Despite the strong prevailing SE winds, Emoyeni managed to leave the dock w/o a lot of yelling or questionable boat handling. This was going to be a cold and blustery race, kinda like that one Wednesday night a year ago. Leaving the Cap Santé breakwater we immediately took 3 or 4 waves to the starboard beam and Kyle was ready for a fresh set of foul weather gear before we even put up a sail.
6 boats showed up, 5 C fleet boats +1 wet & Wild Rumpus, proving once again if you want early season competition buy a slow old boat, preferably with a heater. The start got off with Rumpus, Emoyeni, & Hasenpfeffer leading the way, starboard reach, w/ Kymodoce & Little Annie in tow, and Syndicat in the back trying to salvage spilled rum. Reefed main sails and small jibs (rumpus a storm jib?) were employed, save for Kymodoce elected to sail their 180% genoa hoping for extra ponies in the stiff breeze. Decision constipation struck, do we go left or right of Huckleberry island (?) and we let Hasenpfeffer get by. Hasenpfeffer celebrated by rounding up a couple times and giving it all back to us. Andy & Steph hoisted their 12oz (actually 1.5oz) pink pride miller lite chute and sped away with double digits. Most boats reached off north w/ Rumpus except Syndicat who stayed dead downwind on rhumbline and started gaining big. Upon notice, Emoyeni winged out the #2 and played the same tactic holding the Catalina off during the starboard rounding of Jack.
After the rounding, hitched early onto port while the rest of the fleet stayed on starboard. The tack paid well but we called an early layline, ebb current strafing us left and we were forced to throw two more tacks to get around R4, allowing Little Annie just enough room to get around before us. She sailed wide, we cut inside going back downwind – again DDW right at R8 w/ Lil’ Annie, Syndicat in tow – Kymodoce struggling to get around R4 and Hasenpfeffer… who knows where they were going? We were the 1st boat in fleet around R8 and now it was a beat back to the finish. Rumpus was a lil’ blip on the Guemes shore, we wanted to stay out in heavier breeze and seas. We must have gotten the only copy of the AYC race packet translated in Farsi and a photo of Andy Schwenk wearing Steph’s lingerie instead of the course map for Jack island – Otherwise we clearly wouldn’t have missed the instructions that said after rounding R8, we keep Jack island to port prior to finish… Emoyeni kept the wrong course, kept Jack Island to starboard, cracked beers and had an great tacking duel to hold off Little Annie, completely un-aware we’ve blown the race by missing the last and biggest mark on the course.
C’est la vie, it was probably the best way to make that mistake as I’m fairly certain we would have remained in 1st place had we not missed Jack Island. Great crew work, a fast sail plan, and generally good tactical calls (save for the beat to William Pt), and Kymodoce motoring back to her slip flying red foul weather bibs from the backstay are memories we won’t soon forget. At the end of the day the only thing puffing more than the breeze was Andy Schwenk who moves surprisingly fast on land but couldn't beat Kyle Saum to break the news of our boneheaded mistake. Big congratulations to John Gunn skippering Little Annie, who sailed very fast and also rounded all the marks (even the big one) and scored his first 1st place finish in an AYC race! Emoyeni scores her first RAF but it was for the best - or at least I'll keep telling myself that.