Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vendovi Island Race

A challenging light air day. Pangaea and crew did a good job to start the race on time in very light and shifty conditions. Downwind start, 2- 3 knots SE breeze. Just enough to work across the bay to the slot where slightly more breeze built (maybe 5 - 6 kts). There we had a fleet split Hesitation Zero and Tosca hugged Guemes Island shore, Thumper and Celebration up the middle, Syndicat stayed in towards Samish. Breeze dyed and re-started multiple times with Kinetic Ki being first to round Jack Island, Syndicat second (did I mention they sailed a great race ?), and the rest of the pack.

From there we head back south to round the buoy SE of jack, so it was kites down, headsails up, and got the best breeze of the day for a brief period. Actually had to move people to the high side.

Round the buoy to port, kites back up. Breeze lightened and everyone had to reach to keep moving and to get a sharp jibe angle. Thumper pulled away from the pack on this leg. Took a nice jibe angle to the Vendovi buoy, actually sailing upwind with the spinnaker on a close reach. For some reason, that one spinnaker acts almost like a code 0 cut. We were amazed, but carried the spinnaker upwind on about 50 degrees apparent, rounded the bouy, back to white sails. Conditions went very light.

Syndicat and Thumper stayed mid channel, Celebration and Hesitation Zero went back to Guemes looking to pick up the shore breeze. Very light and shifty for everyone. Kites up, headsails down, repeat, repeat, repeat...

Finally round Jack Island and try to link spots and puffs to get back home.

Once we got through the slot there was no air whatsoever, lots of ebb, and we sat in Fidalgo Bay for 45 minutes being swept towards Lopez on current. During this time a small squall filled and brought the trailing boats through under full kites. Maddening. What had been a horizon job lead turned into us watching the fleet start sailing around us (for the second week in a row).

Finally, we got the westerly we were hoping for and had just enough to finish and maintain our lead.

Tosca and Kymodoce never overcame the light winds and currents, so DNF.

Syndicat showed everyone how it's done, Celebration and Hesitation Zero hung in there, never gave up, and always a threat, made a run at the end.

And Thumper, well a great boat with a crap motor. Thanks for the tow out (Hesitation Zero) and the tow in (Celebration).

Kinetic Ki sailed there own race so didn't see much of them. Won't some more multis come out and play with Bill ?

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