(As of Monday, 10/5/09) Yates Dowell was PRO, with RC provided by the Cats. The brisk, refreshing days of October have arrived, promising dry sunny days and good winds. The AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change) called for mostly sunny skies, winds from the NW at 8 – 14 MPH, and a high temperature of 74 degrees. The river flow was slightly below normal for this time of year, at 2,070 CFS (gage height 2.8 ft), and the water had cooled to 64 degrees. High tide was at 8:59 AM and low tide at 3:23 PM. Gusts to 25 from 10 AM to 1 PM made for challenging conditions, causing multiple boats to capsize, and sending some competitors back to the dock early.
Here is the PRO’s report:
What a great day to be on the water! There were plenty of wind, clear skies, moderate temperatures, and little boat traffic.
The RC knew it had to set the course north towards the 14th street bridge because the tide would be running out most of the day and the water from Hains Pt south would get pretty shallow causing problems for the Albacores and Lightnings, the only two classes racing. The winds were gusty and shifting between west and north, so the RC tried to set a windward mark/leeward mark line between the wind direction extremes but with a bias toward a north-south orientation along the length of the river rather than across it, so as to keep the course as long as possible. One weather forecast had predicted winds predominently from the west, so the start and finish lines were set below and above the leeward and windward marks rather than in the middle of the course. This way, if the windward/leeward axis of the course had to be re-oriented across the river, there still would be a pretty long windward leg.
The wind gusts were hard and from variable directions which caused multiple capsizes during the day and this was a challenge for the RC because there were only two motor boats instead of the usual three on the course. However, everyone that went over managed to get their boat up and running without assistance which shows the experience and expertise of the skippers and their crews.
Here is Jeff Storck’s report:
We came around the Leeward mark in the first race and tacked off to head for the airport along with Russ. We got there and tacked over to port and got hit with some kind of rogue puff that immediately knocked us down. It’s possible our centerboard was grounded, since we were pretty close to the beach, and we may have tripped over it. Fortunately we had our preventer on, so the centerboard was out and ready for us to right the boat. We finally got her upright and bailed her out.
At this point, with the boat dry, and my crews’ teeth chattering in the now brisk feeling wind, we decided to call it a day. The only things lost, other than pride, were a couple of mast blocks and the mast partner. Yes, we managed to save the beer. So the day was not a total loss. 🙂
More stories and results to be posted soon.