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 Peconic Bay Sailing Association

 

  THE WHITEBREAD 23 BEST PERFORMING YACHTS

The award for the best performing yacht was calculated by computing the average corrected speed as determined by the formula (Distance Sailed/Corrected Time).  Although Bellatrix appears to have finished ahead to finished ahead of several other yachts on corrected time, Bellatrix sailed a different course. All competitors sailed Bravo course clockwise around Shelter Island.  For Divisions 1, 2 and 3 the course was shortened at R 20 (Nassau Point). For Divisions 4, 5 and 6 and Multihulls course was shortened at R 18.  For purposes of the awards, the Spinnaker Fleet sailed a course of 23.8 miles; the Non Spinnaker and Multihull Fleets sailed a course of 21.3 miles. Using the corrected speed provides a transparent way to compare the handicapped performance of all yachts even if they sailed different courses and started at different times.  The PHRF TOT formula for Whitebread 23 was  640/(480+PHRF). 

 

Boat  

PHRF

Skipper/Division

Yacht Club

Corrected

Av Cor.Speed

Firefly  

117  

Meredith Carroll [3A]  

Ocyc  

05:17:03  

4.504021448

OSPREY  

116  

George Martin [2B]  

SHYC, BYC  

05:27:01  

4.366749911

Boogie Van  

136  

Jody LoCascio [3A]  

Breakwater YC  

05:33:20  

4.284

Barleycorn  

-3  

Brendan Brownyard [1A]  

Shelter I. YC  

05:37:59  

4.225060407

PURPLE HAZE  

48  

Lee Oldak [1B]  

BREAKWATER YC  

05:38:00  

4.224852071

Big Boat  

69  

Bud Rogers [1B]  

Breakwater  

05:39:44  

4.203296703

USA1248  

117  

William Ricketson [3A]  

SIYC  

05:40:38  

4.192191017

Seventh Heaven  

120  

Greg Ames [3A]  

Breakwater  

05:42:02  

4.175031673

Bellatrix  

207  

Joseph gaites [6A]  

Sag Harbor YC  

05:06:25  

4.170791406

R JMS  

125  

Rich Spitzenberger [2B]  

MSSA  

05:45:10  

4.13713182

AVERAGE CORRECTED SPEEDS OF DIVISION WINNERS

Division

Yacht

Skipper

Club

Rating

Corrected

Average Speed

3A

Firefly

Carroll

OCYC

117

05:17:03  

4.504021448

2B

Osprey

Martin

SHYC/Breakwater

116

05:27:01  

4.366749911

1A

Barleycorn

Brownyard

SIYC

-3

05:37:59  

4.225060407

1B

Purple Haze

Oldak

Breakwater

48

05:38:00  

4.224852071

6A

Bellatrix

Gaites

SHYC

207

05:06:25  

4.170791406

2A

Cloud 9

Sommi

SIYC

84

05:45:12  

4.136732329

5B

Windsong

Endemann

OCYC

186

05:11:55  

4.097248197

5B

Moondshadow

Doroski

PBSA

185

05:11:55 

4.097248197

5A

Silent Passage

Coster

PBSA

183

05:13:19  

4.078940369

4A

Live Wire

Canuso

PBSA/OSC

86

05:23:07  

3.95522773

4B

Spindrift

Rich

PBSA

136

05:24:57  

3.932912756

Multihull

 

Bartolotta

SYC

38.4

05:34:29  

3.820818177

3B

Shamrock

Voelkel

PBSA

171

06:13:49  

3.820054394

6B

Simpatico

Andrews

PBSA

277

05:44:03  

3.71457637

Overall Winner’s Report by Peter Carroll

How was Whitebread 23 for those of us on Firefly?  Much the same as for everyone else: it took a really long time and ended miserably (in terms of wet and cold).  Of course, learning that we won our division and the overall definitely took the edge off; but we didn’t know any of that at the time.

