Faithful friends and crew of Strategery,
Well, with only 4 hours sailing the boat, the crew came through with a flawless performance to take our first (of many, knock wood) bullet on Tuesday. Not only did we beat the entire 105 fleet, but we were lucky enough to finish in front of the entire A fleet. As any racer will tell you, it’s not the driver that wins the race, it is the crew…and the crew of Strategery got it done.
We got to the course about an hour early to practice starts (the thing we screwed up on last Tuesday). It was gusting to over 25 knots, so we were over early a few times in practice, and worked hard on slowing the boat (which paid of in spades later).
At the start, the breeze had abated to about 15 knots, and the course was set for a windward (upwind), leeward (downwind) course, 2 times around.
At the start, we were pushed over early by Uproar, who had rights and luffed us up. With 20 seconds to go, we luffed up then slammed down behind the stern of Uproar, who had by that time sailed by us. Accelerating, we hit the line at the gun and in clear air just upwind of Uproar. After about 5 boatlengths, we were forced to tack from Uproars bad air, and sailed to the center of the course. Upwind was pretty straightforward, with Scott and Dewey teaming on the Jib, and the crew hiking hard. Marlen, last week’s winner, had been pushed over early and had to restart, so we were well ahead of them and Ubuntu.
At the top mark, we were able to round inside Uproar and set the chute for the downwind leg. After a great set, we gybed and sailed deep to the mark, while Uproar gybed and sailed a hotter angle to set us up for the downwind mark, where they would be on starboard (have rights on us) and would be performing a Mexican takedown (the easiest to do). With Jim on the chute, we sailed fast and deep at the mark, sailing a bit higher angle to take advantage of the current.
People talk about the moment they won the race…I’ve never actually thought that way. That said, the first downwind mark is where I thought we had a good shot at winning. We were overlapped with Uproar, and gave them room at the mark, sailing a deep course and dousing our chute to windward. Chris called an inside rounding, as Uproar sailed wide to drop their chute. We dropped the sail and came up inside as if the crew was professional. Was the best douse and rounding I’ve ever been a part of. From then on we covered Uproar to the upwind mark.
At the upwind mark, we came into close proximity of Trinity, a Concordia 47 that rates an 18 on PHRF. We had been sailing pretty well, and were dead even with them despite our rating of 81 (truth is, they don’t matter to us in our 105 class even though we share the same starting line). We rounded inside them and set the chute. Working our way up to our optimum downwind sailing angle, they had to give us right of way since we were to leeward. They didn’t give us enough room as we worked up, and their chute touched our rigging…an instant foul. We sailed down and away from them after letting them know they had to do a 720 degree turn, or suffer disqualification. Really, we just wanted to get away from their bad air, and having fouled us they sailed off to do their penalty turn.
That was the last real bit of excitement for us. We sailed a great downwind leg, Uproar got passed by Marlen as they struggled with the set, we rounded inside of Trinity at the leeward mark and took a clean first place.
I cannot say enough great things
about our bowman Shawn, jib trimmers Scott and Dewey, Spin trimmer Jim and
Looking forward to a great season.
Stay tuned for more.