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Monday, April 4, 2011

Hein Bank Race Update...

This last Saturday was the annual running of the Anacortes Yacht Club Ed Knowles Memorial Hein Bank Race. This race is approximately 37 miles in length and starts at the west entrance of Guemes Channel, heads down Rosario Strait and then out towards Victoria where you round the Hein Bank buoy and return.

We had a good start but in the process managed  to push Night Runner over the start line earning them an OCS.  After the start in ~10 knots TWS we headed close hauled for Rosario.  As we headed down Rosario the seas became lumpier so we downshifted to the J3 and reefed the main.  The seas built to 6-8 feet (sometimes more) making for a lumpy ride that required careful driving.

On the way out we tried to stay in the current and only on the last leg to the mark did we shake out the reef.  We probably overstood the mark a little as we underestimated the acceleration of the ebb over the bank.  Once we rounded the bank we set our new hot-rod A2 and surfed home.  The swells were reasonably large so we managed to get some surfing in, at times hitting nearly 18 knots.  

As we entered Rosario Strait the seas subsided and we started running our VMG numbers home to the finish.  Given the lumpy conditions nearly half the fleet retired, some of which we passed on the way back in.  We ended up completing the race in a little over 4 hours and were back at the dock before many in the fleet had rounded the bank.

We ended up taking 1st in the race and 1st in the series -- a nice way to start the season.  Next up is Southern Straits...
Hein Bank Rounding Track (with currents & winds)