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 Peconic Bay Sailing Association


Let’s start with thanks and congratulations.

Thanks to the Race Committee: Steve Weiss, ably assisted by Mindy & Jim Ryan.

And congratulations to the winners: the Prietos on Zorro in the Spinnaker division, despite carrying a golf handicap and despite pausing briefly at the start to force Shuriken and Skilligalee off the start line!

Congratulations also to Bill Coster on Silent Passage, who also shrugged off a golf handicap to lead the Cruising A division home.  Special mention to Mark Rickabaugh, in Entropy, for a great race that saw them close behind Silent Passage, in second place (we noticed their reefed main at the start that was fully deployed by the end).  And finally, to Mahlon Russell in Sea Breeze, who won Cruising B, again carrying a golf handicap.

The day was perfect for sailboat racing: wind out of the south initially, or even very slightly east of south, which was not exactly the forecast direction.  As the race unfolded, however, the wind did veer into the forecast SSW and even SW for a short while.  Wind strength was pretty much as-forecast, mostly varying between 10 and 12 knots throughout with occasional dips and spikes into 8-9 knots and 12-14 knots, respectively.  Enough to see the sprit boats up on a plane during the stronger spells anyway.

The course was F4: Start, C1 (S), R22 (S), R24 (P), R20 (P), Finish.  Simple enough, but there seemed to be a fair proportion of skippers unclear whether C1 had to be honored after the start.  Guys: it’s not that complicated!  (And the courses are all on the website.)

At the start, all precedent was thrown out the window, however, when promptly at 2.05pm the Cruising divisions started first!  Sacre bleu!  Then, after a decent pause to let the 11 cruisers get away from the starting area (analogous to letting the fox get a fair start before releasing the hounds), off went the 6 spinnaker boats.  Well, 4 of them did; the other 2 were headed up by Zorro approaching the committee boat and had to sheer off and start a minute or more behind the other 4.  Word to the wise: don’t try to barge in when there’s a maneuverable, over-sized dinghy at the RC, no matter how favored that end is.

After crossing the line in clear air right next to the RC, the Viper soon tacked onto port, anticipating that the wind would shift right (which it did).  Enjoying their good start and their smart strategy Zorro led at C1 (and indeed all the way home).  In the south race, the outbound current was with the wind, so the chop was negligible, but the wind made the current itself stronger.  After generally hiding behind the south race bar, some boats slogged it out straight across the current to get close to Cow Neck, while a few took other directions.  The Cow Neck choice seemed to be a winner though (note for the file!)

Once around the Windmill Mark (R24) it was all downwind.  The spinnaker boats zoomed off to R20, wondering if the wind had gone so far west that they would not be able to hold a kite on the final leg.  Arriving first, Zorro opted for a conservative choice, and dropped.  Then, halfway home, and having edged west, they re-hoisted and bombed home skimming all the way.  (They had also unwittingly made the following boats think a spinnaker couldn’t be flown on that leg…….)

After Zorro got the gun for Spinnaker division, next home was the EEYS Hobie 33, Swift, looking good but for some unaccountable reason sailing in Cruising A division.  Not far behind was Entropy, looking good.  Then Hocus Pocus, sailing in Cruising division; then Skilligalee under their distinctive red spinnaker, which they always seem to be able to hold from R20 to the Finish, whatever the wind direction!  Next: Silent Passage, steaming home in very good order for the eventual win, on correction, followed by Faster Pussycat, sailing in disguise under their new spinnaker (which they had dropped at R20, thinking it wouldn’t fly all the way from there to the Finish, only to see Skilli steam right past them; they then had to manhandle the kite from port to starboard so they could rehoist - - probably lost 2nd-place right there).  Trading Places, Optimistic (first Alerion - - another great race), Tidelines, Back In, Gleam, No Excuses, Sea Breeze, Wild Surmise (the Saffier 23Se), and last but not least…..Simpatico.  Shuriken withdrew.  (‘Shuriken’ are those razor-sharp ninja throwing devices…..)


And that’s all she wrote.


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