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 Peconic Bay Sailing Association

Sunset Race #2 (Jackrabbit), July 25th 2020

We had what I think everyone felt was another good race on Saturday, July 25th.  17 boats turned out and checked in, including two from far away (Shelter Island and Sag Harbor).

The early wind Saturday was not promising, leading to a few nervous e-mails suggesting to the RC what we should do if it stayed that way.  “You should abandon the Jackrabbit on Course F1 and just run a short conventional race.” 

Oh ye of little faith!  The forecasts all agreed that despite light and variable early winds, vaguely from the North, between 2pm and 4pm it would flip around into the South and strengthen, with steady S or SSW winds of 10-14 knots thereafter.

For once, the forecasts turned out to be correct!  The boats set off into a very nice, fresh breeze, Sea Breeze (appropriately enough) crossing the line first, a little after 4pm.  Starts were mostly pretty good (nobody was a minute or more late to the line, as has happened before.  Tut tut!)   But, unopposed, No Excuses managed to be ‘Over Early’ and lost the best part of a minute making amends and re-starting.  The only seriously contested start was when the 4 Alerions approached the line.  But they broke into 2 pairs and nobody was over early, or excessively late.

Last away were the Viper, Great Scott, and the beautiful J100, Gracious at around 4.30pm.

The Race Committee estimated they would have one full hour to reduce their stock of cold drinks before anyone would be back and closing in on the finish. 

The race seemed well-fought.  Since the wind, on average moved right for the first hour or so, boats that held the right side derived an advantage.  One skipper shared (after the race) that they’d sensed the current actually turned to the ebb sooner than the tide-current tables had predicted.  Given the strengthening wind from the SSW that makes sense.  So some degree of shelter approaching the South Race also seemed to pay.  But also, this gave a small advantage to the later-starting boats (i.e. disadvantage to the early starters).

The Alerions had a good tussle, with Windsong and Tidelines separating from Gleam and Optimistic.  Windsong led for a while and was (pro tip!) executing a “jib-by-the-lee” wing and wing on the way back from R24 towards C1 (I don’t even know what that is but Fred says it’s very fast in an Alerion).  In this way, Windsong was managing to stay ahead of Tidelines but, disaster, they dropped their whisker pole overboard.  Circling back to retrieve it before it sank, Windsong gave up the lead to Tidelines (the lead between these two boats that is).  But Nan (on the helm) executed an efficient return and with the whisker pole back aboard set off again in pursuit of Tidelines.  Jumping ahead, Windsong crossed the line in 3rd (finishing at 18:03:05 - - and 1st for a Cruising boat), just 9 seconds ahead of Tidelines.

The overall leader was Gracious (finishing at 5:59:20), followed by Great Scott (18:01:40), both sailing extremely well.  These boats had chased the whole fleet south all the way to R24, with the two lead Alerions, Shamrock, Gracious, Pussycat and Great Scott rounding R24 in that order.  After that the planing boats had a downwind advantage and Great Scott overtook all the boats bar Gracious by R22 and then went past Gracious.  However, they thought R20 was a mark of the course and sailed an extra 0.7NM, while Gracious jibed around C1 and steamed home.  I’ll take a slice of blame for Great Scott’s error as I had mis-remembered the course for our first Jackrabbit race as F1 whereas it was actually F4 - - and in an e-mail referred to using ‘the same course as last time’.  Part of the confusion was that for the first Jackrabbit, I had actually prepared start times for 3 alternative courses, including F1, F2 and F4 (but it was F4 we sailed that day).   Sorry ‘bout that.

At the finish, after the first 4, we saw Faster Pussycat coming in swiftly, arriving at 18:04:10 a bare second ahead of Shamrock at 18:04:11. 

Skilli was next, 17 seconds later, with Zorro, the other Viper, just 4 more seconds behind them - - and really honking!  If the course had been 200 yards longer, I think Zorro would have overtaken Skilli, Shamrock and Pussycat.

Entropy was next at 18:06:09 and then Swift just 4 seconds later.

A short break and then the remaining boats crossed the line:

-          Optimistic:          18:07:03

-          Trading Places:  18: 08:01

-          Sea Breeze;         18:09;19

-          Gleam:                  18:10:03

-          Wild Surmise:    18:10:05

-          No Excuses:        18:13:10

-          Seascape24:       18:15:03


Race #6 is on Sunday, August 16th with the first warning signal at 2pm.  This race is as-yet un-named.   Any suggestions?


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