Thank you Cut Loose! John and crew set a very nice seven-leg course from the start line to a pin to the NW and back downwind to Hogback in the 8- to 10-knot winds. The line was nicely square. The upwind leg saw some competitive tacking with a split fleet on both sides of the course. The fleet was complemented by Catchin’ Js and Fuzzy Logic our for their first race of the season. Welcome!
At the first mark Spirit and Vaporize rounded first with Crackerjack, Witch Way and Animal following closely. Witch Way was first to gybe back out to some nice pressure followed by Crackerjack. Spirit and Animal held their course longer on starboard gybe. Halfway down the second leg Witch Way and Crackerjack swapped positions several times both working for the advantage into the second mark. At mark two, Vaporize led the way with Crackerjack, Witch Way, Spirit and Animal following. The J/80s were hovering just back of the lead pack.
During the upwind leg Crackerjack held the very tight lead over the other J/24s. At the next set the wind started to drop and the committee boat signaled a shorten course half way down the leg. That downwind leg allowed boats to explore looking for higher pressure. Animal sailing to the south side of the course gained big and Witch Way to the north picked up vital boat lengths going into mark four. Crackerjack rounded third within inches of the two lead J24s and Spirit rounded just few boat lengths back.
On the last upwind leg Animal opted for a tantalizing lift on port tack only to have it dissipate quickly. Somehow Crackerjack sailed under Witch Way on the final tack to the finish as Animal and Spirit suffering a knock on the same tack. At the finish line, Vaporize crossed first for line honors followed by a dramatic finish with Crackerjack, Animal and Witch Way crossing the line within seconds of each other. All in all the J24s had a great one design race with lots of tacking and gybing.
Next week Committee boat honors will fall to the crew of High Jinx.