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2012 Pacific Cup
12-14kts @ 210-220, 1024.2mb
A5/Spinnaker Staysail/Full main
Update: Double Trouble is currently 1st in Class and 1st Overall. Well, welcome to the 2012 edition of the Pacific Cup aboard the J125 Double Trouble.
Crew: Andy Costello, Trevor Baylis, Matt Noble, Jody McCormack and Skip McCormack.
Walking away from the boat the morning of the race on our way to an early lunch, it seemed we have never been as prepared and relaxed for a race as this one. Part of the enjoyment of these races is the entire process from the decision to race to preparing the boat to meeting RC obligations to racing to the party afterwards. It is a huge sense of accomplishment after completing a race like this.
The sailing is outstanding; where else are you going to get 6 days of endless surfing in warm conditions against great competitors? Well? Yes, there are a few others : but I will argue this is one of the best courses in the World.
We had a pretty good plan going into race day. Everything seemed to be panning out for a slower exit out of the gulf of the Farallons with a light building NW breeze that would keep us high on rhumb line towards Hawaii. The Pacific High was well West and would be consolidating on the coast while remaining well North.
As Trevor and Andy were saying "Let’s Go!" to get to the boat, the last high-def GRIB was downloaded from broadband and it showed an anomaly to the SE of the High, a little hernia of high pressure. A little nervous, we downloaded another GRIB as we were in the gulf of the Farallons and the anomaly had disappeared. Our original plan was still a go.
At 4am we woke up to a new GRIB with the anomaly back and the High doing a dive from 42N down to 37N, right into our path. Since the GRIBs had been going back and forth, the decision was made to hold off on any rash actions until the next file was available. The next file corroborated the southerly bubble of the High pressure and we changed our game plan.
Up went the 2.5 in the light pressure and down across the fleet we went. Our goal was to get to the ridge between 1024 and 1025 mb, which was well below rhumb line. We watched as we slide south of California Condor, still visible only a few miles behind us. We watched Hula Girl cross behind us as she came reaching back up after an night of Southing.
For the next 24 hours we have been anxious about whether sailing the longer distance was better to stay in pressure. We have been sailing super wicked up, stalling out occasionally as we try and cross this band of breeze to get to the ridge in the right spot.
Last night was really tough conditions. There was very little horizon and with the boat bound up on a tight reach with puffs/lulls, the instruments couldn’t keep up with the wind shifts. We have photo-luminescent tape on the luff of the kites, so it looks like a glowing zipper in the sky, showing the break in the luff, which is all we had to steer by.
This morning we have woken up to a decent 2am tracker report. Condor and Warrior are dead upwind of us at 26 and 53 miles respectively. Medusa is just aft of our beam at 46 miles. The rest of the fleet is spread between those two angles at various distances, except Icon, who is going higher and a little faster and about 54 miles closer to Hawaii than we are.
So that’s our spot. The plan, nicknamed Buffalo Girl, is that this move will keep us in better pressure and hopefully we can keep our bow out on the fleet as we turn the ridge over the next 24-36 hours.
Thank you to all the supporters out on the DT Protector who cheered us all the way out to Mile buoy. What a great sendoff!