After two hours of postponement for Day Two, we were off the dock at 11 – the best call the RC made all day! By the time we got out on the ocean, the Newport sea breeze was building nicely. We waited for a short little postponement on the water while the wind shifted between 200 and 230. Waves were much smaller if any factor at all.
The RC had a tough time holding the three-boat line on station, with one end always favored; Race Three for the championship hit a few General Recall snags; finally, a Black Flag start sent the fleet off with a handful picking up BFDs. I again screwed the start up, and we were hosed – tacking to port to salvage. Halfway up the beat I second-guessed my tactician Chris Snow and made him go hard right; that was expensive at the top mark when the left came in hard on our approach. Oops.
Carter White led the race at the mark with Mike Ingaham in second or third; I lost track after that looking for a place to dig into the starboard tack train. After an average downwind and a great second beat – we tacked maybe 6 times on that shortened leg but still somehow passed a few boats – we finished 14th. We’ll take that, and move on.
Race two was a messier story for many; after two general recalls and around ten boats getting the BFD boot off the line, we took a seventh in the last race and moved up to the top ten. Team Tarheel won the day and is looking solid now, while Tony Parker is on the move. Will Welles is looking untouchable and Mauricio may be the only one with a shot at him, but it’s still early days and the throwout comes in after today’s first race.
A number of top competitors – including Day One leader Mark Hillman’s boat and the Helly Hanson team- were still in the protest room at 10 PM. Not sure how they can get rid of the BFD but you never know what happens in the room.
With the lighter northerly breeze forecasted for the next few days the dogfight is on, and will be a good one until the last leg on the last race. Things are just warming up here in Newport.
Rossi Milev, CAN 5483 Clear Air/Lavalife.com/Sailing Anarchy