Page 39 - 48º North - The Sailing Magazine - December 2017
P. 39

and we were free to tack and get clear air.
If I’m not in the first class start, I pay attention to what the other classes are doing to get a sense of what the conditions might be further up the course. There were some boats that started ahead of us that headed into the Sound. We wondered what they might have seen out there that helped them to make the decision to go out. While we can’t know if they were racing each other, taking a flyer, or simply chose the wrong side of the course, we did know that we saw more breeze and even some whitecaps off to the right. We tacked back east after the start and ended up having an amazing race. We finished a full 1 minute 10 seconds (corrected) in front of Peter and Zig’s Farr 395, Ace.
Saturday was as beautiful, sunny, and warm as Friday, just without the wind. Boat call was 9:00am and the first postponement announcement went out promptly at 9:30am. We spent the morning hearing hilarious and harrowing stories of rearing a fearless child, mountain bike adventures in North Bend, and reading online product reviews. Racing was finally called off for the day at the 2:30pm check- in, and crews that weren’t already at the bar, headed there for drinks and pizza.
Sunday started with light, but race-able wind. The Race Committee chose to do a mid-distance race after a brief postponement.
Our course sent us to the Meadow Point buoy and then off to Blakely Rock and across to Duwamish Head.
A beautiful autumn day in Seattle for racing! Photo by Alex Kimball.
Left: “JEDI” and “Crossfire” on opposite tacks. Photos by Alex Kimball.
The choice after rounding Meadow Point mark was either to head across theSoundbeforetheebbstartedorto search for the puffs that sometimes come out of the east in light air. Absolutely went west across the Sound and did okay for a while.
The puffs ended up coming from the north and the fleet started to compress as they got to Blakely Rock. The conditions were great for Darrin Towe’s Melges 32, Wicked Wahine, and they took off in the light air.
Before finding decent breeze on the reach across to Duwamish Head, the wind got light and shifty, with puffs coming from all over the place. Boats headed in the same direction might be totally different tacks with completely different headsails up. The remainder of the reach was a processional.
The beat up to West Point and the finish was a lesson in patience
and finding the breeze. About half mile to the finish, the breeze shut offcompletely,andwasmademore complicated by a thick fog obscuring the finish line. Absolutely crossed the finish line drifting with the current.
Many of the ORC class, that were sent on a longer course, decide that there was no way to finish within the time limit and motored in. Luckily, everyone made it to the Awards Dinner Party hosted at the Seattle Yacht Club later that evening where we were treated by our gracious hosts to an excellent dinner, drinks, and some very large and prestigious trophies.
Thank you to the Seattle Yacht Club and specifically the Race Committee for making the most of our time on the water for Grand Prix 2017!
by Paula Bersie results on page 45
Right: The very competitive J/105 class. December 2017

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