Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maine Rocks Race Wrap Up

We all know light air, finesse racing isn't my strong suit; thankfully this race was the opposite. And after all the upwind racing I did last summer, I finally worked out the kinks to make Jeroboam go to weather at and beyond her polars which came in very handy this race.

Nothing broke but mistakes were made. I probably didn't need to launch the kite out of the gate and if I hadn't noticed Panacea pointing high on leg one, I might have missed the opportunity to put a little in the bank for the moderate shift leading up to Matinicus. No mistakes on leg 2 (see next paragraph titled "What Went Right") but on leg 3 I didn't put enough in the bank as the breeze came around back at Matinicus and I rounded too wide. To be honest, I was pretty tired toward the end of that leg and wasn't paying enough attention to notice the shift. Rookie mistake.

I think leg 2 strategy was the make/break factor for this race. Those who hung on a little longer to the right avoided more of the header on port tack and enjoyed more of the lift on starboard. Resolute was the first to go over then it was decision time. To help me decide, I blasted the Clash, Should I Stay or Should I Go over a cup of coffee and decided to dig in on the right, even taking Eagles Dare's transom, the last to go over in front of me. Luck was on my side, as my eventual tack required no others nor was footing off called for at Mt Desert Rock. Leg 4 was a methodical plod to Rockland, fighting the tide and working hard not to get demoralized by the atrocious tacking angles. I put this leg in the What Went Right category as prior to OSTAR, these were the ones I was sure I wasn't sailing right, resulting in lots of yelling, second guessing and thoughts of the Caribbean where there is no tide to speak of. Instead I stayed focused and plodded on, watching my polar percent, confident that if I just showed a little patience and grit, dividends would be paid


As always, it was a terrific honor racing with the Maine crowd and I appreciate all the work Doug Pope and Rockland YC do to make it happen. Fantastic course, good late season breeze and brilliant competition!

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