Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And The Strange Continues.......WBRA #3 & #4

I would be lying to you all if I was to say that this season has been a ton of fun. The light winds, strong currents and short courses leaves me to think about the real reason that we all spend the hours, away from our families to bob around the bay. FUN is the only answer that I can come up with, but I just haven't gotten there yet this season. I know that the winds will come up, the currents will seem to disappear, and I will be having a blast. I just wish it would be soon.

May 1st was the second weekend races of our season, and once again boats showed up to the hanging of a postponement flag from the committee boat. (A common theme so far this year) This weekend only 8 boats answered the call, noticeably absent were 74, 95, 105, and 109. 95 had a jumped shiv at the top of their mast, and was unable to fix it before the race. I only know this because I grabbed Terri as a last minute crew member.

After drifting around in the middle of the Bay for roughly 1-1/2 hours waiting on the wind gods, the AP came down and the racing was on it's way. 5 knots of breeze, 3.5 knots of flood, and the Folkboat do not make a good combination. The starting gun was fired, the fleet was off; well pointing in the direction of the windward mark. Slowly the fleet reached the mark, with 106 rounding first, 108 second, followed by 113, and 122. I made it around on my 3rd attempt only adding to my frustration, just behind Eric in 122. The downhill sleigh ride was just that, not enough wind to allow a passing lane and a group of children huddled up at the bottom. The Knarr fleet, and 2 of our fleet had just enough wind to round the mark and head to the City Front. Peter, Eric and myself (OK, the rest of the fleet)were less fortunate. We should have dropped an anchor, or head off to Angel Island for a delayed Easter Cruise. A half hour of trading positions, sailing against a strong flood tide and ending up over at the Knox race course, the three of us were able to tack onto starboard and finally make the mark.

6 of the 8 boats were scored a DNF. So, congrats to David Wilson in 106 and Chris Herrmann in 108 on being the only 2 boats to finish race #3.

Race 2 was a bit different, the wind came up <15 knots, and the flood was on it's last legs. Now, this is a bit more like Folkboat weather. Absent from the second start was 122 and 116. I later learned that Eric headed in, because he too was not having any fun !!!! I am not sure what happened to George Cathey and the 116 crew, but the boat was put away in his slip when I got back in, so I hope all else was well there.

The start was pretty run of the mill for our fleet, as 106, 113, and 108 got an early jump, and lead the way to the windward mark. Following was 56, 111, 121, and 107. Downwind I was able to pass 56 and get the inside advantage by the leeward mark. On the last windward leg, I tack leeward and ahead of 108, for the clear tactical advantage to the finish line. I was hanging in there with the possibility of out drag racing him to the finish, when from clear astern the last place Bird boat sailed over the top of me with NO point and a ton of speed. Not a big deal, right? Let him pass ahead; I know he is faster, but can not out point us. I waved to him to head below, but for some reason he decided he wanted to try and out point us. So, my brief moment of a 3rd place finish was once again lost. The top 5 were:

USA 106
USA 113
USA 108
USA 111
USA 56

May 5th marks the beginning of our Wednesday Night Series, and even the strange conditions that we have been seeing on the weekends, can not keep our fleet from having fun during the week. See you all out there...........

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