Welcome to 2016 Wednesday Night Racing! The opening night was perfect. A nice 7 –10 knot NE wind with oscillations to the north and plenty of sunshine provided almost ideal sailing for the eight boats that came out to race the I-5 course. An orange ball set right in the middle of the lake between Boon and Basin bays provided the windward turning point and North Canoe (U3) was used as the leeward mark. Thanks to Steve and Caroline Jackson for their help and company on the RC boat.
Within one minute of the start Uncle Ludwig swept uncontested down the line for a pin-end start. (Maybe Kyle was trying to avoid scratching up the new paint job on Uncle Ludwig.) With all but one port-tack starter at the pin along with Kyle and crew, the rest of the J-boat pack opted for starting between the boat and mid-line. Witch Way hung back by a fraction of second to have a clear opening right at the boat and established a great early position to windward of the fleet. Nice start! Vaporize started a few seconds behind Witch Way and tacked off to port seeking clear air.
A handful of tacks to the first mark, situated ~¾ mile away from the start at 0350, saw Witch Way around first with Animal next and a tight pack including Uncle Ludwig, Vaporize, Spirit and Catching J’s all in quick succession. Animal struggled to get their chute up and full. Uncle Ludwig split off from the pack and passed Animal on the long but steady downwind leg. John & Sam Tarrant in Catching J’s launched their chute well and took the deepest course to the leeward mark sailing right past the committee boat in fine style. Vaporize was looking to make up some time abd went out to the west side of the course, only to be disappointed not to find the expected higher winds.
Once around the first leeward mark the fleet seemed to head straight at the committee boat with a greater westerly wind component up to the committee boat. Once they reached the RC boat the fleet fell back into the NE winds and needed another handful of tacks to gain the last windward mark. Vaporize found wind on the east side of the course on the second downwind leg and moved up through the pack to third as the fleet approached the last turning mark. Unfortunately, Dave and Nelson did not have enough course left to recover lost ground.
With an almost wire-to-wire lead, congratulations go to the crew of Witch Way for an impressive win. In a testament to the steady winds all the boats finished within five minutes elapsed time .
Thanks to Windog who graciously gave extra minutes to the RC to pick up the marks!!
Please welcome Christian Wetzel, now skippering the J/24 T, who got out late and shadowed the fleet around most of the course.
Complete results are posted at www.lakegeorgracing.com