A W6 course with a windward tetrahedron mark lurking in the sun-glinting waters greeted the 11 boats that came out on the gorgeous evening. The very warm west winds swung from to W to WNW almost immediately after the start. Just prior to the start, there was a ruckus at the RC boat-end that is currently under review. This left a few boats uncontested midway down the start line. Unfortunately, Catching J’s got caught OCS and had to return to the start line after the rest of the fleet sped off towards the first mark.
Wild Thing was sliding along nicely and led the way around the course for the entire race. Spirit and Vaporize were also in the lead pack around the first few marks. With the big shift, the RC changed the course and used Cotton Point as the new windward mark with multiple sounds, C flag, and green flag flying, plus multiple announcements on the radio. This course change actually got the fleet tacking on the shifts, especially as they approached the Cotton Point reef.
It was great to watch the boats round the Cotton Point reef and pop spinnakers, back-lit by the low angled sun. Wild Thing held on to starboard gybe while most of the other boats gybed immediately after the reef and got back into the steadier winds away from the west shore. After the fleet rounded Cotton Point and headed back to the start pin/leeward mark on the fourth leg, the wind appeared to be dropping both to the north and south of the course, so the RC decided it would be prudent to head up to the weather mark and shorten the course.
Wild Thing held onto their lead coming down the fourth leg by a few boat-lengths. Brad Taylor tried to convince the RC that a finish was expected. even as other boats were rounding the leeward pin, and had to back-track around the mark. As this was happening the RC picked up anchor and headed up the weather leg. Once anchored and as the fleet approached the new finish, the shorten course signals were made with two sounds and S flag displayed.
Unfortunately for Dave and Nelson it appeared Vaporize fell into a hole somewhere along the last two legs, slipping out of the lead pack. Wild Thing prevailed to cross the line first followed by Spirit, Brad’s J/80, and woot! All but one boat finished the course within eight minutes of the leader. Catchin J’s, left behind at the start, used the shifts well and worked its way back into the race after the change in course … nicely done John!
Unfortunately, a protest was lodged and the results are considered tentative and under review. They will be updated upon conclusion of the protest “hearing.” Results, as usual, posted on lakegeorgeracing.com
Side note: Once a race is started, the RC should not be hailed for clarification of the course. The RC will do everything it can to inform the fleet of changes to the original course. Please print out the sailing instructions and grab a rule book to review “Part 3 Conduct of a Race.” This section is approximately four pages long. There you will find Rule 32 Shortening or Abandoning after the start and Rule 33 Changing the next leg of the course.
Have a great holiday weekend! Kyle and the crew of Uncle Ludwig will be hosting next week’s race.