Saturday was the 7th and final race of the West Sound Sailing Association(WSSA) series. This race was started at Brownsville, my home marina. It consisted of three laps: one to the day mark in Agate Pass near Point Bolin, to University Point, then to the start/finish line. The second lap went to a temp buoy at Battle Point, to University Point and the start/finish line again. The third lap was a repeat of the first. The race was a total of 18.95 nautical miles but could be shortened at the start/finish line at any of the laps.
The winds were light(3-4 knots) from the NW. The direction was really unusual for this area. Usually the wind is more N to NE. On Great White(J35), we got a good, but somewhat late start. We started to leeward of Dulcinea(J105) who was barging and we squeezed them outside the pin. Sweet Spot(J35) came right behind us and kept Dulcinea out of the starting area forcing them to circle around. Tantalus(Express 37) started at the other end of the line, but no earlier than us. We had clear air and tacked to port toward Bainbridge Island. As I said, the wind was unusually far toward the west and we sailed one tack to Arrow Point. Normally with a northerly, we cannot get around Battle Point without tacking. We put more distance on the rest of the fleet. Near Arrow Point we tacked toward the middle of Agate Pass as did Sweet Spot. Some boats thought that was a mistake. A strong ebb was flowing and I was concerned about getting swept past the mark. We stayed in the middle of the pass and upstream of the day mark at Pt Bolin. Some boats stayed adamntly on the right side and my hope was that the wind would die for awhile and let them get flushed past the mark. Reign Maker(C&C37XL) stayed on the Bainbridge Island shore and gained on us. At first it looked like they had passed us, but when they crossed Agate Pass, they were swept north and way overstood the mark. They were forced to sail downwind against the current.
We rounded first just ahead of Reign Maker. We jibeset onto starboard, but after Sweet Spot did a bear away set and headed left, we jibed to port and headed left. Sweet Spot got ahead of us and then the wind switched SW, so we went to the jib for a while and caught up to Sweet Spot. As we approached Battle Pt, the wind filled in from the N and we set spinakers again. We jibed to starboard looking for a little bit better wind(not the best idea), but jibed back to port to sail along the Bainbridge Island shore. The wind started getting spotty near University Point. We could not find a racing buoy set near University Point, so followed Sweet Spot around a mooring buoy. This met the definition of the mark: P-Buoy off University Point.
Sweet Spot was able to close reach to the start/finish line at the marina. We had to tack once. At the finish the crew of Sweet Spot was able to convince the RC that the mark was missing and the race was shortened. At least it was not thrown out and all the boats behind us rounded the mooring buoy(later Sweet Spot found the race buoy about 2 miles south near Illahee). The wind at the finish had risen to around 7 knots, so at least one more lap could have been completed.
In class, Sweet Spot was first. Dulcinea finshed close enough to us to correct on us by about 39seconds. Overall, Egress (Hotfoot27), a division II boat finished close enough to win 1st overall.
Our crew of Peg, Curt, Bob and Brendan did a great job and we had no sail handling errors. Bob and Brendan were from Tantrum II(Schock 35). Bob did not race Tantrum II because he was short of crew and came over to fill in for some of my missing crew.
For overall series results:
Egress 18 points- First Place
Falcon(Cal 9.2) 18 points- Second Place(after tie breaking process)
Great White (J35) 19 points- Third Place
The series was really tight this year. I was glad to see a division II boat win the series after many years of dominance by division I boats. Steve on Egress sailed a great series. Bryan with Falcon was leading the series up to the last race. In fact any one of four boats(Great White, Emerald Lady(Catalina27), Falcon or Egress) could have taken the series with a good showing in the last race.
Complete results can be found here:
Light winds after the start. Reign Maker behind us.
Light air spinaker reach. Reign Maker still behind us. Curt trimming the spinaker.
Epic Fleet for Antigua Sailing Week
8 hours ago