After days of windy weather we were cautious in the jib selection department and went for the non overlapping No 3 jib for the twilight race. You can imagine how we felt when we lined up for the start and could see the earlier starting fleets becalmed in Humbug. We rationalised that it would be heavier out on the course and made a very good start on the club end of the line on starboard but were forced to turn away early as two of the leeward yachts tacked onto port in our path. Rule 14 says don’t hit them no matter how much they deserved to be hit and we did just manage to tack and get across the bow of Jackpot who started further back along the line.
It was not good being first of the black fleet into Humbug as the earlier fleet was becalmed along the Onion Point shore and there was no room to go below them. Indeed they tacked onto starboard just as we arrived forcing us to tack away from the favoured shore. Jackpot arriving later was able to squeeze down the shore and escape way out in front of the rest of the black fleet. Dump Truck went as low and as fast as possible into clear air but was still a long way behind Jackpot.
Flashback and Passion X were having a good time trading tacks up the course to Goat Island and our pleasure was only interrupted by a sneaky Fireball who found a lift in closer to Goat Island and sailed on past.
Every now and then Dump Truck would park in a windless zone giving us false hopes of catching them but it was not to be.
Much Ado V kept catching from behind giving us anxious moments but we held on in the dying breeze.
We did work the small jib and main as best we could in the light conditions. By easing the back stay in the lulls we put draft into the headsail and powered up the main. In the gusts we wound the backstay back on to depower the main. With the fluky conditions this was a frequent activity.

For the evening we set 12 m2 less area than the J122 and 20 m2 less than the First 40.7. While both yachts are heavier their wetted surface area is similar so it is not surprising that both did well on handicap.

The surprise was our 3rd place on handicap as we did relatively better against everyone except the J 122 and the First 40.7 and quite a few were left out on the course in the dying breeze.

Hopefully next time the breeze is this strength we will set an extra 10 m2 of sail area that is fuller and more suited to the light breeze.

Small jib with very stiff battens did not look good in the dying breeze

Small jib with very stiff battens did not look good in the dying breeze

Comments are closed.