Our first JYC race is in the books. Mid-fleet basically (5/9). Light breeze meant a bigger spread in finish times as the wind was spotty and variable across the course and the wind completely shutdown just as we were finishing. Despite a front row start heading in the apparent correct direction at the favored pin end we found ourselves having a hard time holding lane against our near-peers. I attribute a bit of this to growth on the hull, which was not very clean — especially problematic in light air. Moreover, most of you know I have tweaked the rig for a more mid-level breeze and did not ease the headstay off as the conditions really dictated. This is just laziness on my part! Our initial direction looked good but shortly after the start Hawk flopped over to port tack and left the larger lead group (we remained on starboard tack heading to Rose Island to capitalize on the strong ebb). That tack ended up being a terrific move as she created some separation from the rest of us that she held for the rest of the race. I presume this was a result of better wind pressure on the west side of the course as we were in excellent current, but you will recall that in light air, an increase of wind pressure by just a couple of knots will negate any current advantage, which might’ve been only an advantage of a knot or so. Spirit sailing in 8 knots vs Spirit sailing in 10 knots means both probably a knot of extra speed PLUS a little bit higher angle. We’ll have to watch and call wind a little more actively to stay on top of this.
Similar to this, I think we were a little of out of practice regarding information flow. In general, the mast/foredeck team makes the calls on wind and how we are doing relative to other competitors (higher, lower, faster, slower etc). Pit is watching nav and contemplating if we are still on the highest VMG tack or gybe. Trimmers are working on boat speed and point based on the calls from the bow and mid- persons. Main trimmer needs to watch speed and point against target and work with the trimmers as required. Main trimmer also backs me up on wind trends. Hard to practice this outside of a race and JYC races are perfect for this. : )
The rounding at C was not great. This is on me as there was a ton of adverse current and light breeze and we should’ve carried the kite (and speed) MUCH closer to the mark, especially since it was going to be a relatively easy Mexican. Need to watch for this circumstance in the future.
Besides simply having a very acceptable first race there were also some really strong points to highlight. Sail handling was superb, with all sets, douses, tacks and gybes going really well. I don’t mind highlighting that the J/105 was sailed by a professional sailor (crews on Interlodge!) and their maneuvers looked like chaos as compared to us. The gybe set was great. And overall our speed was reasonable too.
You’ll see some nice images from Alyce below. More calendar shots. : ) As a funny aside, Troy, you’ve made it to the big time lol. Alyce sent me the first picture with the filename “Jane and New Kid on Spirit, Rose Island in background”. Congrats Troy. ; )
One last item: The Boivins have announced Faux Fest 2020! July 25th @ Mackerel Cove. Start time noonish. Spirit will be headed over. Details to follow but get this one on your calendar!