We have five boats competing in the NA’s this year. While this is a dissapointing number, the total mileage delivered has never been better!
We have just awoken from our recharging session, as last night was our LD race. Historically, our LD has been a 30 mile day race, but this year we had a 70 mile overnighter. This was my first OD overnighter, and it is weird not knowing exactly where all the boats were!
The race began with a five mile beat into a 10-12 knot breeze, followed by a 25 mile reach. The fleet stayed relatively close, with Panther maintaining a nice little lead. As the sun set, it was difficult to track who was who, but I believe the rounding order at the leeward mark was Panther, Old School, Surfer Girl with O’Naturel close by, and Ghost closing the fleet.
Now for the upwind slog. 20 miles in a veering upwind in moderate conditions. We lost Panther in the mess of lights, but we’re able to maintain contact with SG and O’naturel. Sailing upwind with 839 pounds on the rail compared to the 1100 plus of my colleagues was a bit painful, but we elected to keep the #1 so we had some punch through the waves. Some boats went with the blades. We called the layline in the veering wind 9 miles out, and we’re only 100 yards short! O’Naturel had to contend with a freighter on the nose, but survived unscathed. At the windward mark, it was Panther, O’Naturel, OS, SG, ghost.
Now for the fun… A 25 mile reach back home in 12-15 knots and building while backing, under a beautiful, bright full moon. By the last 10 miles grew increasingly tight, to the point we had to strip down to the #1. The waves were still aft, and we enjoyed some 10 knot surfs.
Panther elapsed 12:23:15
Old School 12:46:54
Surfer Girl 12:52:20
After a tough and expensive day all around, Old School has defended her title again. I will complete a more extensive report in a day or two, but Old School was able to close with a pair of bullets. O’Naturel won second, and Panther third