June 19, 2013 – aboard Aristosera
Nick was still absent so I relied on the crewbank for a fourth. Yelena was assigned. She had dinghy experience and, as I found out, she knew where the wind might be; both good things for a crew. (She was also very supportive of her skipper. Not a necessity but also a good thing IMO). With new crew we did a few prestart tacks and gybes with the spinnaker. Yelena was not familiar with spinnakers. We were not able to get back to the RC Boat and my efforts to do so meant that we were late to the start line. The wind was very light.
The course was southeast. Most of the boats went right but we stayed in the centre. Any choice of sides would be lucky or unlucky due to the light and variable winds. We were lucky and with good crew teamwork we rounded the windward mark ahead of our division.
We won the first leg! The hoist went well. The downwind was annoying. Where is the wind? Windlight and Windburn caught up to us at the leeward rounding. We rounded inside of Windlight and had clear air for the second upwind leg.
Surprisingly the fleet did a repeat of the first upwind leg. We stayed in the centre. On starboard we ate a big knock; course went from 98 to 88. However when we tacked over onto port were we got a persistent lift. We were clear ahead once again. There was a persistent shift left and we were left of the fleet.
The downwind leg was extremely frustrating. Light wind became no wind. Wes did a great job trying to find something but the only thing we could do was wait. And wait. The current was NOT against us!
It was a nice late spring evening but for sailors the lack of wind was frustrating. In these conditions a slight puff or an unanticipated shift makes a huge difference. Kevin summed it up well: “It demonstrates the importance of being on the right side of the course. Last week we weren’t; this week we were”.
by Richard McKean