Each of these races had very light north winds and in three of the races, the course was shortened.
Race1. This race went to Pt Herron and back to the start/finish line where it was shortened. I got a good start and played the left side of the course with good winds to about 8 knots at times. I rounded the first mark way in the lead and set the spinnaker. During the run, the ferry came through our fleet on it's way to Bremerton. I had to head way left to clear it and found myself in light air. The second place boat, "Tantalus" was far enough behind to avoid the ferry and stayed in better winds. They passed me and finished first. I was second for the evening.
Video of the mark rounding and spinnaker set during the Race 1 of the Sept Six Pack Series
Race 2. Again we raced to Pt Herron and finished a shortened course at the start/finish line. I got a good start even though I had to wiggle around a couple of boats. Again, I lead to the first mark and again, I had to sail to the left to avoid the ferry. But this time, when I could I jibed to the right and had stronger winds. The boats behind stayed more to the left and I pulled away from them even though they initially gained. I was first, "Blackout" was second and "Swan" third.
Video of the start, mark rounding and spinnaker set during the Race 2 of the Sept Six Pack Series
Race 3. For this race, another boat entered the series. I am not allowed to name this boat, so I will call it "The Boat Not Named"(TBNN). The people who sail this boat are very sensitive about anyone reporting their progress. Again we had light north winds but this time it was drizzly and cool. The course was set to the radar target at Retsil. Yeah, we do not cross the ferry lanes! Again I got a good start on starboard even though one boat on port turned right into my path and I had to change course to clear them. I had some chopped up air from a couple of boats ahead and then TBNN luffed me up even though they too were in bad air. This slowed us both down. I tacked away and then back again and TBNN tried luffing me up again. This time I had some room on them, so I fell off some, got across their bow, below the boats ahead and soon found myself well in the lead. Pointing is sooo overrated in light air!
We got to the windward mark, set the spinnaker and started down wind. With the light air, I sailed very steep angles and went far to the right near the Shipyard where I found some wind funneling out from between some of the ships moored there. I jibed and again, the race was finished at the start/finish line. I again got first, TBNN was second, "Tantulus" was third.
Race 4. With two firsts and a second, I did not need to do much more than show up to win the series. Before I left the dock, the crew of TBNN was talking smack about how they would finish ahead of me and other stuff. They are so sensitive!
The course this time was once around a short course to the Navy mooring buoy at Annapolis, the club buoy at Ross Point and return. Again, the winds were light from the north but skewed so that a starboard start would take the whole length of the line. I went right up to the breakwater before tacking and crossed the line at the outboard end just as the gun went off, clear air and good boat speed all the way. TBNN was greedy, tried to port tack the line at the pin end inside of me and found themselves over early. I sailed toward the left, tacked once and made the mark. I set the spinnaker and sailing tight angles jibe through the start/finish line(a mark of the course) in first.
The wind lightened and as we sailed south, it filled in some to the left and "Tantalus" and TBNN both sailed by me. After rounding the mark, "Tantalus" went right. I went left found better wind and soon passed them. As the sun went down, it became difficult to pick out the puffs of wind on the water. There was also a lot of wind shear and I was setting the jib leads nearly 10 inches different between port and starboard sides. I also had to steer an "average" course to keep the sails full and the boat moving. My course was much different then the other boats, but I was FAST! As TBNN neared the finish line, I could see them struggling. I sailed my oddball course, caught up to them and passed them finishing about 1-1/2 minutes ahead for first place.
Video of the run set during the Race 4 of the Sept Six Pack Series. This is my "psycho" head cam video. You may want to take some Dramamine before watching. I was busy and my head (and camera) was all over the place!
This was fun to make the trek south each Friday to race this series. I specifically used the series to work on light air boat speed. With the warm weather and light air there was lots of wind shear and I worked real hard at understanding it and trimming for it. I also reconfirmed my philosophy about loosing all the rig adjustments and sail controls in light air.
Final results will be found here when the are complete: http://www.wscyc.net/Races/Race%20Results/current%20year/SeptemberSeries.pdf