sbyra 2008 w#4 cpyc

Took advantage of the crew showing up to the race, we set up a few extra telltails for the shrouds and back stay for light air, but the wind is forecasted for 10-15 knots building to 15-25 later in the day. MIST is more comfortable in this wind range than the typical winter light air. When we arrived at the boat, I had them take down the 125 jib just so we wouldn’t be complacent and leave it up if the wind is light. But as fate would have it, the 125% was just the right size sail as the wind build little by little as we headed towards the starting area. By the time we start, the wind was 10-15 knots and we were moving nicely with the 125%.For a simple and short course, there was quite a bit of tactical decision regarding which was the best course to sail given the ebb and the wind direction and velocity. MIST sailed on the East side going towards Mark “C” after the start even though the risk of stronger current because we like the pressure on the East side and we did not feel the delta of current between going further inshore warranted the risk of lighter pressure given our 125% jib.We were positioned to leeward of First Light right after the start – smack in her wind shadow. We considered a tack to keep our air clean, but the wind pressure on the right side (West) didn’t look as strong, so we decided to tough it out – hoping our longer waterline and slight footing off will give us enough speed to nudge our bow out in front of First Light’s wind shadow. After a few looong minutes on the same tack, First Light tacked towards inshore presumably to get into lighter current. We assessed our options and decided that a heavy displacement boat like Mist needs more wind pressure and opted to stay on starboard tack to gain further separation from First Light and to have stronger pressure for better boat speed. Once we sailed close to the layline, we tacked to port and when we converge with First Light again, we were well ahead. However, our call for the layline was a little off and required us to do two tacks in fairly quick succession to round the “C” mark.

We were a little late in setting the chute after rounding “C” in part because of the two quick tacks as well as some miscommunications aboard. After hoisting the chute, we noted Paradigm sailing ahead on a higher reaching course given her asymmetric spinnaker, but Mist (and a few others: First Light, Black Sheep et al) with symmetrical chutes opted more or less rhumb line to Mark#4. Mist only altered course on this leg when wind pressure felt light and Skipper Keith “heated” up a bit to keep our VMG optimal. Mist made up a quite a bit of our lost time from a late start (about 20 seconds) on this leg to round ahead of Paradigm by about 3 boat lengths – not enough to make our handicap. We knew we wanted to head inshore to the final leg to lessen the impact of the ebb, but again, we saw better wind pressure in the middle part of the bay versus the inside and opted to stay on starboard tack as long as we can keep a loose cover Paradigm who was on the same tack. This means that we won’t risk much sailing on the same tack as long as Paradigm is in the same current. Once Paradigm decided to tack inshore after a bit, we were tempted to tack to cover, but again chose to stay with the pressure until there’s a bit more separation between us. We kept assessing the water depth delta between Paradigm and us. The rationale being that as long as Paradigm in in relatively same water depth as us, we should have approximately the same ebb current. After a significant separation developed, we noted that our depth is about 30 feet, and Paradigm is undoubtedly much less, we tacked towards shore in a pressure zone and monitored the water depth for a chance to tack back to starboard when either of the following conditions: 1.) water depth is less than 20 feet; 2.) we are on the layline of the finish. There was only one problem on the last leg for MIST: in the increasing rain and haze, it was a hard to ascertain where the RC boat is exactly and there was no other boat ahead to give us a reference. The GPS was indicating one thing, the crew was identifying another, so we weaved up and down a bit and sailed the leg like a drunken sailor. While we finished first on actual time ahead of Paradigm by about a minute five seconds (according to our watch), it’s doubtful that we have enough margin to correct out ahead of Paradigm. There’s alway going to be that next time for Mist….

Congratulations to Luther and crew for their victory,s/v MISt, signing off…NOTE TO SELF: Boat seems to point higher on starboard tack than on port compared to Paradigm in 15 knots of wind. The helm still seems to have a bit of lee-helm since even in 12-15 knots I need the main trimmed tight and pulled up to weather to get a slight helm. Possibl we will need to loosen the head stay some more to get a more weather helm. Also possible the shrouds have loosened up more and needs more tension as the shrouds appear to be a bit more slack than before.

sbyra #3 at oyster point yc 010508

The weather on Friday was stormy with winds gusting to 35 knots and rain pouring down, I got an email questioning if it was wise to go out Saturday.  My response is that the front is scheduled to move to the east and we should let each skipper determine whether they want to take the boat out.  So on Saturday morning, we gathered aboard Mist, donned on our foul weather gear and headed out to Oyster Point for SBYRA race.  We motored most of the way in light fog, but not much precipitation until about 30 minutes before the race and a squall came by with 30 knots wind.  Wouldn’t you know it, the Race Committee decides that it’s too windy for them to be out.  We made the best of it by having an informal race with Paradigm back to the harbor. Aside from that squall, it was rather light wind so that our 125% jib was not able to keep up with Paradigm and they beat us handily…