Foredeck - Pam, Audrey, Chris L
Main Sheet & Timing - Susan
Jib Sheets - Sam & Troy
Tiller - Skipper Ron
Much of Circe’s regular crew, Steve, Jay, Kathleen, & Nansi, were unavailable for this race but luckily Sam & Audrey joined us and we managed to recruit Troy off Amelia for the day to make up a good crew.
WIND & JIB SELECTION
The forecast was for light winds of 8 to 5 knots, a perfect day for the new "Black Magic". We went with it.
The schedule called for three races.
Of all the boats that qualified for C of C due to various circumstances only about half showed up. But all the qualifiers in our regular division were there, Blue Streak, Abracadabra, Veloce, and Circe. The PHRF fleet was divided into two divisions with these four boats making up division 1. Points. Stars had their own start but only one showed up.
This was a windward/leeward buoys to port course five times around fairly short legs with the start in the middle of the bay and the windward mark toward the city shore in a NW wind. But the wind was very variable both in strength and direction.
The start looked Committee boat favoured which resulted in all four boats bunched at that end. We were on the inside going for the line with Blue Streak immediately to leeward, then Abra, and Veloce. We hung back a bit to avoid being shut out which worked out well as boats to leeward were early so had to layoff allowing room for Circe at the committee boat. But both Blue Streak and Abra were called over early. We could hear Graham calling them over but the radio wasn’t working so they didn’t hear right away and with Veloce to leeward and us to windward they had limited options to turn back.
Abra and BS were unable to recover from that start and eventually got past us but it took a while. We beat Veloce and figured we had the other two on corrected time.
Graham reset the weather mark more to the east and adjusted the starting line to adjust to the shifting wind direction.
This race was also a 5x around windward/leeward course. Circe was doing well, keeping Abra and BS close ahead and Veloce behind until the second buck. We rounded the second leeward on port tack just inside and behind Abra. But were getting backwinded and falling down on her, so were forced to tack away. This turned out badly.
As we approach the port tack layline we got severely headed so tacked over. We then got severely headed on that tack and fell into a hole and just died. We watched Veloce sail past us and BS and Abra sail away. ARRRGG!! The dreaded wind over the city curse.
We closed the gap on Veloce before the finish but couldn’t catch her so we finished last on elapsed time in that race.
The wind died completely after the second race so we switched to the light #1. Then it filled in again back up to 6 to 8 knots but this time out of the south east. Graham reset the course with a new windward mark closer to the Eastern Gap. We stripped off the light #1 and the light sheets and stitched back to “Black Magic”.
This race too was a buoys to port windward/leeward 5x around. We again got a good start by the committee boat again because Abra was early and had to lay off at the line leaving a nice opening for us.
The wind held sufficiently to make “Black Magic” a good call. Except for a couple of really light runs near the north side leeward mark it stayed full downwind in 2 knots apparent wind.
The race was pretty flawless for us with great crew work winch grinding, main sail trimming, and foredeck work. The wind continued to be variable in strength and direction and shift back to the east making the buck a mostly starboard tack affair.
It was Veloce’s turn this race to fall into a number of bad wind shifts and holes putting her well back by the finish.
Circe did OK, despite Skipper Ron's limited vocabulary applied to headers.
· 1st - Circe
· 2nd - Veloce
· 3rd - Blue Streak
· 4th - Abracadabra
· 1st - Blue Streak
· 2nd - Veloce
· 3rd - Circe
· 4th - Abracadabra
· 1st - Circe
· 2nd - Blue Streak
· 3rd - Abracadabra
· 4th - Veloce
So, with a 1-3-1 finish Circe wins her division. Blue Streak was 2nd, Veloce 3rd and Abracadabra 4th.
On the overall high point system of scoring the entire fleet Circe is tied with David Pitcher’s Bourne Home with 251.5 points. There is apparently no way to break the tie under the RRS, NOR and SIs as they stand, So, we will share the trophy with them this year.
Well done Circe Crew!!!
PS Attached is a photo of the first start taken by a friend staying with us for a few days who just happened to be on the City ferry going past. Not the ferry who sailed right through the start line between the 1st and 2nd race. That's Circe on the right holding back behind the committee boat as BS and Abra cross the line early. Also attached is a photo of the tired but always happy Circe Crew post race. Thank you Troy for the beer.