Sunday, September 23, 2012
Queenstown Race Back
The race back from Queenstown was most notable for the groundings of Albergs trying to get out of the anchorage. After a wonderful breakfast, the raft broke up and we headed for the start.
Skybird was aground with both sails up and she was aground HARD! We tried for 10 minutes with no luck and left to get to the line before the start. On our way, we say Argo, jib up and hard aground. They let us know that the A30 start was postponed to allow the boats to get off the ground, so we set to work helping them. In this endeavor we were successful.
Skybird had a work boat come to their rescue, although it took about 40 minutes to get them off!
We were over early for the start, but with quick crew work, we were able to round the race committee boat and not lose too much time. The wind was ~15 kts out of the north and during the first reach we were able to pass Laughing Gull to leeward by coming right up behind her and then powering up by falling off quickly and busting through her bad air. I was happy to see us make that maneuver work. It's never easy!
After that it was all about chasing Argo. We tried to split with them. They covered. We tried to get out of the current. We found lots of headers. We tried shaking the reef in our main. No discernible progress in catching them. Argh-O!
Slowly, the wind began to die as we prepared to cross the bay. The waves were still big and the power boat wakes in the river were not helping us at all. LinGin felt under powered and pushed around by the waves. I hate that feeling. We loosened things up. We fell off to power up. Nothing seemed to help. We were really scratching our heads.
On the final reach across the bay, we saw Argo continue to make gains. At one point the wind almost completely died and we realized we were in a hole. Argo seemed to get smaller and the boats behind were definitely getting bigger!
Thankfully, the wind picked back up and we kept the boats behind at bay. Argo took the gun. We were second and I'm pretty sure Skybird was third.
Any day sailing is a good day and this was no exception. Now we need to think about how we can do better in those conditions!