Saturday, September 12, 2009

6mR World Cup - Day 4 & 5

Day 4 brought more of the same high winds. We started with the #2 jib and had a decent start and a good downwind leg, rounding the leeward mark deep in the middle of the fleet. For the second beat we changed to the Heavy #1 Genoa as the wind was down enough to carry the newer sail, and Alana came alive. Suddenly we could point with the competition and started reigning in Madcap as we had done last year. About 3/4 of the way up the beat, just after a tack back onto port tack, I looked up and saw a wire hanging from the rig. It took a few seconds to figure out it was the leeward running backstay that had pulled out of the rig through the tack. To avoid breaking the rig, we had to bear off, and sail on port tack all the way back to the mooring, retiring for the day. We looked at the rig and determined that it couldn't be fixed properly, but we could lash the runner around the mast after raising the mainsail and the only problem would be the inability to lower the mainsail. We bought the chafe gear, spectra, and shackle we needed for the jury rig and headed to the bar to drown our sorrows.

Saturday morning the forcast was for drizzly medium breeze, 10 to 15 kts out of the North, so we raising the main on the mooring, hauled me to the hounds and I died the running back around the mast. A load test on the mooring looked good so we headed up the bay for racing.

The commitee started right away with a black flag start, disqualifying anyone on the course side of the line within the last minute of the start. We started second row, but with speed and a hole to tack onto port and head to the right hand side of the course we wanted to go to. We had a nice upwind leg and followed Great Dane (placed 3rd or so in the regatta) into the windward leg. Downwind the breeze started to fade and we fell back a bit to some boats with more sail area. We chose the right hand gate mark and headed up the left hand side of the course as we didn't have any good lanes to get back to the right. This proved painful as we lost a few boats who went right. We passed Syce on the final downwind leg to finish 15th just as the wind was dying and rain squalls loomed overhead. We were held waiting for wind for about an hour, then sent in completing the regatta with races. Overall we placed 22 out of 24, much worse than we had hoped, but if you ignore our DNF's due to brakedown, we averaged 17.5 which is decent.

Even with the less than stellar performance, it was a blast of a week, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable crew and the best support boat on the course. The next two days I need to get ready to fly back to Panama on Tuesday, so no rest for the weary.

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