We tracked the highly variable wind forecasts all week. It was finally 8.30am on Saturday the 8th, and we would be sailing Course Bravo from R18 clockwise around Shelter Island into a moderate breeze of about 6 knots coming out of 85-95 degrees.

We felt Firefly was pretty well set-up: we had cleaned and polished the hull. We had re-set the rig-tune to the Etchells ‘Base’ rating (corresponding to 6-12 knot winds).  That means we had set the mast-base position, checked for mast straightness, put a 3/8” block behind the mast, set the upper and lower shroud tensions, and adjusted the forestay length.  For sails, we had selected a light-air jib suitable for up to 12 knot winds, and a ‘reaching spinnaker’ to cope with higher-than-normal downwind jibing angles.  As for the crew, Meredith Carroll was on the helm, Peter Carroll on the bow, and Lindsey Carroll on main and spinnaker trim (ably assisted by Seth Cooley - - a friend from Newport sailing in his first Whitebread).

The line for Division 3 was pretty long and the RC end was clearly favored, being upwind; however, we tend to look for a place on the line that allows a full-speed start and clear air even if it is not technically favored. So we decided to start a few boat lengths below the RC, not least because it looked like we could make the rounding off Cedar Beach, heading to Paradise Point on starboard without tacking.

In the end we were a little early approaching the line but no boats were below us so we just ran down the line, got up to full speed and crossed in completely clear air around the mid-line.

After 2-3 minutes we looked back and could see that we had clearly “won the start”.  In a race as long as the Whitebread, a good start means less than in a one design windward-leeward race, but it’s still better than a poor start that leaves you in bad air for 15 minutes.  It helped that we had the fastest rating in our division, so after a decent start we had no real risk of getting run over by faster boats.

Going north-east, the wind was light enough that we had crew weight to leeward, but we were constantly shifting back and forth as the wind strength varied.

Nearing Paradise Point we were being caught by Greg Ames on Seventh Heaven.  At this point, with their waterline length and the breeze still moderate they had a higher hull speed than us.  We reached the R12 buoy a boat-length or two ahead of Seventh Heaven, with our spinnaker ready to hoist (thinking the wind had gone a little into the south, as predicted).  We didn’t turn north right away because we wanted Seventh Heaven to go past us, if they did, on our leeward side.  Soon after rounding, that’s just what they did; and we were not able to put the spinnaker up anyway.

Our attention was focused on our friends, the Ricketsons, on the other Etchells (#1248).  They were still behind us and seemed to catch up a little and then fall back a little.  This went on all the way to MoA and beyond.  We were racing our division but we were really racing the other Etchells.

From Paradise Point and Jenning’s Point onward, we basically tried the best we could to sail the small wind-shifts and stay in the current.  We opted to stay away from Shelter Island in the stretch from the Pridwin to Dering Harbor, thinking that while the deeper channel over there might have better out-bound current, the wind would be adversely affected by the Island.  With the wind seemingly a little south of east, we still couldn’t make it to Hay Beach without throwing in a couple of port-tacks, trying to get back in the stronger current without getting ‘under the Island’.  

Somewhere in this channel we must have caught up to Seventh Heaven and passed her, but we didn’t notice at the time as we were picking our way through the slower boats that had started earlier.

On the way to MoA we had the one incident that involved another boat: we were on port (the wind still seemed to be broadly out of the East or very nearly so, albeit shifting in velocity from as little as 3-4 to as much as 6-8 knots).  And David Kilbride on Resolution was on starboard; it was a big duck but we took it, partly because we didn’t want to be on the opposite tack to the Ricketsons who were maybe 25 boat-lengths behind us, also on port.  Aside from this one duck, we basically had the good luck to avoid any influence from other boats the whole race. We didn’t get in other boats’ bad air. We didn’t get rolled. We didn’t have to duck or tack to suit anyone else. Pretty rare.

