Sunday, July 29, 2007

WSC Overnight Race

Early this morning we finished the annual WSC Overnight Race. We only had 2 boats in the non-spinnaker division, but after seeing the finishing times of the spin class, I'm kind of happy that we sailed in the cruising class.

J.R. fixes the masthead light last week in anticipation of the race. He didn't crew this time around, but we appreciate his work!

Crew Lee

Crew Janel

The weather threatened all night, with a stationary line of thunderstorms hanging ominously just inland from the CT shore. Fortunately, the weather held off and we were rewarded with a full moon rising just after sunset.

The start was at 5:10 PM, from the Gulf, and first mark was Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground. We beat into a SSW breeze that ranged from 15-20 knots apparent, and made the mark by about 7:30. Then we started the downwind leg to New Haven, but about five minutes after rounding we saw all the Class A boats ahead of us dropping their spinnakers. The wind clocked around to the ESE, turning the leg into another beat.

After the wind settled down, we found ourselves on the lay line for the next mark, and made decent time against the flooding tide. The sun set and there were flashes of lightening over CT, and we could see fireworks from places on both shores. The moon soon made it bright enough to see perfectly.

There was a minor equipment failure during this leg - the last three inches of our tiller handle broke off right at the fitting for the tiller extender. I was sitting there nice and relaxed, steering while leaning back against the lifelines when suddenly I heard a snap and was left holding the extender with a sad little chunk of wood on the end, while the boat started rounding up. I taped the broken end of the tiller and continued the race sitting uncomfortably straight up.

The sacrifices we must make for a distance race!

We got to New Haven around 11, and after dodging a couple of tugboats/barges, we sailed an easy reach on the final leg back to Milford. We crossed the finish line around 12:30AM, after sailing a roughly 33 mile course.

Great work by the RC, including Fleet Captain Steve Hackett. This year's inclusion of a shorter cruising class race course made it a very enjoyable race.


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