As everyone knows by now, there was no racing on the final day. This was predictable from the morning in the boat park - the gradient wind was North at 5-10 knots and it was already quite warm by the time we arrived, around 10:00 am. The forecast was for warm temperatures inland so one would expect a seabreeze to try to form, which would fight with the offshore gradient with the most likely result of unstable conditions.
The fleet embarked at the standard time and headed to their respective race areas. It was clear the race committee was betting on a seabreeze as they set up in the same place as the previous two days. For a short time it looked like it would happen as a very light onshore flow helped us get out to the racing area. However, shortly after noon this started to die again and we could see the offshore breeze up against the shoreline. The Race Committee decided to pull up and take us back to where we had sailed the final day of qualifiers (Tuesday) and as they set up the conditions seemed remarkably similar, with some puffs moving down with enough punch to actually hike out.
It was clear that for the final day the Race Committee was going to hold to a high standard. They set up the course and got the Apprentices off but a fair right shift came through right after the start and some boats were just shy of the layline to the weather mark, so the RC abandoned the race. Shortly after the conditions began to deteriorate further, principally getting much lighter with much more pronounced shifts. The RC shifted the course around to get better aligned with this breeze and then attempted to start the Apprentices again, but were forced to postpone when the wind died at the start line.
By now it was well after 3:00 pm and the handwriting was becoming clearer. As I recall the RC made one more futile attempt to restart the Apprentices, postponing again just before the start gun and then went into a wait mode. At this point the fleet started to generally head in the direction of the harbor and at around 3:50 the RC agreed and abandoned for the day.
This was one of those days when it was frustrating not to race, but would have been equally frustrating to race. In my case, I would have needed a very good race and the second throwout, along with some help from some people in front of me, to make the top ten. Possible but, for me, difficult in what are clearly not my conditions. So, I end 14th overall which is not where I was planning to finish but was certainly an improvement over where I was standing after the qualification round!
Now that I'm back in California I'll try to put together the general critique of my performance and figure out where we go from here.
On the plus side, it turns out I beat my weight goal by quite a bit... I was planning to sail at 195 lbs which required losing some 15 pounds over the last six months. This morning's weigh in had me at 190 lbs!