Regatta report by Tim Russell of Ne*Ne, Hull #3
Motoring to the race course you could tell it was going to be a windy day, as the forecast predicted. At first it looked like racing would be postponed, because by 11 o’clock, the race committee was nowhere to be seen. But shortly thereafter, they arrived in force and quickly set up the course in time for our 12 o’clock start. Twenty-three boats started the first race, but only seventeen boats finished race three (more on that later). A 7 degree righty on the first leg favored the boats that started at the committee boat and went right early. The boats that started at the pin were left to find a hole in the long parade of starboard tack boats that were on the lay line. The perfect sailing conditions in race one were replaced with increasing wind and chop in the subsequent two races. Several boats reported seeing gusts over 25 knots. Going right continued to be favored all day and the boats that started at the committee boat consistently came out on top at the weather mark. The more challenging conditions put a premium on boat handling and the upwind mode had to change to more twist in the sails to power through the lump. The conditions caused six boats to drop out for equipment failure and, of course, the sailmakers were pleased because several kites where ripped or torn to pieces. The kites hung to dry with disgrace from the masts of the boats at the guest dock. And stories of how sheets weren’t blown or released in time were heard at the bar. When the results were posted, they showed Akula in first, 2 points ahead of Ne*Ne who was 2 points ahead of Godot.
Sunday’s weather was more civilized and was a welcome change from the day before. Going right was still favored and even though the pin was favored, most boats chose to start at the boat. This caused congestion at that end of the line and a general recall was hailed. (It wouldn’t be a J/105 regatta without at least one general recall.) Going into the restart of race four, the committee chose to be kind and just go with the standard P flag instead of a more punitive option. This was the bright side for Ne*Ne, Arbitrage, and Box of Rain, who were called over early. It also made things very interesting because Maverick won the race and Blackhawk came in second, creating a two way tie for first with Maverick and Godot with 17 points and Ne*Ne, Blackhawk and Akula tied for third with 18 points. It was anyone’s regatta going into the fifth and final race. Ne*Ne took race five, winning the regatta with 19 points, Maverick in second with 20, and Blackhawk took third with 22.
For the second straight regatta, there were several boats separated by a few points going into the final race. The racing couldn’t get much tighter. It has been some of the best racing in years and it’s a perfect lead up for our final two regattas!