Dear fellow frostbiters!
After a couple of rainy race days with temperatures in the low thirties and after disturbing events on Capitol, finishing the week on a sunny Potomac with a pleasant breeze and 24 other lasers was a nice change! We welcomed two more talented SSA exiles, Dave and Scott – it is great to have you, and we hope you stay with us! Laura and Tyler laid out a slightly longer up-down course than usual and a more spacious start line. That proved helpful as the rising tide tended to push us early over the starting line. In spite of shifting wind force and direction and an additional incident I’ll come back to, they aptly pulled off 6 great races – big thanks to Tyler and Laura!
The winning strategy of the day seemed to be making good bets and relying on good luck. The current was strong and probably stronger to the east, but the defining bets seemed to be who found the wind gusts and predicted the shifts. Predicting the wind shift directions was hard – except it tended to revert more or less to where it started – in spite of many wild changes, the course really didn’t need modification. Anticipating where the gusts would come was marginally less random – looking at the water upwind gave us good clues. With 6 races, there were many bets to be made.
Starting strategy was influenced by the incoming tide and shifting winds. It just doesn’t work hanging out on the starting line on starboard with the sail flapping when the current carries you over the line. With the more generous starting line than usual, moving around and looking for a good spot to start worked better for me. Even starting on port tack worked for me once, but it is risky!
A broken mast just after the 2nd start added some drama to my own experience. The upper mast has a weak point where the rivets hold the sleeve in place. It also demonstrated the sportsmanship and comradery as many of you checked in on me, and Len (I think it was you, Len, I was a bit distracted) offered to lend me an upper mast. Tyler and Laura swiftly picked me up, carefully pulled me back to the marina, they made it back in time to clock in everyone else, and I just barely made it back for race 3. I then noticed that my gooseneck was starting to crack on both sides, and I sailed the remaining races slightly terrified that I would need a second rescue, but one side stayed attached, and it proved another bet worth taking. Many thanks to Laura, Tyler, and Len for their help!!
The day was perfectly capped by Aaron Boesenecker cooking up delicious Glühwein! Other than having a boat that doesn’t fall apart, I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my Sunday.
As usual, with many thanks to Farley, the results are attached!