6/23/18 MORF 2 Race Day

MORF scheduled two short races: a short 2-loop W/L (5 nm) and a beer-can-type trapezoid (5.4 nm).
While still at the dock we discussed how we would handle the downwind portion of the W/L in particular the spinnaker handling. I described the 3-jibe approach:
Starting with a S (starboard) spinnaker set at the windward mark, sail halfway to the leeward mark and perform first jibe to the port tack. Continue on toward leeward mark. When near it jibe to S (second jibe). Approach the leeward mark (to be rounded to port) on S. When in the area of the mark (but not too close) raise the jib before jibing to P (third jibe). During this jibe the spinnaker is taken down with a windward douse. Done correctly this results in the spinnaker dropping down onto the foredeck corralled by the jib. The boat is now ready to round the mark and harden up to close hauled on the port tack. An advantage of this approach is that the spinnaker and lines are ready for another starboard set (after running the tapes) at the windward mark.
We also discussed crew tasks during spinnaker jibes and made task assignments including making Bob the tactician.
The W/L race started on time in a light breeze and we made good headway for awhile by focusing on keeping the boat moving. Unfortunately, the breeze soon faded and boat speeds dropped to about a tenth of a knot. Happily, the RC abandoned the race and recalled the fleet to the starting area to await more wind. Lunch was served.
After an hour or so a new breeze appeared and the RC chose Beer Can trapezoid Course 2 for winds from the NE. Our tactician called for a CB-end start. We approached the line on S tack sandwiched in between several boats. A J/105 to leeward started luffing us up. I thought she might push us over the line but she didn’t and we continued down the starting line. After the gun she luffed up again and we hardened up as well avoiding contact. The 105 must have felt that we had interfered with her right of way because one of her crew asked if we would be doing turns. However no protest had been announced and we felt we had taken appropriate action so we continued on our way which was upwind to Mark 2. Due to some fortunate tack choices in the light air (boat speed hovered around 2-3 knots, we found ourselves among the leaders rounding the windward mark and set the spinnaker to starboard sailing toward Mark 1 slightly high of mark to maintain boat speed. Once past the mark we jibed to port and sailing high of the mark (7) passing a couple of boats to windward. In the meantime the RC shortened the course to finish at Mark 7. Near the mark we jibed twice more before crossing the line at 2:35:33 (check). Just one boat (from the other spin class) finished ahead of us and we would surely have overtaken her had the race been longer. While it’s likely that several boats corrected over us, I feel this race was a good effort for us both tactically and sailing the boat.
MORF Racing Chicago – one of our competitors.

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