Sunday, June 4, 2017

Figawi Feeder Race

Friday May 26th was Wampum's first race of the year. It was a pursuit race from Falmouth harbor to Hyannis harbor with no major turning marks, just general guidelines to keep everyone in the deep water. With a with the breeze out of the West, it was a downwind drag race with the strong flooding current also behind us. So, a bad day to be over the start early. Instead, we started about 15-20 seconds late with no head-sail up and promptly hoisted the red A2 once clearing the committee boat. The breeze was clocking all day, and very puffy up to 23 kts but terribly inconsistent. We made several very bad gybes, when really we should've only needed to do one or two if they'd been timed properly. The swift current was not always directly behind us, and while approaching Succonnesset shoal we seemed to be getting swept hard to the North, rather than to the East. It forced us to do another gybe which was poorly timed and caused a severe hourglass twist in the head. So twisted that it required dousing the kite onto the foredeck to get the twist out. This was a blessing in disguise, as moments later we saw the depth gauge rapidly plummet, followed by two soft skims across a small sand bar. Had we been fully powered up we may have been heeling enough to miss these completely, but we also would've been significantly more powered up and had a much harder time sailing around the remainder of the shoal. Once around the shoal, we re-hoisted and sailed back out into the middle of the fleet. With a big 50'+ cruiser headed our way we gybed yet again, but with very poor timing as a shifty puff prevented the main from coming through. Momentarily we were wing on wing before I SPAZZED  and heated up our angle in an attempt to unload the main and flop it over to the new side. However, by now the puff was on in full effect the spinnaker was heavily loaded up, and we promptly broached. As I was calling for the pit person to just blow the halyard and put the sail in the water, we somehow managed to get enough forward momentum through the water for me to turn the bow back downwind. On the next gybe after that, we got another very tough hourglass in the head of the spinnaker. Once again we had to drop it onto the deck. Firmly at the back of the fleet, and with the wind clocking around to a more N angle, we made the call to switch to the small jib instead. It paid off as we rounded Hodges Rock for the final leg which was about 80 degrees true wind angle and about 20 knots. We managed to hold off a couple much bigger cruisers despite our lack of waterline, and surfed over the finish line at around 11 knots SOG. Our tails were thoroughly between our legs. we were cold and soaking wet, but everything was still in one piece.


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