Holy smokes, what an awesome night! A huge turn out (at one point we had 12 boats on the water, between the racers and those going out for a leisure sail) and great racing.
At 5:30 it seemed that the race might be cancelled due to low wind. How wrong I was! Albacores, Lasers, Bytes, a Laser 2, and a Hobie 16 were rigged up and hit the water as the wind started to build. Decent starts by Dominic/Heather (Albacore), Ken S/Rob (Laser 2) and Jason (Laser) meant there was some congestion at the pin end of the start line and a bit of jockeying for position. Before too long the rest of the fleet had crossed. Jason was (surprisingly) able to keep up with Dominic/Heather for the upwind and on the reaching legs, but went to the right of the course instead of the favoured left on the second upwind. Ken S/Rob and Ken E battled it out with Fanny/Vitali (Albacore) coming on strong. Dominic/Heather took the race, followed by Jason, and Ken E had won the battle for third.
Race 2 was run after a shift to the left, favouring port tack. Dominic/Heather correctly identified the shift and won the pin end of the line, while Jason, Ken S/Rob and Ken E had great starts as well, followed by Corinne (Byte), David R (Laser), and Tony/Annie (Hobie 16). the wind continued to build and sustained gusts from the left of the course meant planing conditions. Dominic and Heather dominated the race, and the real battle was for second. On the upwind, Jason (Laser) got caught in dirty air behind Ken E (Laser) and Ken S/Rob (Laser 2) and lost a bit of distance as he had to reach out to the right side of the course into clean air. The 1st reaching leg saw the Hobie and Byte catch up meaning the second reach featured a pack of boats all overlapped. Ken E’s Laser was first to the leeward mark, followed by Annie/Tony (the catamaran), and Jason was able to sneak his Laser on the inside of the pinwheel (overlapped with Corinne, and Ken S/Rob). The 2nd upwind leg began just as the wind picked up speed. It appeared that Ken S/Rob got stuck in some turbulent air and lost some time as they entered the upwind. The Lasers were able to put some distance between themselves and Corinne’s Byte. Jason was able to use his, ahem, greater righting force (i.e. could stand to lose a few pounds…) to keep a flatter boat than Ken E without feathering, and passed him just before the upwind mark. By this time Dominic/Heather were almost done their downwind leg and it was obvious that there would be no catching them. The downwind was fairly processional for the rest of the fleet although the Laser 2 was able to make up distance on Ken E. On the final upwind, some people were able to make the line just by staying on port tack (due to the shift) and Jason took 2nd place. The real battle between Ken S/Rob and Ken E was tight, with the Laser 2’s greater hull speed and better pointing making a move on the Laser. Ken E was able to hold onto it and scored 3rd place by about half a second over the Ken S/Rob team.
Although a few sailors went back to the club assuming racing was over (watch for the signal flags!) a third race was run. Since your humble sailor director was ashore at the time, I’m afraid I don’t have a blow-by-blow account of the race, but again Dominic/Heather took first. Ken S/Rob were able to grab 2nd this time over Ken E, with Frank/Jean (in an Albacore) and Kevin/Valerie (Albacore) rounding out the finishers (Corinne started the race but retired).
After racing, harbourmaster Robert organized a work crew to move some of the damaged Albacores up the ramp to the work shed — many thanks to all those who helped out! Food and beverages followed (although a squirrel had gotten into the club house and cause a reduction in the number of hamburger buns before being chased off by Emily). It was great to see so many people having a good time. Many thanks to Carla and Hannah for running RC with Mario! As usual, Series and Season results can be found at http://kanatasailingclub.com/sailing/racing/