After breaking my hip a couple of weeks ago, I cannot race sailboats for at least a couple of months. When I do race, I usually write a blog entry with my view point of how I sailed the race. To me it is a journal that I can refer to later and I hope others may find some information that is helpful to them. Since I am not racing and therefore cannot write a post race report, I thought I would start writing pre race analysis's of how I would attack the course.
The Around Bainbridge Race is a 25 mile race that starts and finishes at Brownsville Marina. The direction of the course is optional, you can sail either direction. New for this year is the single handed/double handed format and also the inclusion of a halfway point that allows for the race to be shortened if necessary.
A race around Bainbridge Island has been in existence for a long time. In the mid 70's. Brownsville Yacht Club started the event and usually scheduled it for May or June. When West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club came into existence in the early 80's they also had a Round Bainbridge Race with a start/finish at Port Orchard. This version was run in the month of January and often resulted in late, cold nights on the water trying to finish the race. Later it was moved to May and warmer temps and now to March. Port Madison also runs a Round Bainbridge race in the fall, but it is a two day event.
This year, the race starts at Brownsville Marina. The warning is at 0900. From the various models, The winds are predicted to be around 12-16 knots from the south with some lightening and a slight shift toward the west in the evening. Currents at Agate Pass, Rich Pass and Restoration Pt are as follows:
It should be an easy reach to Pt Monroe, but again, don't get greedy and sail too close as there is often a hole there too. Once in the open sound, the current will be favorable. Stay in the current, but favor the Bainbridge Island shore and look for lifts under the points and the possible shift toward the right. Be careful around Wing Pt where the spit shoals rapidly.
Around Restoration Pt and then to Beans Pt. This will probably be a beat with long port legs and short starboard legs. Be careful that you do not sail into a hole along here. The wind can pile up along the bluff and stagnate. Give Beans Pt a little clearance to avoid any adverse current. From Beans Pt through Rich Passage to Pt White, the current should be favorable and nearly at max flow. Reach through the pass between Orchard Rocks and Bainbridge Island to Pt Glover. Again give Pt Glover some clearance to avoid a wind hole, but the current should be favorable. Tack into the middle of Rich Pass, stay in the rough water and line up your approach to Pt White. At Pt White, don't get too greedy and sail too close. Avoid possible adverse current here. Since the flood current flows north here, head toward Illahee for a couple hundred yards before bearing off and setting the spinnaker for the run to the finish.
Give University Pt a wide berth and initially sail low of the finish. The wind will come ahead and chances are that you will need to change to the jib to finish anyway.
A counter clockwise course around the island could also be possible if the winds stayed strong, but it is a gamble if the winds drop. The current at Rich Passage does change to flood about a half hour later than Agate Pass, so it would be possible to sail through Rich Passage against the current, but you would give up a lot of time doing so. The temptation of a long run north is really strong, but again, it is against the current. I do not recommend this course. I feel that it is more important to get out of Port Orchard as soon as possible.
It will be interesting to see the results and the decisions made by the competing boats.
Epic Fleet for Antigua Sailing Week
8 hours ago