By the time we got near to MoA we were checking the current carefully.  In theory the tide/current wasn’t supposed to turn at MoA until 11.40 am; but, even though we were there before that, we saw no sign of any remaining outbound current.  That meant that we didn’t have to get involved avoiding the last of the ebb as we made our way down to Mashomack. And by the time we got there it was quite clear that the tide was inbound.

Between MoA and Mashomack, Barleycorn came rolling by us.  Tim Keyworth, on-board, elected to pass us to leeward, for which we thanked him.  With their tall mast and huge sails, they had at least a knot on us when they passed, and probably more.  We assumed they were on their way to a win.  And we looked back to see which other ‘big boats’ would soon roll us but nobody seemed to be that close.

Looking back at the other Etchells we noticed that they had raised their spinnaker; and they looked like they might be a little closer; so we raised ours; but it didn’t set well; and so we went back to the jib.  Looking back, it also seemed like their entire spinnaker was to leeward of the boat center-line - - i.e. probably not very efficient.

The wind also seemed to be fading, and we approached the turning mark off Mashomack rather slowly, watching what Barleycorn was up to.  Things dragged across Mashomack and after a jibe onto starboard we crawled up towards the South Ferry buoy.  There were periods of semi-decent breezes when everything was set well, and periods of very light air, especially as we reached G15, which we scraped by on the current.  Looking west we saw Barleycorn sailing through the narrow channel on a jib. We kept our spinnaker set, barely, and crept along the north edge before jibing back into the main channel. 

From there across Noyack Bay was very slow.  It seemed that the inbound current was now about 1.5 knots but the true wind (still mostly out of the east) was about 2 or 2.5 knots.  In other words our VMG wasn’t so bad, but the boat felt becalmed and the Windex was frequently just rotating.  Looking back across Noyack at the other boats creeping away from G15, however, it seemed as if they were even worse off.  We still had at least a little apparent wind, but they seemed to have none.

As a couple of boats later did, we nearly came unstuck approaching Jessups Neck as the current , which must have been 2 knots or more at the buoy itself, swept us perilously close at the last moment.  Seth’s confident call that we were “making trees” on the mark, although we were pointing north at the time and still had our spinnaker up, suddenly turned to a less certain “I think we’re OK!”  In the end we whizzed by the mark with our port transom avoiding contact by about 2 feet.

Aside from the current though, we were still semi-becalmed and moving very slowly.   Seth did an excellent job of keeping the spinnaker working at least a little bit and we jibed occasionally to keep in the deep channel, now also keeping an eye on the goings on around R18.  Barleycorn had already passed R18 but also didn’t seem to be moving as quickly as she had.  We started to wonder if we should make our way towards the vicinity of R18 in case the RC chose to shorten there.

There was some indecision aboard Firefly, with one sea lawyer arguing that if we passed R18 - - or even stayed well south of it - - before they announced a shortening there, that we could simply seek redress and still win our division (we thought).  In the end Meredith used the VHF to ask the RC’s intentions.  Upon being told to ‘stand by’ we finally decided to make for R20.

Then we saw the rain up ahead.  We’d been getting little spits for an hour but up ahead there was solid rain, looking very much like a squall.  The wind started to do strange things and the Windex jumped around.  We dropped the spinnaker and went back to the jib just as the rain really started and an 8-10 knot breeze dropped in, from the north-west.  We finally found ourselves hiking.  What a weird day.

That breeze kept us going most of the way to R20, and a couple of miles ahead we watched Barleycorn take the gun.  The wind faded again, back to maybe 4-5 knots, and we sailed across the line to the sound of Greg Cukor shouting ‘Bang!’ as loud as he could.

Race over.

As we started sailing back to Shelter Island to hoist Firefly out of the water, Bravo, after finishing, was kind enough to come and offer us a tow.  As we were attaching the tow-line they called across: “Firefly’s looking good for the Overall!” 



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