March 10, 2017-Racing is Over
john pounder - jldigitalmedia
Circling Before the Start
This year the racing ended Saturday with the Banderas Bay Regatta. Banderas Bay Regatta is the big race of the year. It is intense with more competitors, more boats on the start line, and more PR. Several teams added professional sailors to their crews.
Maybe we were ready for the season to be over. After three months of weekly, sometime daily racing and many days of special preparation for this event, maybe we were a little burned out. We sailed hard for those final three days and we partied hard every night culminating with the big party Saturday night. We had fun but we didn’t do very well. After winning almost everything during the season we ended up only 5th in the Banderas Bay Regatta.
It was great sailing, glorious conditions, but we made mistakes. They say that in sailboat racing he who makes the least mistakes wins. So that explains it. We had problems every day. We made mistakes, so we didn’t deserve to win. Still, that’s racing. It gives us something to shoot for next year.
On day one, after a fantastic start and leading around the first mark, we headed off in the wrong direction to the second mark. We went .3 miles out of our way and that cost us 160 seconds (navigation error). Then on the last mark rounding we had a problem with the luff of our jib and could not set it for the short beat to the finish which cost us another 40 seconds (equipment failure). There were no miracles with wind shifts that we could play to get it back. We lost the race by less than 200 seconds, so our mistakes and problems took us from first to fourth.
On day two we had a less than stellar start and got caught in a situation with Olas Lindas which caused us both to go slow, probably lost a minute there. Next we had a bad spinnaker set and while that sail was flogging the sheets shook off and it took two attempts to reattach them. I’d guess that cost us 1:30 minutes, so again we had over two minutes to make up. The race was basically a parade and we had no chances to regain the lost time. Instead of second we corrected out to 4th place.
On day three we had another sloppy start, behind Bright Star and we couldn’t get our air clear until after the weather mark, and then it was a parade. We wound up 5th.
Yes, we can gripe about the courses which didn’t favor our boat, but the bottom line was, we screwed up and so we ended up in 5th place in the regatta, and we deserved that.
But the sailing was glorious; beautiful blue sky, flat water, and nice breezes. We worked well as a team and we’ll be back next year. Other than my bad starts, for which I have no good solution, I have fixes in mind for all the other issues. I’m working on them already.
Meanwhile, Sunday morning we were well into the switch-over from race boat to cruising boat. The racing sails come off and after multiple trips to the storage locker the dacron sails on, solar panels, wind vane, dodger, awning, dingy, outboard motor, spare parts. Not a moment to be lost. Maybe once we get everything ready and untie the dock lines we’ll be able to relax. Right now we’re still running hard. It’s what we’ve been doing since December. It must be habit.
john pounder - jldigitalmedia
Going to Weather
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Fred & Judy. SV Wings, La Cruz Hauncaxtle