sailing “in the present”; but I want you to consider how, in each role on the boat, we can leverage our experience and tools to look forward and up the course to where we ought to be in five or ten minutes, the next rounding, the next crossing, etc.
Speaking of looking ahead: The SI and preliminary scratch sheets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are now posted. I’ll get an email out to you NYYC racers tomorrow with that info. Thanks!