The second day of the NOOD started with light winds and a heavy ebb current. The race committee got off three races in a building breeze.
The first race was remarkable in that the wind was barely strong enough to allow the boats to cross the starting line. We got a bit lucky in that we stayed close to the line before the start. However, at 2 minutes before our start, the wind died and we realized we might not make it over. We did cross, but after 20 minutes of sailing we were maybe twenty boat lengths course-side of the line.
In the first race, Argo beat us. They were clearly faster in those conditions; we had a sizable lead after the start and even when close to them we couldn't keep up.
For the second race there was a decent breeze and while the current wasn't as strong, it was still a factor. We wanted to go west toward Hackett's Point to get out of the deeper water, but Argo went east and we decided we need to cover them. Unfortunately, not only did Argo beat us out going right, but Laughing Gull went deep to the west and pulled ahead too. We took a 3rd and Argo taking the gun. That put a boat between us in the scoring--not good.
The final race found us with a good breeze. Skybird fouled Argo at the start and gave us a bit of a lead. At the windward mark, we had a very close bunch of boats: Laughing Gull, Windswept, Argo and us all rounded together. Painfully, we were in fourth.
All day we had been doing a bear-away set and then gybing a short while after the set. Argo had been doing gybe sets all day. As we came around the mark, we were a foot or two behind Argo and in their haste to get the chute set, they rounded the mark wide, leaving a nice hole for me to nose into. We were both on starboard, but for Argo to raise their chute, they need to gybe first.
Gybing onto port, Argo tried to cross us, but clearly couldn't and had to immediately gybe back. It was a great moment, since they couldn't set the chute until we gybed or they slowed down enough to go behind us. I wish I could say I saw that coming, but I didn't. I think I'll remember next, though!
We got our chute up quickly and at the same time the pressure went up significantly. We passed the others going downwind and charged around the leeward mark. After a heavy air jaunt up to the windward mark, we quickly popped the chute and charged back toward the finish.
The chute ride was a wild one. We had a tough set with a twist in the sail. Brian did a great job getting it untwisted and we all worked together to keep it under control. The adrenaline was pumping between the chaos of the spinaker and the excitement of taking the lead. Pretty soon we rocketed across the finish line.
The great news for us was that Windswept successfully beat Argo, give us a boat between and tying the series 7 points to 7 points. Tomorrow's race will determine the winner of the NOOD and the Maple Leaf Trophy.
I'm really proud of our crew today: Glen, Ray, Brian, Ryan and David. They all put in a lot of hard work and it paid off!