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 Peconic Bay Sailing Association

OCYC July Fourth Race

The third race of our Summer Series went off without a hitch on the appointed day - - for once, the Fourth itself.  Many thanks to Dan Kuehn and the OCYC for hosting this race and providing the race Committee.

On the day, the winds decided to act up a bit.  Forecasts had said much the same thing: the wind would start in the NE quadrant and veer steadily throughout the afternoon.  They were also supposed to start around 10 knots but then weaken.  In the end, they shifted East a bit earlier than predicted and weakened early too.

Dan Kuehn did a good job of adapting in real time, shifting the line to provide an upwind start and choosing a suitable course for the lighter East-to-West winds: course A2, a just-under 4NM course.

The spinnaker fleet got way well, with nobody over early and the Vipers immediately moving towards the front.  Current was outbound and so boats needed to choose when and where they would cross the current.  This mattered most on the run from C1 to G3.  Most boats opted to dive deep into the Robins Island cove on port and then approach G3 on starboard.  The Seascape24, which draws a surprising 7 feet couldn’t go in there and was forced to slug it out mostly in the channel.

The strong outbound current made rounding G3 a bit of an adventure.   Approaching it from behind the North Race bar gave many boats a false sense of security, but the bar disappears about 3-4 boat-lengths short of the green mark and what looked to many like an adequate layline suddenly called for emergency measures and a couple of unwanted tacks.  Peter Beardsley told me after the race that Great Scott, swept by the sudden current, managed to ping G3; the resulting 360 may have given Rich Prieto the margin needed to take first place in Spinnaker.

After G3 the race was upwind but down-current back to C1 and then a downwind/offwind run to the finish.  After the race, Dan agreed that he probably could and should have posted A3 (4.83NM) or even A4 (5.82NM) for the Spinnaker fleet.  The wind was light but it held up well enough to have handled a longer race.  That said, if he’d called A4 and the wind faded, he’d have had issues shortening the course.  So: well done Dan & Sherryll!



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