What a drama on the water this past Sunday!
Three boats showed up at the starting line, First Light, Urban Escape and Applejack. The crew on Applejack actually got a watch this time so they nailed the start of the first race, crossing the line as first, Urban Escape following closely behind. Though, it wasn’t long until Steve and his all-girl-crew took the lead. However, just before they were about to round the first mark, Applejack started questioning which way should the boats round the first mark (maybe a note to the race management to clarify this before the race next time)? Urban Escape, who was on her way to go around on her starboard side, made a courtesy turn to go around the mark on a port side, but Applejack somehow changed her mind and decided that it is OK to round a mark on a starboard side, and… Anyway, in all this confusion, Applejack came around the first mark as the leading boat, followed by First Light and Urban Escape.
But the drama was far from being over! Applejack tried to set up her spinnaker pole which got stuck. The crew managed to finally set it up but when they hoisted the spinnaker, this one got all tangled (click here for a good read about common spinnaker mistakes in order to avoid this and other common issues in the future). In the meantime both, Urban Escape and First Light came charging (well, this word is probably a bit too strong as there was hardly any breeze out there) from behind and Applejack lost all her advantage. Nevertheless, she kept the lead all the way until the home stretch (by this point all three boats also managed to agree which way to round the final two marks), when Urban Escape employed some serious match racing tactics. She tacked early on to make a split on the course (just like the America’s Cup boats do for example), hoping for some more breeze closer to the shore. And her bravery got rewarded! She managed to find some gusts and crossed the finish line in the first place, followed by First Light and eventually Applejack. Urban Escape’s lead was though to small, unfortunately, so First Light won on handicap. Applejack was still third.
The second race, however, was another story! Applejack (again using the watch which proved to be very handy when starting a race) won the start line, came around the first mark as first (this time everyone knew which way to go), slowly increased her lead on a downwind leg, and with great helming (helmed by one of the ‘adult-learn-to-sailers’ under expert watch of ever experienced Mel) and tactics crossed the finish line minutes before First Light (second on line and handicap) and Urban Escape (third on line and handicap).
The official results are below:
- Race 1 LINE:
- Urban Escape (Steve Gurney) – 00:58:44 – 1 place
- First Light (Paul Wilson) – 00:59:23 – 2 place
- Applejack (Mel Gazzard) – 01:00:30 – 3 place
- Race 1 HANDICAP:
- First Light (Paul Wilson) – 1 place
- Urban Escape (Steve Gurney) – 2 place
- Applejack (Mel Gazzard) – 3 place
- Race 2 LINE:
- Applejack (Mel Gazzard) – 00:43:10 – 1 place
- First Light (Paul Wilson) – 00:48:55 – 2 place
- Urban Escape (Steve Gurney) – 00:49:15 – 3 place
- Race 2 HANDICAP:
- Applejack (Mel Gazzard) – 1 place
- First Light (Paul Wilson) – 2 place
- Urban Escape (Steve Gurney) – 3 place