It's a match race...
Last night was our first Wednesday evening series race. Things did not look promising as a thunderstorm rolled through from 5:15 till about 6:15, but the skies started to clear and we were able to rig the boat without getting wet. The crew for the evening consisted of 8 of the 10 Mac race crew, so it was also a great chance to work together.
Conditions were very soft with 5-9 knots of breeze that shifted through about 80 degrees in direction during the race.
The other J-35 JUBILATE DEO (JD) came out to race too and we turned it into a matchrace!!! JD dropped a bundle on some new sails and has brought 2 or 3 very experienced sailors on-board. During the Spring Series they showed significant improvement over past years. It would be a good test!
The start was a tight reach on starboard tack. We positioned ourselves closer to the line than JD and stalled until about 20 seconds to go. We turned down to head for the line about 5 seconds before they did and even though we were both late to the line, we crossed about 4 boatlengths in the lead.
The initial sail selection was the screecher and we had a great set, which extended the lead another boatlength. However as we worked out towards the East mark the wind shifted 70 degrees so we ended up sailing almost by the lee. JD was able to close to within 1 boatlength at the turning mark, having carried an AP chute. A good clean windward douse helped our cause, but we had to contend with NATURAL HIGH who took away our high lane. JD however opted to sail low and fast, so we matched their course and showed superior boatspeed at a slightly higher angle.
It soon became apparent that we would need to tack to South mark, so we waited to see what JD would do. About a 1/4 mile from the layline they tacked.... we tacked..... they tacked again.... we covered.... 4 tacks later, JD was 6 boatlengths further back than when they started!!!! We came up to the layline and tacked on the perfect layline. The True Wind Angle read 46-47 degrees all the way to the mark. JD tacked on the same line and had to pinch up badly to make the mark. Another 2 boatlengths further into the lead.
The last leg was a 75-80 degree TWA reach. We worked the trim really hard, adding a 'bullshitter' (barberhauler) and crossed the line still about 6 boatlengths in the lead.
Yeah team.... Shawn and Bill on the primaries, Dennis on the main, Jim navigating and hotbox, Bob and Heather at the mast and Carol at the bow.