Sailing Instruction 8.2 – the phrase of the day for the final race of Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s Center Sound Series, the Three Tree Point race. High pressure set up over the region Friday and “Following the old rule of thumb,” says Northwest Yachting’s Expert Weather Guru Bruce Hedrick, “the first day that the ridge of high pressure starts to build over the Northwest is the day you will have the best breeze from the north….then every day after, the breeze drops and… In other words it looks pretty much like light and variable breeze” for the race.
Turnout dropped for the final race in the series, bringing 49 boats out to the line Saturday morning in the light southwesterly breeze. SI 8.2 – the S flag was up, the course was on the reader board and as the starts began rolling off the line you began to see who had read the SI’s, who had enough coffee, and who was paying attention. “Fun challenging day on the water,” says Ballard Sails’ Joe Grieser. “Interesting to see what boats read the sailing instructions and which ones didn’t.”
As the keeners sailed off towards West Point and the first mark in the now shortened course – Duwamish Head, a good third of the fleet sailed off to Bainbridge. One could argue they were heading west for breeze, a possible wind shift from the NW or some current relief away from the Duwamish wash and the fairly substantial ebbing tide. One could argue maybe one or two of these boats was doing just that, but as Kirk Utter, sailing aboard Terremoto explains “we were sailing to Three Tree Point! We had no idea the shortened course was being used until we got to about Restoration Point. Once we saw the early starters rounding the day marker we reached across, lost a few places with the extra distance but in the end didn’t do that bad.”
The keeners that read the SI’s and noticed the S flag and course sign worked their way up around West Point trying desperately to avoid the ebbing current in their light South Easterly breeze. Eventually becalmed under Magnolia the keener fleet was left drifting while the winds still pushed the boats south along the Western side of the sound. Then, finally, a light westerly filled in along Magnolia and as the western boats lost their breeze the keeners were back in the game sailing off towards the Duwamish Head day marker under genoa and spinnakers.
Then it was time for the puff chasing, spotty beat back around West Point and off to Meadow Point, the second mark in the shortened course. The trick became keeping the boat moving towards the strongest small zephyrs while finding the strong ebbing current lane as it combines with the Duwamish wash and most importantly avoid running aground in the mud flats off of Magnolia!
Once around West Point boats played the line between current and wind, still a Northwesterly without the standard lift along the Shilshole breakwater. Boats were finally able to sail in along Shilshole about halfway up the breakwater and a few tacks later they found themselves rounding Meadow Point with the beautiful sounds of the finish blasts as the RC shortened the course again at the second mark in the course. The nimble and light Farr 30’s lead the charge along the breakwater and across the finish line while the big IRC monster trucks worked up their transoms, finishing just minutes behind them.
All in all a fun spring series with the Farr 30 Project Mayhem, owned by Grady Morgan taking day overall in the PHRF fleet with two more Farr 30’s just minutes behind them for 2nd and 3rd overall. For the Class results Freda Mea once again took the honors in the 2 boat Multi Hull fleet with Tatiana scoring a DNF. The IRC class was dominated by John Kerrigan’s Ker 46 New Haven – correcting almost 10 minutes in front of the second place boat JAM, the J/160 owned by John McPhail. Brad Cole’s Melges 32 Ballistic finished first in Division 2 correcting 3 minutes in front of Carl Buchan’s always fast Custom 40 Madrona. Division 3 was sailed away with by the J/120 Time Bandit, owned by Bob Brunius. Correcting over 12 minutes in front of the Restoration Point boys aboard William Weinstein’s Riptide 35 Terremoto.
Division 4 was won by the first to finish crowd aboard Grady Morgan’s Farr 30 Project Mayhem. 2 minutes behind them in second was the Bat Out Of Hell Farr 30 owned by Lance Staughton. Stuart Burnell’s J/109 Tantivy easily took the day in Division 5. Correcting almost 12 minutes in front of the J/35 Tahlequah. The battle of the J/105’s in Division 6 was once again won by Erik Kristen and crew aboard #114 Jubilee finishing less than a minute in front of Jerry Diercks #272 Delirium. Division 7 was dominated by the always fun and loud J/29 Beer & Now leaving second, over nine minutes back, to the Santa Cruz 33 Muffin, owned by Garry Greth. Finally Division 8, the hotly contested and competitive class, was won by Hood River Yacht Club’s Andy Mack and crew aboard their J/27 True North. Holding on after correction by over 5 minutes in front of Nate Crietz’ always well sailed Olson 25 Three Ring Circus.
Full Results can be found at cycseattle.org
All of Jan’s photo’s can be found at janpix.smugmug.com