Saturday was the traditional first Saturday of December race around Vashon Island. Although it is not actually Winter, this gives it a great name. This race sponsored by Tacoma Yacht Club, is sort of the beginning of our racing season that will end on about the end of November 2016. This race is the first race of the four race Southern Sound Series.
My race starts on Friday morning when I was underway at 0700 for the four hour delivery to Tacoma Yacht Club. I arrived early enough to get a prime spot in the moorage. Later, the club sponsored a dinner. The class breaks were posted, and our class was composed of six J35s, two that I did not know.
Saturday morning, the rain started. We rigged the boat and got to the starting area. After predictions of south winds in the lower to middle teens, the winds were about five knots from the SW. we lined up for our 1005 start and approached the line to start only to not get a starting signal. Thinking I was off by a minute, we circled around and then a postponement was called. Don't know what that was about. The second time, we got a great apinnaker start and reached out into Colvos Pass.
We did not get far until the wind shifted to the north at about five knots. We tacked up Colvos Pass chasing shifts and trying to avoid various dead spots. The winds stayed at 0-5 knots. We had a running battle with "Melange". We open up a lead only to have them catch up. Near the north end of Vashon Island, they opened up a good lead on us and then went close to the Vashon Island shore. We stayed farther from shore and with favorable current, we passed them again. We could see that the race was being finished on Allen Bank. With only a few hundred yards to go, the very light winds shifted to the south. "Melange" set a spinnaker, passed us and crossed the finish line 50 yards ahead of us. But wait! There is more! As "Melange" approached the finish line, they tried to sail between the mark boat and a larger boat from another class. After a heated discussion between the two boats, they ran out of room, the two boats touched each other and the current pushed "Melange" into the mark boat. Later the results showed Melange" as 'retired' and us in first place.
From the finish, we motored to Brownsville, off loaded the crew to my truck and drove them back to Tacoma Yacht Club.
Did I tell you that it rained? Well it did! And hard all day. But with good foulweather gear and warmer temperatures, it did not bother us much.
Thanks to my crew of Jim, Walter and Rainer.
Here is our psychotic track for the day.