Thirteen boats, the largest fleet of the year so far, participated in last evening’s race. Welcome Fuzzy Logic and Stinger to the mix! With the fairly steady 8- to 10-knot winds out of the NE an I-5 course was set with the North Canoe government mark as the leeward mark, the start/finish line just to the north of Yankee and in line with the windward tetrahedron at 045o. At the start, Ed Gardner in Iko Iko tacked to port right off the line while the rest of the fleet opted to stay on starboard for some minutes. With such clean air he quickly establish a top-tier position.
At the first mark Vaporize was first around with Iko Iko and Witch Way following. The chute on Vaporize failed to appear immediately and Witch Way and Iko IKo pounced, striking a course straight downwind towards North Canoe. The wind swung over to the west as the fleet sailed their first downwind leg, so the windward mark was dragged ~¼ mile west in an attempt to straighten out the course. The wind stayed fairly west up the second windward leg, giving the competitors a lengthy first tack. As they passed the start/finish line the wind swung back more to the north and Witch Way opted for a few short hitches to the west while Iko Iko seemed to just point straight at the mark. Witch Way had a narrow lead at the mark, though.
The cluster that followed had a significant deficit either in corrected time or distance. The wind went back to the NE as the two leaders were battling for an advantage. During the final leg, rainbows appeared in the eastern sky adding additional majesty to the lake view.
Swapping tacks up the final leg, Iko Iko gained a one-boatlength lead over Witch Way to cross the finish line first but Alfie and crew put another win on the board! Wild Thing crossed next, followed by Vaporize, but without the needed time margin to keep three J/24s from slipping into the top five. Animal took third for the night. Within a hundred yards of the finish, woot! on starboard tack crossed ahead of the very closely spaced Uncle Ludwig and Spirit, both on the favored port tack. Uncle Ludwig to leeward of Spirit had the easier course around woot!’s stern and beat Rodger and crew across the line. Unfortunately woot! needed to tack to cross the line and finished just behind Spirit.
Complete results, as usual, on lakegeorgeracing.com
Next week is our final race in the first half series. A second drop will be scored. Witch Way has a 7-point lead over Spirit. Uncle Ludwig in third needs two points to beat second-place Spirit in the series. Wild Thing is currently in fourth but still in the hunt for second or third.