Nine boats competed in the fifth race of the season under grey clouds and cooler than normal temperatures in a gusting and shifting WNW wind. The start line of the W6 course was set slightly north of Long Island with the weather mark set at 3200. As the fleet approached the starting area the wind suddenly increased and most of the J/24s opted for a headsail change as the RC waited for the last boat to sail across the lake. And we witnessed a sight not seen in many years: a Star headed out of the Lake George Club to compete. Welcome Iko Iko, skippered by Ed Gardner. At the start Cut Loose and Spirit had the line virtually uncontested with most boats opting for the boat end of the line but several seconds late.
The shifting winds favored Uncle Ludwig’s southerly route to the weather mark and Kyle and crew rounded first with Wild Thing popping their chute next. Ed Gardner in the Star followed, sailing deep with the mast butt cranked aft. Several boats opted to not fly their spinnakers in the gusty high winds that prevailed for most of the first four legs. At the leeward mark Uncle Ludwig had a clear lead with the Iko Iko and Wild Thing following. Spirit and Witch Way were swapping tacks and on the upwind leg the winds shifted more to the west. The RC moved the leeward mark several hundred yards to the north in an attempt to square up the course. As the evening progressed the winds started to abate, allowing some of the J/24s to swap back to their genoas. On the final leg, Uncle Ludwig had a major wrap of their chute during a gybe. Wild Thing crossed first for line honors, followed by Iko Iko. Uncle Ludwig, Witch Way and Spirit had sufficient time on the faster boats to capture the top three spots for the night.
I would like to thank Nelson Snowden for assisting on the RC boat last evening. Next week John Dickinson and the crew of Cut Loose will host the evening’s race.