Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hammond Memorial Race (Race Back From Oxford)

Having had such great success the day before, Scott and I were determined to do everything we could to repeat our performance. This time, however, we decided we'd start in the lead and let everyone try to catch us. At least that was our plan.

The wind was still out of the north on the way back, but this time it was closer to 8-10kts. We had a nice spinnaker start, especially for a crew of two. We were just a bit ahead of Infinity this time and Argo wasn't far behind either.

Next 10 miles were really a "foot race" in that there were almost no tacks, just a gybe or two round the marks. We actually flew the spinnaker the whole time--even when Infinity and Argo took theirs down. That really opened our lead to about 5 minutes at the final mark to the last leg.

That last leg, and last 8 miles of the race, were where things were really tough. It was a beat up the bay with 20+ degree shifts and tremendous changes in the wind velocity. One minute we'd look behind us and feel like heros. The next, we'd look back and our heart would be heavy. This was because of the huge shifts that were marching down the bay. They were bands of air and they would hit us and then travel down and hit our competition. Oftentimes we were in complete different air than everyone else.

Our strategy was really defense at this point. We selected Infinity, as they appeared closest, and tried to cover them.

In the end it worked out; no one ever really seemed to get close. We were very pleased to see Lanny Helms, Windswept, take second, and we were pretty sure there was another boat between him and Infinity.

The Whaley--Williams Dynamic Double-handing Duo. Fun stuff!!!

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