Saturday, May 19, 2012

Races 7 and 8

Our light day turned out to be pretty windy, full hiking with medium chop for the first race, and it built for the second. As usual the shifts were big. There often seemed to be a lefty on the left side of the course, and a righty on the right side. In general I thought there was better pressure on the left near the top, but sometimes the right was good early on. One thing that is interesting here with the chop and all the coach boats, our last short windward leg to the finish is always like sailing in a washing machine, the waves are going every direction, and the breeze is often mixed up too.

Race 7 - I thought I was going to win this race for the whole first beat. Started mid line. I had a good line sight and everyone was hanging back from the line so I was punched out (black flag was up for the second time already - we have at least one general recall every race). I went left until I got to a breeze line and got knocked, tacked and played a few more shifts near the top, generally staying in the middle of the course. Overstood a little right a the windward mark, and let one boat inside me. In second now, I went a little too far off to the side downwind. I thought I was staying in clear air, but I lost some boats downwind. Not too much passing the rest of the race, I finished 5th.

Race 8 - Start was not great, had to tack out and duck some boats. Played shifts upwind, and tried to go fast, a lot of vang adjusting to stay powered up when needed, but get through waves. It's easy to tack too much here, and I am trying to make myself be more frugal with the tacking. Rounded top 15 ish, and lost a bunch of boats downwind when I went too far to the side again. I need to do a better job of staying with the fleet downwind. I hate being too close to other boats. Upwind I stayed on the left side and made some big gains, better pressure mostly. Fast reach, and somehow downwind, I caught boats. I think I was in better pressure, but I managed to find a groove sailing by the lee on starboard and turning up to catch waves. That was my first downwind leg where I made gains! Caught a couple more boats in the washing machine to the finish, I have to remember to go fast and not tack much on that leg. Finished 6th. Pretty happy.

Pictures to come later. Light wind and rain in the forecast.

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