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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2010 Foul Weather Race...

February 27, 2010 was our first "event" of the 2010 racing season - the 14.91nm ride to Friday Harbor from Anacortes.  The race started at 9:00am in the morning in mixed weather.  We had a pickup crew and were very short on experience which hurt later in the race.

We had an okay start being a little rusty, plus the computer was acting up.  We quickly left the fleet (there was only one start) and jib reached across Rosario Strait.  Last year we got stuck in Thatcher Pass for a couple of hours - this year we managed to slip through with little fuss.  After transiting the pass we loaded up the A3 and headed for Upright Head.

During this passage the winds built from 12-15 to 30+ knots - the boat speed steadily increased to nearly 22 knots in a lumpy seaway.  Using the computer I was counting down the minutes left until we impacted Orcas Island at a high rate of speed - 6 minutes, 5 minutes, etc all the while hoping that we would be able to get the kite down while short-handed.  We managed to get it down using a letterbox drop, followed by a hard gybe which broke one of our stanchions.

We then jib reached around Upright Head and over to Friday Harbor - the winds were really puffy and we were knocked down a couple of times which made it interesting for our novice crew!  Instead of setting the kite again for the final run we simply reached for the finish.

All things considered we earned a 4th place finish and were about 12 minutes out of first - not too bad, especially given the fact that we were light on crew and didn't sail very aggressively.  We did however set what may be  the fastest trip by sailboat between Anacortes and Friday Harbor - 1:23:17 elapsed time!

One other thing - our winter weight reduction program is paying dividends and we should be very, very fast this year!