Great race at BRP

We had a great day at BRP today. This was the first time that we met at the new later time and I am very pleased with the results. We met at 5:00, the wind was stronger, the Sun was weaker and the racing was lots of fun.

We had two heats, each consisting on one lap, counterclockwise, around the three buoys. (See my earlier article on concerning the course)

The first race started at about 6:00. I found my self in a good position and rounded the first buoy, in first place, about 1 boat length ahead of "Allons Canard" (#646). We were very close making our way to Buoy#2, but #646 was slowly gaining on me and was slightly ahead of me as we approached buoy #2.. 646 overshot buoys #2 and I took the lead again. 646 has some trouble making it around #2 and I got a substantial lead on the way to #3. About 3/4 of the way to #3, I ran aground kicking up my lee board (which I didn't notice right away) and drifted into the same stump 3 times, almost wiping out my lead.

As I approached Buoy #3 I got a gust of very favorable wind that seemed to completely miss #646. I still had to tack several time to make it around #3 (with the prevailing winds it is in the shadow of a bunch of trees and is the hardest buoy of the course) but I made it around #3 with a considerable lead.

I then caught a strong gust and sped toward the buoy#1 while #646 was still trying to round Buoy #3. As I rounded buoy#1, taking first place, "Allons canard" was still struggling with Buoy#3. We finished the race in a little less than 30 minutes. I understand that we reached speeds of almost 6MPH, but only averaged 1.5.

We sailed around for a few more minutes and then agreed to start the second heat. Patrick was way ahead of me at the start and dropped anchor to wait for me. A questionable racing strategy, but I didn't complain. :) I ended up rounding buoy #1 with a 2 boat length lead. I was still slightly ahead as we approached Buoy #2, but i lost my wind as I was preparing to round the buoy, got caught in irons and fell short of the buoy. Being caught in irons, I sailed backwards about 20 feet, fell off, gathered some speed, came about and rounded buoy #2 right behind (within arms length of) Patrick and crew in #646.

I lost a lot of ground on the way to Buoy #3. "Allons Canard" seemed to have more favorable winds (or at least made better use of them) and was a couple hundred feet ahead of me. I almost caught them rounding Buoy #3, but they got around first and caught the favorable winds while I was still struggling. I eventually rounded buoy #1, taking second place, several minutes after #646. This heat was a couple of minutes faster than the first, but still close to 1/2 hour.

It was a great day to be out on the water and a great day for a friendly race.

I also tried out some new rigging for my main sheet and got my oar locks mounted and tried out my very short, break down oars, that fit into my air boxes...but that is another story.