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Trip Report    

Sail - Esther, Port of Edmonds Marina

A great day of racing on the Sound. A sold performance by all the crew.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • A absolutely gorgeous day for a little yacht racing. Fantastic for early Fall, as a matter of fact, pretty much great for any time of year.  Fairly constant winds of 5 to 13 MPH, with no read dead spots or crazy wind shifts. Clear blue skies, with Mt. Rainier and Baker showing.

Another great day on the water, with some solid racing performance by the crew. Thanks to Scott, Ryan, Laura, and Kyle! This was another race in the CYC Edmonds Halloween Series.  After setting up the boat we headed out to the South of Edmonds, after seeing no one to the North of the marina. We noticed the windward mark out, so soon spotted the committee boat down by Point Wells. Scott and Ryan were on foredeck, with Kyle and Laura in the cockpit with your humble skipper and scribe. This time I even remembered to bring a new countdown timer! We got down to the start line and hoisted sail while the committee boat decided on a course.  They chose a two-lap windward-leeward race, which seemed wise in the stead breeze, and had the added challenge of two spinnaker sets.  Though no spinnaker jibe would be needed, no one knew that for sure at the time. At least this time there was no running aground while waiting. With sails up we patrolled up and down the start line, with the few warm up tacks and jibes. Unfortunately, we were the only Division 1 boat to participate in today's race. Three Division 2 boats were out, however.  The committee decided on a single start, so we'd be mixing it up with the big dogs. The countdown started and we held our territory on the line, trying not to invoke the over early penalty. The countdown progressed and I lined up for a Vanderbilt Start, 30 seconds away, 30 seconds to jibe around, and 30 seconds back.  And it pretty much worked that way, though it got crowded with some of the bigger boats as we got close to the horn. Beep and beep!  And we were off, only a few seconds behind the line, on starboard. But the big boys were also on starboard, and started gobbling up our wind. We made a strategic tack to port and headed inshore, with a reminder to the crew to watch for swimming sea stars so I didn't run us aground again. Tacking back out, we made the long beat upwind, crew on the rail, skipper in the lee watching the telltales. The wind made a local shift from North to Northeast, giving us a lift on starboard tack, but a header on port. We made the mark in four tacks (or was it five?). Rounding we furled the genoa and hoisted the spinnaker. It's amazing how the boat ride shifts from bumpy and windy to flat and calm when running downwind. We made it down in about 15 minutes what took us more than 45 the other way.  Luckily it was a dead down course and we didn't have to jibe to make the downwind mark. By then the big boats were already on their second lap, but as we are smaller, it wasn't a real comparison. We made short work of the downwind leg, rounded the mark and set the geona again. Crew back up on the rail, skipper on the lee, getting a neck ache staring at the telltales.  The crew did a good job of warning of the myriad fishing boats and crab traps throughout the course.  Though we all did get strangely quiet and contemplative on that second upwind leg. I wonder why?  Up we clawed, again, localized lift on starboard, header on port. Heading East to the mark, we waited until the crew saw bottom again, and tacked back to deep water and the windward buoy. A smooth rounding, none of that uncivilized panic of possibly hitting the mark and invoking a 360 penalty this time. Bearing off, the genoa was again furled, and we set to hoisting the spinnaker.  Now, sailboat racing was really too easy in the past, so they invented the spinnaker to make it difficult to downright dangerous.  Today was not a dangerous day, but some mistakes were made and we had our issues with the second chute hoist. There was the tangling of the spinnaker in the furling genoa, and a twist up with the genoa sheets when tyring to hoist.   We were close to half way back to the finish line when we did get it up and drawing. The foredeck crew did a solid job of working the problem and getting it sorted.  Kudos to them. I can't remember if it was this set or the first one where the pole topping lift came loose and bonked Scott on the head, but he seemed to be OK, no major dain brammage there.  It was a glorious final run to the finish, and apparently we made in just 2 hours and 8 second start to finish.  We cheered the committee boat, dropped sail, and then almost back-sailed into the committee boat (bad form there, "skipper"). Getting our feet back under us, we made sail back to the marina. A celebratory round and some food snacks were shared as we reveled in our victory. Funny though, it seemed like Kyle steering us back to the marina made better time than when your humble skipper was on the helm and really trying to squeeze the speed out of the wind.  Anyway, made it back safe and sound from a gorgeous day on the water.  Again, good job to the crew!