the fifth day of racing - 3
photos by Kim Bergevin
Race Committee Synopsis – Race 9
Considerations: This was to be the last race of the series, and with it there would be a second drop. The Brits and the Irish planned on getting their boats packed back into the containers after the race and before the awards banquet, so having a late start was not the preferred option.
Wind: Every racing location has its own characteristics concerning wind and the directions or sectors from which it is likely to be consistent, and those from which it will not hold for long. At 11:00, the thermal began to fill in gradually, but from the southeast 130º - 140º. At PCYC, this is not a sector that is likely to last for long, so we waited for it to settle down. It could go left to 120º – 125º which will last, or it could go right to 165º – 175º and then gradually veer to as far as 195º. As things turned out, we got both… well, sort of.
The Race: By 12:15 – 12:30 the wind had settled in to 155º, with a few light patches where the wind was up off the water. There had been hints of 165º – 175º, but 150º – 155º was the norm, so with the time constraints in mind, we set the course for that and began the start sequence. A couple of minutes before the start, the wind went left to 140º, but all indications were that the pattern was going to be to the right, so I let the start sequence continue, betting that it would go back to 155º and “square up” the line.
One of the “joys” of running this regatta was that the relatively few really experienced racers were quicker to pick up on shifts during the start sequence, while the more inexperienced racers would tend to find a spot on the line regardless of shifts during the last five minutes. This race was a good example of this. While there was a good distribution of the fleet along the line at the Start, the hot shots had picked up on the 140º and were at the pin, where three were “over early” (one came back to save his 20% “Z” flag penalty). Soon after the Start the wind went back to 155º
As the race went on, the fleet spread out considerably. It may have been because of experience in relatively light conditions, or because a lot of the less experienced competitors were just plain “tuckered out” from a week long event, or both; but by the time the leaders had reached the end of their first run, we still had a few stragglers who had yet to round the weather mark – yes, you read this correctly, some boats were a leg ahead of others after only two legs! With the first five boats through the gate, the wind did what was predictable, it went right to 165º. Ten degrees is not enough for a course change, but certainly enough to get the Race Committee’s attention. As the front of the pack proceeded up to the top, the wind continued to go right to 190º. While this was more than enough for a course change, it presented another problem – caused by that stretched out fleet. The SI’s specified that the left hand mark of a “changed gate” would be an orange tetrahedron, and the Mark Set crew at the bottom of the course were instructed to set their orange mark for a course of 190º. The problem was that the other half of the gate was to be a yellow mark - part of the existing gate - which had to be left in place for the last of the “tail end charlies”. As the leaders approached the weather mark, the signal for the course change (to 010º) was made, but the last four boats were still some distance from the gate at the bottom. I am sure that the last boat to the bottom, was more than a little surprised to see the Mark Set Crew hauling up one of the marks as soon as they went through. They then hustled to get over to the new position and set the other half of the gate with the lead boats only about half a leg away.
The test of a good gate is to count the split on the first ten boats (how many left and right). In this case, because of the scramble, the crew had one shot at setting a good gate. Please believe me when I say that to pull off a downwind course change of 35º under those circumstances, and have a 6-4 split at the new gate, is the “mark” of a first class Mark Set crew.
When Ian Porter made his “acceptance” speech at the banquet a few hours later, he complimented the Race Committee on the accuracy of the reaches on the Olympic courses - that was the work of the other, equally talented, Mark Set crew. Because he didn’t sail that last race, he didn’t know about that downwind course change.
As Paul Harvey says: “And now you know the other half of the story”.
|Despite the fact that
RC Chair, John Weakley, thought that the line angle and wind conditions
warranted an RC boat end start, most of the top boats fought over the
pin end. Those of us who ended up getting buried (like Uncle Al, second
from right) were sure that lots of boats had to be over early or at
least I-flag candidates. But only two or three were tagged: a matter of
perspective, I guess. (for
full-size view, click here)
|Graham Barker (8888,
far left) took a big risk and made it pay off with a perfect pin end
start. Doug Honey (6280) is also off to a great clear-air start that I
would have given my eye teeth for, but instead ... (for full-size view, click here)
|... we (3854) had to
tack to port to clear our air. We ended up tacking just under Roger's
bow (immediately to the right of 3854 above). Luckily for us, Roger
soon tacked away and we suddenly were in a nice lane of clear air and
moving well. (for full-size view,
|There was a lot of
traffic at the leeward end - for
full-size view, click here
|John Weakley assures
me that it paid to go right but this pic suggests otherwise - for full-size view, click here
|After a slight knock
for starboard, those of us who could, tacked to port (like Uncle Al of
9355's bow) - for full-size view,
Søren's bow (9355, right), we had clear air but were still in
pretty rough shape - for full-size
view, click here
|Graham Barker (8888)
and Paul Laderoute (7380) meanwhile continued to speed away from the
fleet to the left side ...
|... opening a lead
over the other top starters from the pin end.
|Here, it does look as
though the right-side boats might well come out looking great. Closer to the camera, it looks like Doug Honey
and Becky Robson
(6280, left) may be in trouble as Mike O'Malley (551) is poised to take
their wind, but ...
- for full-size view, click here
... in the end, it was Mike who becomes the meat in the sandwich as Doug (6280) backwinds Mike (551) and it appears that Brian Jeffs (9235) is poised to "roll" Mike as well. Peter and Alex Rahn (286) will go middle left and find happiness as they will round very close to the lead. A tough row to hoe, meanwhile for Roger Challis (9174, just crossing behind Peter) who will have to do a lot of catching up if he is to hold onto his current series 7th....
|Paul and Alan
Laderoute (7380) briefly had
the lead here but Graham and Robin (8888)
reached Paul's port-tack lift shortly after this and regained the lead.
|Michael and Simon have
Danegeld III moving nicely but ended up going too far left
which did not pay.
