A-Log: Close hauled to The Race (or Gut)
Aurora, USA 50095
Vineyard Race log
09/02/11, 1928 GMT
Glorious sailing! Clear skies, flat water and moderate breeze. Two hours into the 77th Vineyard Race we are making good time and remain in visual distance of the two other boats in our IRC-zero class — Blue Yankee, which owes us about 2 hours over 24 hours and the TP 52 Decision, who we owe about one hour per day to. It was cool to be rafted up with the new Blue Yankee at Yacht Haven. Alden Winder took this cool picture of the new and old R/P 66 designs from the top of Aurora’s mast.
Wind conditions are not going according to forecast. Our heading has been about 90 degrees (due east.) With the wind coming from about 50 degrees at 9 knots or so we are hitting our target speeds around 8.5 kts close hauled on port tack heading close to the shortest-line course to either of the two possible exits from Long Island Sound. The wind appears to be backing more easterly (70 degrees) and slackening slightly. It could continue to shift right and weaken into the evening. It probably means a tack onto starboard soon and definitely means we will have to think hard before commiting either to Plum Island Gut near the north fork of Long Island about 40 miles away, or The Race about 50 miles distant. The trick will be getting through into Block Island Sound before the tide starts to flood hard this evening, making passage into the stiff current very difficult in the lighter air we might see by then. Right now the tide is slack turning to ebb which will push us toward our destination.
Gary Jobson just returned the helm to Gus, after steering the start and taking a bite out of the first leg. We were about 30 seconds late to the line at the starting gun after Decision used right-of-way racing rules to pin us above the committee boat with less than minute to go. So we jibed around and tacked again to cross “scary” close (at least to Brook West) to the committee boat ( picture Aurora’s 66 feet swishing at 7 knots by the anchored 40ish-foot cabin cruiser a bit more than arms length away.)
Navigator Randy (Rando) Needham has a pool going on finish times … $1 each. I chose 0215 EDT Sunday. I gather there are a lot of bets clustered around mine.
– Alden Bentley, Reuters