Our old friend ‘trackday’ spoiled us over the past year or so with his great on-board reports from the STP65 "Rosebud," which has recently passed on to a new owner. Trackday hasn’t stopped doing his thing, this time from aboard the hot 62′ IRC racer ‘Limit’ aboard the Cabo Race. Stay up to date in the Ocean Racing Anarchy thread, sign up for the race’s Facebook page, or check out the official website – though don’t expect much!
This is my first report from the Yacht LIMIT on the race to Cabo. We started the race by being over the line early. Whoops. That cost us 2.5 minutes and a slap on the hand.
The race has been sailed in a clocking or veering breeze of 8 to 11 knots that has seen us peel from our jib, to our MHJ, to our A0, to our A3, to our A2 and now our A1. This should last until sunset when I expect our seabreeze to fade away and we will be left with the light NE gradient breeze. That could make for a long night while we battle for a few miles down the course.
For now it would appear that we have a tick of speed on Akela when we are righting moment sailing. We where able to catch them after our delayed start and cross their bow about 3 hours after the start. However, Akela has better Vmg than us in these light running conditions.
In my spare time I have been making a crib sheet to learn all the nicknames of our Aussie and Kiwi crew. Names like Twirler, shifty, Enzo, AB, and Mainsy are all bit new to me. By the end of this race, I am guessing my name will be “what” or “repeat” as I am constantly asking the guys to repeat their question so that a Yankee, such as myself can understand them.
The plan for Saturday night was to be mostly on port gybe headed for shore in order to set ourselves up for a sea breeze on midday Sunday. Our plan failed when we hit a wind hole about 45 miles from shore and sat helplessly with our drifter slating while the smaller boats from our start sailed up to us.
Fortunately, the gradient breeze came in early than any predictions and we were sailing in a 7 knot NW breeze by 0500. We are now too far from shore (50 nm) to hope for any sea breeze to increase the strength of the gradient. So we will sail the shortest course towards Cedros until the predicted veer in the wind lifts us on Starboard gybe to the point where we can make an nice angle towards shore where we expect an increase in the breeze.
Akela remains our primary competition and right now they are slightly behind and to leeward (port side) by about 5 miles. At this point in the race, we owe them about 1m10s and I would guess that they are ahead of us by about that amount. As the breeze increases today, I think we should have a significant speed advantage over them. So until wind strength increases, we will have to be satisfied with sailing in the same water as them and be patient as we wait for our opportunity.
I have made it through the night without any nickname (that I know of…). There are still plenty of opportunities for that. Perhaps the best news is that I have not seen any Vegemite spread come out for breakfast.