Monday, September 18, 2006

Hammond Memorial Race Back From Oxford--Only Cats Finish

The race back from Oxford was a disappointment this weekend. With 18.2 miles start to finish and a 6 hour time limit, the crew of the LinGin this Sunday (Mark, Glen and Tim) contend that finishing the course is optimistic under good conditions. Straight line would require an average speed over three knots and throw in one upwind leg and I think you've missed the time limit.

Last year LinGin won with 10 minutes left before the time limit.

This year, we had a good start (spinnaker start!); we were in open air and pretty close to the line with good speed. First around the first mark, we saw the wind take a 10 degree shift, and later a 50+ degree shift. Needless to say it was light and shifty. We watched the speedo show 1-3 knots throughout the race, and we did continual mental calculations to see whether we believed it was physically possible for us to finish.

With an hour left, we decided it was a lost cause and powered home. We were vindicated when the race committee announced on the radio that only the catamaran finished the race. Pretty poor; they should have finished the race at the penultimate mark!

Hopefully the fall will bring more windy days like Saturday.

Who's ready for Queenstown?


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