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Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 SYC Smith Island Regatta...

This last weekend we participated in the Seattle Yacht Club Smith Island Regatta.  This event is a distance race from Shilshole out and around Smith Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and return.  The total course length is around 85 nm - the longest event at SYC.

The start was downwind in 20-25 knot winds.  During the start in a wild gybe we managed to break one of our wheels and destroy some railing so we had to sail the balance of the event from one side.  We kept pace with the lead boats until Point-No-Point where we managed to get into the lead and stay there for most of the race.  At Marrowstone Island the winds died in our first restart - Flash and Dark Star managed to catch us there while we anchored to avoid going backwards...

After Marrowstone we reached deep into the bay at Port Townsend, passing Flash in the process. At Point Wilson we elected to head west while Flash crossed over to Point Partridge.  When the hoped for westerly didn't appear, we headed north and crossed with Flash again near Point Partridge.  Both of us then short-tacked the beach until we could reach out to Smith Island.  We reached Smith Island only slightly ahead of Flash.

After rounding Smith Island we set the kite and headed back to Point Partridge - we elected to head down into the bay at Port Townsend while Flash headed down Whidbey Island.  On our way back to the finish we used every opportunity we could to escape the current, crossing from side to side in Admiralty Inlet when needed.

We were expecting to hit a southerly sometime before finishing, but it never came.  In the end all we got was a no-wind convergence zone just at the finish - we wasted about 30 minutes there before it filled in so we could finish.

The net-net was that we came in 4th in our division and mid-pack overall in the event - this was not a big boat day given the winds and currents.  Despite all this we were only 2 minutes out of third and 5 minutes out of second - all things considered a good race.

Here are a few video snippets of the event: