|So we hit the ice today- wind had shifted about 180 degrees and faded right out- the crazy survival conditions of yesterday were gone; sailing well today was gonna be about finesse.
I was nervous as there was a big gap between me and the top three sailors but a bunch of people were within a few points behind me; hard to gain a spot overall but easy to lose one or more. What the hell, go out and race and see what happens.
Used pretty much the same setup as yesterday in the breeze but with thin insert runners and a North ABSS (medium flat) sail. Got munched off the line by Matt Struble (this guy could outsprint Carl Lewis) but tacked away and sailed to the right in clear breeze. A puff and a left shift saw me looking good on the right and I rounded the top mark in about 5th or 6th.
Picked off a boat or two as the race went on and the breeze faded. Actually managed to pass Matt on a downwind leg (If you’ve ever seen him sail downwind you’d be impressed by this feat! To be fair he got stuck in a hole but still…) and by the finish had weaseled my way into third. And the race was black-flagged because the lead boat hadn’t made the time limit. DANG! Ah well, it was one of the better light air races of my DN career so I’ll take it even if it doesn’t count.
So another wait while the breeze faded to nothing and the snow started. Used the time to shoot the breeze with Jan Gougon- he’s been racing DN’s for a long time and is a wealth of information and knowledge- chatting with him is always educational and entertaining!
While we all wondered what the weather was going to do Mother Nature threw a new one at us: A crack appeared in the ice up near the top mark. It was growing wider and since there was open water on the downwind side of the course the call was made to get the hell in before the whole plate- with us on it- drifted out into Green Bay.
And the regatta is a wrap- with snow on the way and the plate kinda sketchy this one is in the books- yesterday’s results stand. Time to party like rock stars and head home tomorrow.
James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840