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Sunday, May 2, 2010

AYC Hein Bank Race...

We recently participated in the 2010 Anacortes Yacht Club Hein Bank race. As the designated start boat we were able to see the entire fleet off, then start by ourselves 10 minutes later.

This event consists of a race from the west entrance of Guemes Channel down Rosario Strait to Davidson Rock, then a hard right-hand turn and out to Hein Bank in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. After rounding the Hein Bank buoy you then return to the start line - the total distance being around 40 nautical miles.

We started under a full main and a J2 headsail in about 10 knots of wind and a strong ebb current of about 2.5 knots. We caught most of the fleet off Green Point (Washington Park) and then headed down the rhumb line to Davidson Rock. We elected to stay high of the mark as we expected a westerly and wanted to have plenty of height for this transition.

After rounding Davidson Rock very wide we loaded up the blast reacher and went directly to Hein Bank. The closer we got to Hein Bank the less wind we experience (now down to about 4-5 knots) and diminished current. We rounded Hein Bank around 12:20 and then took a reciprocal course bank to Davidson Rock, again using the blast reacher - unfortunately on the way back the current was on our nose, slowing our progress down.

On the way back the wind started to back and we loaded up the Code 0 - after we fiddled around with getting it properly loaded we quickly horizoned the last remaining boat (another Perry design Night Runner) and rounded Davidson Rock in less than an hour.

We then launched the A1 kite and ran VMG angles up Rosario Strait against the remaining ebb. We first crossed over to the east side, but the winds were lighter and current still strong so we headed back to the west side. Once we reached Bird Rocks we then crossed back over to the east side and tried to take advantage of the back eddy currents near Washington Park and Shannon Point.

After rounding Shannon Point the rain started to fall heavily and the wind dropped off - with a couple of quick jibes we managed to lay the finish, ending up with an elapsed time of 4:52:50. We later heard that many of the boats were becalmed at Davidson Rock on the way home, so I guess we will see how we did...

Here is a quickie video of the event...