2010 Champion – Old School
|1||Old School||CBYC||Scot Mundle||1||(4)||1||2||3||4||2||1||4||1||2||25||22|
|2||O’Naturel||CBYC||Bruce Rand||3||2||6||3||4||1||5||2||2||(9.0 DNF)||1||38||32|
|3||Investors Group||CBYC||Ben Rotteveel||5||1||2||1||2||(5)||4||3||3||2||5||33||33|
|4||O’ffliction||CBYC||David Wilby||2||5||3||4||6||2||1||6||1||3||(9.0 OCS)||42||35|
|6||Surfer Girl||CNVP||Dave Savard||4||6||5||6||5||6||6||5||(7)||4||3||57||54|
|7||Organised Chaos||NSC||Derek Lay||7||7||(9.0 DNF)||9.0 DNF||8||7||7||7||5||6||6||78||76|
|8||The Bad Dog||CYC||Scott MacDonald||8||8||7||7||7||8||8||(9.0 DNC)||8||9.0 DNC||9.0 DNC||88||87|
Today marked Day One of the NAC’s, which saw the non-discardable Distance Race being run. The winds were predicted to be westerly, 10-15, veering to NW early in the afternoon. The course was an oblong diamond in a SW-NE axis, with an additional 5 mile westerly leg and return to finish, approximately 25 miles.
Eight boats jostled on the line (okay, really five as three of us were in never-never land…). There were quite a few position changes throughout the race, but only two lead changes. Around the diamond, winds were relatively as predicted, but as we began up the westerly leg, things became interesting! At the beginning of this leg, Old School had just taken the lead from Ritalin. A cloud-wind line appeared, veering the wind to the North, which is directly offshore from Kingston, and thus very gusty. Everyone still had their big sails up, but were struggling with 20 knot gusts between 15 knot lulls. The gusts would drop down from above, giving little notice. Numerous round ups occurred, followed by near auto-tacks. This leg placed a heavy premium on boathandling! Half way up the leg, the line passed, leaving much more pleasant, downright balmy conditions for a mile or so. Then, the wind just left. Perhaps 3 or 4 knots at times, with 60 degree shifts which were very inconsistent. Old School made it around the last turning mark nicely ahead, but the confusing conditions collapsed the following group enough that they were rounding the mark overlapped or bow to stern! After 20 miles of racing, mind you! The final three mile leg east to the finish continued to be light, until another cloud line shifted the winds to the North again, with gusts and lulls as before. Everyone was carrying chutes on a beam reach, until common sense convinced us to douse and white sail to the finish line. Old School crossed first, followed by O’ffliction and O’Naturel. Surfer Girl was the only Olson able to carry its chute to the finish, and by doing so they were able to pass Investors Group and Ritalin just before the finish. Organized Chaos and The Bad Dog, both handicapped with light crews, brought up the rear.
All told, I believe that everyone will sleep very well tonight. This race was a true test of boat handling, communication between trimmers and helm, being able to change gears, and knowing when to cut your losses.
Tomorrow will see us racing up to four W-L courses. Conditions are predicted to be sunny, with 5-10 from the SW, building to 15 in the afternoon, so it should be another great day for racing!
Day Two sees us begin the course racing portion of the Championship. True to predictions, the wind was about eight knots out of the WSW for the 1100 first gun. We on Old School decided to play the shifts, which brought us up the right side of the course, while most of the others did what you do when you sail in Kingston…go left. Two thirds up the first leg, it became apparent why you go left when it is from the SW quadrant…you gain huge! The left saw increased pressure plus the advantageous geographic shift, so it is hard to go wrong. After lots of position changes, Investors Group with special guest John Osburn on board won by a convincing margin. As we were fighting pretty hard to win fourth, I am not sure who placed second and third.
In the second race, the breeze freshened a bit, coaxing a couple boats to shift to the #2. It looked like the thermal was coming, even though it was cool. This time, we went to the corner store on the left, and were much happier there! Again, lots of position changes, lots of chop, and a bit of surfing. Old School won the second race, followed by Investors Group. Again, I apologize as I did not keep track of the rest of the finishers, and the results are not up yet at cork.org.
We had a long delay between the second and third races. The thermal had fully kicked in by the end of the second race, with nice 20 knot puffs. The breeze brought the short, steep chop that Kingston is known for, and this combination saw the RC boat dragging its anchor. Once it finally reattached itself to the bottom, we were off again. A significant shift in the sequence made the pin end very favored, which produced some very…uh…interesting maneuvering at the pin. A few tacks and gybes later, the fleet was finally off the line. O’ffliction had a great start further down the line, out of the chaos, and enjoyed a significant lead. Slowly, the fleet began grinding him in. Investors Group hit the left in the second upwind, while O’ffliction stayed a bit more middle, which proved costly (see a trend here?) By the time O’ffliction came left, O’Naturel and Old School were within reach. O’ffliction tacked to lead us to the mark, but an override pinned him with a backed jib, allowing both the others to sneak past. On the downwind, Old School and O’Naturel were having a great gybing duel, albeit with only one boat gybing (figure that one out). When O’Naturel finally decided to gybe for the finish, they had some difficulties keeping it full, and Old School was able to surf just far enough ahead to get past. Investors Group won this race.
