Being ThereRace Report

in the groove

140925_TODD_0250While our good friend Rossi and the Clear Air/Lavalife/Sailing Anarchy team didn’t win the J/24 Worlds, they sailed a strong top-ten regatta while writing daily reports for all you J/24 fans, and we’re damned proud of them.  Here’s the report from the penultimate day of the event – come back tomorrow for the final report. Paul Todd photo and some huge galleries to browse from Worlds at this link.  

Day Four

The RC made a good call racing us inside the Bay, North of the Newport bridge, with wind forecast to increase to upper teens gusting in the twenties – too rough for the RC to anchor outside (and here is a good time to thank all the volunteers  on and off the water – without you, we can’t race so thanks!).  The bay is plenty big and made for a good tricky race course for 70+ boats.  The local guys maybe had a small advantage, but conditions were very tricky for everyone.

We had a good start and headed to the left shore with Will Welles, Hillman, and Tony Parker  just to leeward.  It looked like our side was favoured and we could tack and cross the fleet but we were convinced the left was the way to go and did not want to give that up. Well, a 20 degree right shift came in half the way up the beat and we went from wining to salvage mode in a hurry.  We took many transoms to make it to the right and rounded the mark in the 40s or 50s.  On the other hand, team HH and few others that I could not even see were well ahead of the fleet.

We gybed on the mark and few more righties helped us pass a pack of boats that went straight. Rounded the bottom mark in the mid 20s, finally a small break for Clear Air!  A few more breaks came our way on the upwind, and we passed a few more to finish 14th.   Again out of the top ten but we were happy about decent recovery.  A few boats got stuck on the left and could not get out – one of them was regatta leader Will Welles, making life harder for his team with a 46.

Race 2  gave us another good start on the boat, feeling good until the boats that started in the middle tacked and were crossing.  We tack to leeward and head back to the right, favored all day.  We tack back short of layline, anticipating it to be very busy place.  That worked out very well for us and a small left shift at the top put us in fifth around the mark.  Has our luck changed?

Motorhome with local fleet fifty sailor and past world champion Jens Hookanson calling the shots rounded the mark first with a small lead, with Will behind and Mauricio just behind him. Will and Mauricio started fighting (they had been 1-2 for most of the week) and that opened up some space for us to sail our own race. Mauricio managed to get inside at the bottom mark and passed Will, while we went to the right gate and once again, a shift came our way and we were gone from the fleet. Motorhome won the race comfortably, while the Japanese boat Gekko passed us to get second.  Behind us the fight was on; Mauricio ,Will, and Hillman finished overlapped at the finish line and Mauricio got the all-important two points on Will.

Racing on the bay felt much more like the lake conditions we know so well.  Check back tomorrow for the final day’s report!