Thursday, August 16, 2007

David's Big Debut

Last night was breezy and we were shorthanded. Brian, Glen and I were joined by my son, David, for a very nice Wednesday Night Race. David has come out many times with us, but this was his first time where he really contributed. He did a couple of jib sheet releases on tacks and helped setup for a head sail change on the downwind leg by tying bowlines and a square knot. Great stuff!

The wind was 15 kts out of the S and we had the advantage of being in the Bay on our way over, so we rigged the No. 2. We also saw the Etchells start and noted that those boats that started on the north side of the Severn (the pin end of the line) had a solid lead.

Interestingly, as we watched subsequent starts, few boats took the pin end. We decided we would choose the pin and it paid off quite handsomely. We ran the line on starboard and had speed with clear air at the start.

The course was B2, which took us toward Hacketts Point and then back toward Tolly Point and in to the Severn. We lead the whole way, but had to choose between covering Argo or Skybird on the windward leg toward Tolly. We chose the right side of the course, covering Skybird, primarily because it was the long leg and also gave us the best options for being able to tack when we wanted. It paid off with us keeping ahead of Towney and making additional ground on Argo.

The rest of the race was a foot race into the finish and we crossed the line first with plenty of time to spare.

Key Thoughts
We've struggled in heavy air to keep LinGin going against the rest of the fleet. This race was one where it was questionable whether to go with the No. 1 or No. 2 jib--we were the only Alberg that flew the No. 2. I think LinGin, be it because of the cut of her main or whatever, prefers to go to the No. 2 in much lighter air than we generally think. I plan to select the No. 2 a bit earlier and see how we make out. It didn't seem to hurt us last night and I think it helped in the heavier spots. It's important to note that the seas were quite heavy too, so that didn't seem to slow the No. 2 down either.

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