So, after today, I believe that Old School is leading the championship, with a eight points (1-4-1-2), with Investors Group in second with nine (5-1-2-1). O’ffliction and O’Naturel must be very close as well. Sorry in advance if this is mistaken!
Tomorrow is promising to deliver more of the same, although the thermal might even be stronger as it will be much warmer over land.
Wow…what a day! I don’t have time for a full report, so here it the synopsis:
Wind, wind and then more wind. The thermal was in full drive today. First race was building to the top end of the #1, then immediate switch to the blades for race two. The wind continued to build for races 3 and 4, with solid 18-20 and gusts topping around 25. Picture this as 20 knots against the ebb in SF, and you get an idea of what we were sailing in today. No sails torn like yesterday (that I know of), but there were several gear breakages, including the vang-mast attachment on O’ffliction. I have not seen that happen before! There are a couple of boats with mis-matched gelcoat scratches…
There were so many lead and position changes today that nobody could keep up. We found that by sailing a clean first leg, and putting the hammer down after that worked well. We enjoyed some great surfs, which opened up some nice passing opportunities.
Wow. What a wonderful regatta. The famous Kingston breezes never failed, the weather was beautiful (well…some might argue that Thursday was not great…), and everybody played nice.
Today saw the final day of competition, and PRO Bill Visser sent us out on three great races. The breeze was at the top end of the #1 for most of the day, which made for some tired grinders! Again, everything is starting to blur together, so I can’t give too much of a play by play other than my own experiences. In the first race, my primary goal was to stay in contact with Investors Group throughout the race. Unfortunately, a failed main clew slug forced us to separate from IG, and O’Naturel was able to get between us. This was definitely not good for our points, so we worked our tails off to catch up. Luckily for us, IG and O’Naturel got into a bit of a duel on the last leg, with O’Naturel coming out on top, which dropped IG to 3rd to our 4th. Thats okay…we were leading them by four going into today. O’ffliction won the first race nicely.
Race two saw us make a couple of adjustments…a bit tighter headstay, and switching to our 155 instead of the 145 we used in race one. Wow…what a difference! We were right in the hunt, third at the windward mark behind IG and Ritalin. At the mark, the first two launched off on a reaching attack-defence, while Old School went to hoist. Oops…our spin halyard shackle let go, skying the halyard. I simply aimed the boat to the leeward mark until we had the spare halyard rigged and launched. By the time we were flying, I looked to the right to see the other two duking it out, and we had taken the lead under main and #1! With the chute finally pulling, we were able to leg out on the other two, and finished the race comfortably in the lead. IG was second and O’ffliction third. We gained our point back on IG…phew.
At this point, Old School had mathematically won the regatta. We high-fived, and decided to do a victory lap. Second through fourth were still highly contested, and by friends of ours, so we thought we would just love to see the show. The third start was very tight on the pin end, while we stayed out of the fray at the boat. The OCS flag went up, and IG returned to restart. After they restarted, the flag remained aloft, so there was much chatter on our boat as to who it was. As I indicated in earlier posts, the left almost always pays in Kingston. The two other boats in the race for 2nd-4th, O’Naturel and O’ffliction were drag racing out to the left layline. Seeing this develop, we tacked very early to stay clear of the excitement and enjoy viewing the action. O’ffliction rounded first, with O’Naturel on his tail. They worked the small shifts and puffs hard all the way to the leeward mark, while we were lazily sailing along in sixth. At the leeward mark, there was some excitement as we were mixing it up with another fleet. This spit us also-rans out the back as Dave and Bruce screamed away. At the second windward mark, O’ffliction was still in the lead (I think). We rounded sixth again, and gybed away as Surfer Girl and Ritalin were lining up for a good fight just ahead of us, and we wanted to leave them alone. We spent the entire leg enjoying the O’ffliction / O’Naturel show…but somehow Old School was not happy with being sixth. She pulled us into third without us knowing, while O’ffliction crossed first. Unfortunately for her, though, she was the remaining OCS that did not clear, so O’Naturel was given the win, and Surfer Girl scored her first top-three of the regatta!
Our delivery back to Collins Bay Yacht club was quite quiet, everyone either too spent to talk or just reflecting on this weeks activities. When we arrived at the dock a few minutes behind O’Naturel, we were greeted with a bucket of water and a super-soaker welcome. It felt very good!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people. Bruce Rand from O’Naturel is our local measurer, and a great guy to boot. Bill Visser, the PRO that ran everything for us did a great job of getting the races off without much delay, with largely square lines (usually…), and great race lengths.
I would especially like to extend my gratitude to the visiting boats. I realize that coming to an area where we have an established OD fleet can be a bit intimidating, but most of you faired admirably. Surfer Girl wins the distance award, as she traveled 350 miles to join us. Ritalin showed moments of brilliant speed, and in a year or two she will be right in the hunt for overall. The Bad Dog is always fun to have around. Organized Chaos will be joining the CBYC fleet next spring, so they should get up to speed quite quickl