We did a great job on race number 2, but made one big mistake. After rounding the upwind mark in first with Towney hot on our heals, we were headed toward the Bay Bridge in a north wind. We had to tack to make the next mark and while the wind was strong (10-12 kts.), the seas were BIG and sloppy.
As we came around the mark, I came up and instructed Nick to put the jib at 6" off the spreader so that we would have power through the waves. At times it looked like we might lay the mark. I watched Towney and he bore away from the mark by perhaps 20 degrees! I thought, "man, that's WAY low...maybe he's having trouble pointing." I should know better by now!
About half way up the leg, we hit the worst of the waves and were almost completely stopped numerous times. Did I bear off and head over toward Towney? No. I stubbornly kept trying to point to that mark, and I paid dearly.
Towney tacked--way out there--and when we came to cross he had a solid 10 boat-length lead! Ugh. We did some great spinnaker work, but we could not overcome the distance I gave up.
Note to self (and crew): VMG is king and Albergs don't go upwind in waves well! Don't be afraid to signficantly bear off in chop and keep the speed up.
Now if we just had some polar plots that told us what our target speed should be in any given conditions. ;-)