Apart from the close racing among Doug Honey (6280), Brian Jeffs (9235), Mike O'Malley (551) (plus a barely visible boat off Doug's windward quarter) who are all in beautiful upwind trim, what caught my eye here was Brian Lamb (far left, 10201). He illustrates very well the extreme complexity of our sport: Brian is pointing about 10° lower on starboard than the boats on the right. He now has a few seconds in which to decide whether he is sailing in a different wind or not trimmed as well. If the former, should he hang on and hope he gets the same wind the other guys are getting before he sails down into their backwind? Or should he tack - before deciding this, he needs to estimate which side of the course - if any - seems to be getting better wind, and he needs to take into consideration whether he is getting too far from the rhumbline and whether he will be sailing into an area where there are already a lot of boats who might give him dirt. And if he should decide he wants to tack, he has to make sure no one will starboard him the moment he does so. A lot of decisions to make in 5 seconds or less!!...
|Doug and Becky (6280)
and Mike O'Malley to leeward of them have tacked,
which no doubt gladdens Dave Platt (far right) and Brian Jeffs (9235).
|Doug (6280) has come
out ahead of Mike (551) this time, but can Doug cross Brian Lamb???
|Having likely decided
he's getting a bit far out to the left of the rhumbline, Brian Jeffs
(9235) has tacked,
leaving Dave Platt in clear air but strategically increasingly vulnerable as the left corner looms.
|An unidentified port
tacker is about to slip through between John Hartley (nearest the
camera) and Kit Wallace.
The unidentified port tacker (Jay Colville??) will pass astern of Uncle Al who has recovered fairly well after a totally buried start by going middle left and tacking on a number of small shifts. It seemed to me, that the "speed wrinkles" in our genoa were a bit extreme but Marc liked them that way - and when a crew is as good as Marc is, you don't argue with him - too much!!...
|Coming towards the
starboard layline on port, Jay Colville is keeping a wary eye out for
|Uncle Al and Marc
(3854) look deceptively relaxed as they throw in one last short hitch
while Doug and Roger (1366) try to drive through SHADES' wind shadow by bearing away.
Nearing the starboard layline among the leaders are Jay Colville with Ian Hurley (404) and Paul and Alan Laderoute (7380). At this point, Paul and Alan are vying for the lead but by the next time we see them, they'll be about 10th: losing a bit of distance by making a small error in judgment lost you a lot of boats as the closely-packed bunch of front-runners converged on the first mark....
|Mark Taylor and
brother, Paul, are looking fine as they put in the their last little
port-tack stint before reaching the layline.
|Jay and Ian (l)
have found themselves a nice layline lane - for the moment: note how,
again, Jay is keeping a very good look-out. Mercifully unaware that
they have picked up the series' only Scoring Penalty, Heider and Tom
are just crossing Peter and Jon.
|Race leaders, Graham
and Robin Barker (8888) have picked up a nice, useful little lift near
a lift that Roger and Joanne (7700) have yet to see.
|Not having their
greatest first leg ever are (l to r) Nick Seraphinoff with his
now much relieved crew, Joe Blackmore, Peter Ayres (1191) and Stephan
and Troels Nandrup-Bus (4898).
|It's a clear path to
the mark for Team Barker (8888) who are being pursued here by Roger S
(7700) and Peter K (300).
|A little boatspeed
testing between buddies: Søren and Jesper (9355) vs. Al and Marc
Meanwhile, Peter Kozak (300) has tacked onto what appears to be a knock?
beginning for Guy Hacon and Daniel Watson who are in the thick of a
four-way fight with Jay Colville, Roger Challis and Uncle Al to see who
gets series 7th. Here, Guy is well out of the top 20 by the looks of
things. Since Guy already has a pair of juicy drops (46th and DNF), he
will have to count whatever he gets in this final race.
|AEC Wayfarer Worlds links|
report by Uncle Al
report from Richard & Michele
the real story by Toby Mace and Neil Fletcher
how we all fared
we got letters
the Whiffle that covered the Worlds
photos from on shore
on shore with Richard Johnson
on shore with Gord Leachman
at PCYC with John de Boer and Dave Hansman
at PCYC with Liz Feibusch and Tony Hunt
on shore with Uncle Al - 1
on shore with Uncle Al - 2
caricatures with Diane Zaremba (W440)
one group's aftermath
a few pics of the champion boat's layout
photos on the water
the practice race - 1
the practice race - 2
the practice race - 3
the practice race - 4
the practice race - 5
the first day of racing - 1
the first day of racing - 2
the first day of racing - 3
the second day of racing - 1
the second day of racing - 2
the third day of racing - 1
the third day of racing - 2
the fourth day of racing - 1
the fourth day of racing - 2
the fifth day of racing - 1
the fifth day of racing - 2
the fifth day of racing - 3
the fifth day of racing - 4
the fifth day of racing - 5
AEC Wayfarer Worlds Annex
at PCYC with Geoff Lepper - 1
at PCYC with Geoff Lepper - 2
at PCYC with Geoff Lepper - 3
Wayfarer Worlds XII: as Paul Robinson captured them:
Thursday's racing - 1
Thursday's racing - 2
Friday night was caricature night
leaving MSC for Saturday's final race