As far as I was concerned, the cable weather folks should be fired based on what happened at the lagoons last weekend. Saturday was "supposed" to be cold, rainy, and windy, and Sunday was "supposed" to be a blowout. We ended up sailing both days in very pleasant conditions. Both days saw easterly winds, with Saturday having stronger puffs up to about 12 mph.
Peter Dickinson was our stalwart RC for Saturday's annual Puddle Championships. Eight boats showed up and we sailed 6 races in about 2 hours. The wind was surprisingly shifty for an easterly breeze, making for some interesting port-starboard situations. I think just about all of us did circles at one time or another when we thought we had plenty of room to get across the starboard tacker. By the end of the day I gave up trying to go for a safe leeward; I always ducked and it seemed to pay off.
In race 1 we were all fighting it out for the boat end, and with 15 seconds to go I heard a huge crunch. Cottie had hit Jack and the two of them got tangled up, setting up a nice road block for everyone else. I jumped off the line and thought I had really pulled an OJ on this one and looked to be in great shape. I can't quite remember where Jack got me, but I think he passed me on the second beat and went on to win. In the second race I led at the first weather mark and Jack appeared to be in second. However, he hit the mark and by the time he did his penalty turn he had lost Bill and Cottie. The positions stayed that way for the rest of the race. The third race looked good for me until Jack roared by me right at the finish line.
All weekend Jack was coming out of nowhere at the finish. This race would come back to haunt me since Jack and I would have tied if I had held on to my lead. The fourth and fifth races were all Jack, and then I won the last race. Jack threw out a fifth and won with 8 points. I was second with 10 points, and Cottie finished third with 16. Honorable mention goes to Mike Boyle who sailed a very consistent series and ended with 3 thirds and a second for a total of 18 points. After the racing we gathered at the Boyle residence and enjoyed a great party. Dick and Darlene Tennerstedt joined us and all were glad to see them. This was the Boyle "debut" for hosting a party, and all hope that there will be a repeat performance soon!
On Sunday the forecast was for easterly winds at 15-25 mph and it was indeed blowing hard early in the morning. But the breeze began to abate and by racing time it looked pretty mild with the occasional long puff. We ended up anchoring the committee boat and Cottie and Terry served as RC. Only 4 boats sailed, which is pretty good considering the forecast. On this day it paid to work the north shore upwind and stay away from the island, especially by the finish line. I found this out the hard way in the first race. After leading the whole way I found myself one boat length to windward of Jack coming into the finish line. He caught a puff that never reached me and glided across the line in first. Bill finished third ahead of Cottie in that race. In the second race I led by a big enough margin that I was able to hold off Jack on the downwind legs. The third race was all Jack and he finished with a huge lead, with Cottie in second and Bill third. I won the fourth race, and was leading the fifth race ahead of Cottie when we got a little too far upwind of Jack. From about 25 yard back Jack caught a puff which never got to us and he caught us both at the line.
Jack gets the win, and Cottie gets the assist for I would not have gone up if she hadn't tried to take my air! With hindsight I should have either gybed over or gone way by the lee to work my way down to the north shore.
And the last race was all Jack so he once again won by 2 points over me. I was impressed with Jack's ability to read the wind and also to recover from a bad start or a bad shift and to keep coming from behind and catching boats. I know Jack's nickname is "Port-tack Rickard" but downwind we should call him "the human statue" for he sits absolutely still after catching a puff and glides farther than anyone else.
Next week we are racing on Saturday with a noon start in order to keep Mother's Day clear. Remember that the parking lot will probably be very crowded with kayaks so plan accordingly. I do not have RC for this day or May 20, so if anyone wants to volunteer that would be great.
Here are last weekend's results:
2007 Puddle Championships
Rickard 1--4--1--1--1--5 = 8 points.
Pegis 2--1--2--5--4--1 = 10 points.
Kerr NS--2--4--2--2--6 = 16 points.
Boyle NS--7--3--3--3--2 = 18 points.
Perley 3--3--5--7--6--8 = 24 points.
P. Hilliard NS--5--7--4--5--3 = 24 points
Provencher 4--6--8--6--8--7 = 31 points.
D. Hilliard NS--8--6--8--7--4 = 33 points.
May 6, 2007
Rickard 1--2--1--2--1--1 = 6 points.
Pegis 2--1--4--1--2--2 = 8 points.
Kerr 4--3--2--4--3--3 = 15 points.
Perley 3--4--3--3--4--4 = 17 points.
Our season is winding down, so I hope to see many of you this Saturday.