Dragon’s East Coast Beach Tour
We had a decent start (4th off the line) in 9 knots of wind and at a near dead run with 3+ knots of current draining out of New York harbor. We blazed out, gybing cleanly maybe 10 times before reaching the Verrazano in first place. Chris kept his standing promise to his daughter and screamed for the echo off the bottom of the span. 10 minutes later, on the right side of the course, I screamed when the wind died and the fleet compressed into us , and in 4 cases past us by a bit. The breeze filled in after about 5 minutes from left to right and in a near 180 degree shift. Down came kite, out went the solent and off we went.
Conditions kept any one in the fleet from pulling the Poucher / Fetsch sneak out the south channel and we all went down the main channel. Solents were swapped out for Code 0’s in light air of 5 to 9 knots.
We laid exactly one tack on port and headed south. In took us to the beach around Asbury Park (where we could hear the concert from the boat) and the we got lifted right on to the mark. We also kept the code up the entire way until we were lifted enough 15 miles out from Barnegate to put up the code 5. One board, all the way.
The rest of the fleet tacked multiple times and switched code to solent to code to spin to code. They also chased to lift down to the east, a crucial problem that left them with a slower angle when closing to the rounding mark.
Halvard and Miranda sailed a near perfect leg and earned their top rank at the mark. We parlayed our inside position into rounding in second, with a pack of 10 boats converging like angry dogs.
After rounding, it has been all up hill under the solent, full main, two tanks of water ballast in about 15 knots of wind. It has been a simple game of tacking when the favored board shifts, and we find ourselves 4 miles from the western most beach in the Hamptons. Probably 2 tacks to get to Montauk, and then decisions about the tides and currents to figure out if it will be the west or east side of Block. Time to get this tack in before we literally hit the beach. – Mike Hennessey, Dragon. Photos from yesterday’s start thanks to mstrsail. Hey, Emma looks like she needs a crew – pick me, pick me!