Through the week, the weather forecast was for sunny hot weather into the 80's. Along with that, came light variable winds to 5 knots. Note the variable part. Sailing in Port Orchard on a hot day often variable winds with many convergence zones. To make matters worse, I had been fighting a nasty head cold for three days and with the congestion, headache and hot weather, I really thought about staying home.
After about an hour delay, a light breeze filled in from the NE and the race was started. We got an OK start near the outboard end of the line and as soon as we could, we tacked for the Bainbridge Island shore. As we neared the shore, we tacked on the lee bow of our only competitor ahead of us at the time. We sailed into clear air and worked the right side of the course getting good shifts and favorable current. As we neared the first mark near Pt. Bolin, the wind had increased to around 5 knots. We rounded the mark first, had a great spinnaker set and headed toward the next mark at University Pt. But I could feel the target on my back and as we rounded Battle Pt, we could see trouble ahead. The wind had died ahead and we came to a stop and set the jib. Some other boats behind found good wind waaaay to the right and sailed around us. By the time we reached University Pt.. we had lost several places. We chased light variable winds back to the start/finish line and started lap 2.
Lap 2 started out well with better. steady winds. We passed a couple of boats, had a good bear away set at the Battle Pt,, jibed shortly after and headed toward University Pt. At first it looked like good winds all the way to the point, but it soon started evaporating again. This time we headed right and gained on boats ahead. We had a hectic take down and jibe around the mark and found ourselves in a better position. But like before, the winds were very spotty on the beat back to the finish. We passed another boat and then had two scream by us before the wind filled in and we passed one of the two boats that passed us and ran into a hole. We finally had a decent wind to the finish where the course was shortened to 11.4 mile.
This race was very tiring. With the warm temps, being ill and the light winds it was very trying. On the other hand, the competition was close and it was not raining. Since this race was the last race of the 7 race WSSA series, the overall winner of the series will be determined as well as the class winners. Results will be posted here: Brownsville Race and Overall Results
Thanks to my crew of Jim, Rainer and Kathleen for staying focused.
Now I think I will go downstairs to the home theater where it is cooler and relax, cool off and watch a movie!
Our route for the day. The red track is lap 1 and the green track is lap 2.