Competitors: 550, 247 (484 is out for repairs after losing an upper shroud in the NOOD.)
A nice breeze and beautiful weather had us all eagar to start this one. The wind was out of the west, so Scott was excited for the spinnaker start.
We came in on the pin end with a bunch of other boats, and found a nice spot. We luffed a bit, then bore down for speed and had a nice start with speed--except for the fact that we were On Course Side (OCS), or "over early". The penalty for OCS is to turn around, and come completely back over the line and then start again. While you're heading back, you have no rights and have to keep out of everyone's way.
We swung around quickly upon hearing our name hailed, and headed back across the line. Luckily there was not much traffic behind us and we had waited to set the spinnaker (we had started on starboard and planned to quickly gybe to port and set), so it was a pretty quick jaunt back to the line. I heard our number hailed again on the radio, and was not sure if they were just calling us as OCS again, or calling us clear. As we were clearly heading back across the line, and I was pretty sure we were across the line, I swung us back around only to hear our number called once again. Again, we were unsure if they were calling us OCS or clear. We asked whether we were clear and they wouldn't answer. We asked for a repeat of the last call and heard, "244 OCS". Now we had the spinnaker up, and were quite a ways from the line. I was still unclear as to our status (were they repeating the last message before we cleared and were not calling boats cleared?) but I felt pretty sure that we had cleared the line. The result posting us as OCS, cleared it up for me though. :-(
Anyway, we raced hard, taking to the north, while 550 and 247 hugged the south shore. The current and the puffs favored our side and we caught up such that we passed 247 before the mark rounding and 550 shortly thereafter (but just by the skin of our teeth).
A Cal25 blanketed us once by pinching, and then as we tried to drive under, blanketed us by heading way too low. It was painful to watch 550 slip away.
Going into the harbor, we again tangled with boats rolling us and 247 slipped by as well as we passed the Chart House. Very painful.
Two lessons learned:
- Whoever is calling the line for the start will officially call us clear if we have to turn around for being OCS.
- Whereas the name of the game for the NOOD and Canadian races is the current, the name of the game for WNR is execution, followed closely by keeping clear of other boats (particularly from other classes).
Everyone worked very hard during this race, and the execution was excellent! Good job.