Thursday, August 13, 2009
2009 Masters' Pacific Coast Championship
Here I am sailing on saturday! Chris Ray took some great photos, check them out at his website!
This was a two day event hosted by St Francis but sailed out of Treasure Island. On saturday we raced just off south end of the Berkeley Pier, on sunday further to the east into Emeryville. Saturday saw the most breeze with average around 20 knots and some gusts higher, sunday was more mid-teens. There were 26 boats registering, though by the end of saturday we probably had 22 actually racing.
The first race on saturday was clearly warmup for everyone. With the early flood tide, the right was favored for tide, but the left slightly favored for breeze. The fleet arrived at the first mark fairly close, I was around in first with a few boat length lead but in trying to make sure I didn't hit the weather mark I neglected to let the vang off, in trying to round the boom hit the water and I capsized. Fortunately, the fleet behind managed to entered in a mutual screwup so I only lost a few boats on the rounding. First run was back to round in third, managed to get back to top of fleet on second beat only to make another horrible rounding, hitting the mark, and let Peter Vessella and Peter Phelan back in. Then, sailed to the wrong finish line! Ok, third in that race, glad it was over!
Next three races I had great upwind speed and was able to win all three. Races 2 and 3 played off the right side, but by the last race the flood was no longer favoring the right and played off the left. Important thing from these races: good downwind speed in the big waves and strong breeze, so nobody catching me on the runs!
First race on sunday was in the 10-12 range. Mediocre start at the boat, follow Boomer to the right back in the pack. Peter comes in from left with nice lead, I round in 7 or 8. Manage to come back to around 4 at the leeward gate and then sail hard for second beat to get around in second and closing on Peter. Can't quite catch him on the run, finish second.
Good start in next race, lead all the way to win.
If I can beat Peter, or finish right behind him, can win the regatta without the fourth race. But... not so good start and have to clear out of traffic before trying to figure out where Peter is going. Get to weather mark with potential to be first around, coming in on port but can't cross Boomer. Figure a tight leebow will force him to tack since he "can't possibly" lay in the current.. but I don't execute and Boomer lays. I have to wait for him to go by, Peter and Peter round with me and inside and in no time I'm in fourth. On run I try to stay on Peter Vessella's wind to stay one place behind but get complacent and Peter slips away to pass Boomer. He is second, I'm fourth!
Technically, we are tied on points and I won the tie breaker but I figure I better race the last race. Fortunately, I get a good start and am able to get in front and not screw up and win race. So, take the series.
In general, very happy at this event with speed. Be very interesting to see how that works this weekend in Monterey and, of course, next week in Halifax!