Last weekend the Santa Cruz Yacht Club hosted the 505 fleet for some great racing. Even though a lot of the boats are already in the container going to the worlds we still had a turn out of 12 boats at the starting line. PRO Beau Vrolyk introduced the concept of a pursuit race to the fleet that he would try as a non-counting race at the end of the day. Everyone seemed excited to try it.
The weather pattern in Santa Cruz over the last week was nuclear, during the week the breeze came up into the 30s and almost hit 40 during parts of the day. Even Friday it blew, the forecast for Saturday was a bit of the same and everyone was preparing for a tough day on the water. Turns out a forecast is just a forecast. The breeze started the day left of "normal" around 10 knots. Throughout the day it picked up a bit to 15kts and shifted back to "normal". After a bit of a course flag snafu (course 5 was hoisted, there were only 4 courses in the SIs) the RC figure out that they had the FD SIs still on board, a quick cleanse of those and off we went on a double sausage course. The story for Saturday was whether to go left for potential breeze or go right for the geographical advantage. Both scenarios paid at different times of the day which kept the racing interesting. The "black boat" lead the day after three races. Rob Woelfel followed right behind. Bruce decided to try single handling a three sail reach when Dave's trap adjuster line broke in race 2. Pat Diola showed speed as well finishing the day in third. Reeve was kind enough to strap a two boat trailer to his VW golf and bring the "blue boat" up for Paul and Skip to sail. After racing the yacht club hosted a great burrito night. With the new beautiful deck done and an unusually warm evening the sailors enjoyed sharing stories and some skippers were even heard asking for a second burrito.
Sunday's forecast was for lighter breeze than Saturday, once again a forecast is just a forecast and the racers were greeted with a building breeze that finished the day around 18-20 knots. Two races were scheduled for the day, Rob W started the day strong with a bullet. Patrick finished second yelling something about eating less burritos as Matthias followed behind. Justin showed good boat speed all day. Reeve had speed bursts and Skip was going strong for his first time in a 505. Race two was sailed in defcon 1 reef state and the big boys showed they can carry their weight in the breeze. Dave pulled the correct call on the first down wind and jibe set passing 2 boats down wind to take the lead. With a foul in the spin halyard Dave had a bit of trouble dousing at the last leeward mark and gave up the lead. Rob W came in right behind Dave and Justin wasn't far behind them. With the breeze still strong Beau decided to try the experiment. Here are the basics:
- 3 stage start, 3 groups of boats.
- Last 3 finishing boats for the event started at the hoist of the prep flag
- The bulk of the fleet would start at the prep down
- The three leading boats would start at the gun
This makes it a 4 minute gap to the first starters and a 1 minute gap to the fleet. Course was once around which brought the whole fleet together at the leeward mark and made it a real tight race to the finish on the last weather leg. Interesting concept; fun to have everyone close together.
Thanks to the RC and their volunteers for another great event. See you at the next one.
Ps: It's written from a crew's perspective since they do all the work in the boat besides holding the little stick in the back of the boat.