The Last Race of Summer.
No wind... for a while, but then a northerly filled in gradually and we got a start in good, 6-12 knots breeze. The RC had chased the earlier Meadow Point Hurricane pressure to start by the south end of the breakwater, unusual for CYC but a good call not knowing the breeze would fill. O my God, I thought, a classic Shilshole Beercan course! I hate that! Few tactical challenges as to position as anyone around here knows what to do: tack to the breakwater and short tack to the beach to find the current relief in the flood and get the veer-lift as you approach the point. Not unlike Santa Cruz at the upper end of its Wed course past that yellow can by the lighthouse.
Aliens and Lunchbox elected to start just to leeward of the big bunch of boats scrapping it out for the RC end, Aliens just to leeward of Lunchbox. But Bad Dog started at the pin end on port! They had to duck Aliens and Box but it was good move as they went to the inside with speed early. Smart, Gino! Aliens was the leftmost boat and last to tack in. After a lot of tacking/crossing situations, at the first ww mark (of 3!) at Meadow Point, it was Lunchbox, Bad Dog (who rode the big last-minute lift to pinch past the hard mark against the flood!), Aliens, Apocalypso, others. Turkey had done some circles for a prestart thing.
The first leeward mark was the channel bouy; all boats did smart and gybed soon (in spite of the flood) to ride the long gybe first and stay in better pressure inside. But for some reason the two leaders Box and Dog went way too far; Aliens was ahead approaching the mark but had to give room to Dog, who was pinned outside Box so Aliens was able to round inside on Box's transom to ww of Dog, who tacked out (fatal). Aliens pinched for a while but eventually had to reach off below Box's bad air and we all did the routine to Meadow Point again. At the 2 ww mark it was Box, Aliens, Dog, and Apocalypso aka the End of the World.
Again we all gybe in as the 2d leeward mark was a softy much to the left of the previous mark, most of us reaching too high in duelling situations. Box had a nice lead ... when what to our wondering Alien eyes did appear, but Box rounding mark J! Were they just sailing in to the hoist as the sun was setting now? But they were racing hard still! we had a Moment of Decision on Aliens but remembering the magic word SMEMUMF (pronounced "smee moo muff") we kept going to mark U. Just before U, Apo did a number on Dog, reaching over them to establish overlap at the last minute, and rounded close behind Aliens. Dog tacked out after the mark (fatal) but Apo climbed high and was able to hang in there going east with us.
Aliens and Apo had a rather exciting tacking duel short tacking the beach with Apo pushing hard. Apo tacked for MP early and almost was able to pinch up to it in the lift, but had to tack behind Aliens at the end. We all reached to the finish. It ended Aliens, Apocalypso, Bad Dog, Wild Turkey, Wywacket, Orcrist. Lunchbox had finished its shorter course earlier but a talk with the committee after racing convinced them that U is not J -- a bad break for the Box who was leading well in this race.
For the series, the final results were Wild Turkey, Apocalypso, Aliens (in spite of not sailing two weeks), Wywacket (good sailing Wywacket), Lunchbox, Orcrist, Roadrunner. Well done Wild Turkey. This is really very competitive racing!
A lovely evening to end the last summer series of 2003 as we all hoisted
in the dark in warm zephyrs.
-- John Rahn