Monday, March 26, 2007
Fantastic Race Two of the Spring Series; with a twist to the tale.
The conditions were ideal for our Reflex 38's on Sunday. A NE 15 knots of wind promised a great day of racing. Following a windshift just before the start the race officer postponed the start to re lay the line. A big port bias resulted in the majority of the fleet jostling for position at the pin end, providing an exciting start.
Jaguar Logic won the pin end making an excellent start. Puma Logic was further down the line and left struggling a couple of boat lengths behind six other yachts. Tacking off early to get clear air Puma had to duck several boats. The next time Jaguar and Puma crossed paths on the beat Jaguar had a three boat length lead and sailed to the right hand side of the course. Following an individual recall all the boats ahead of Puma at the start returned to restart.
Puma’s tactics took them up the middle of the beat whilst Jaguar went to the right anticipating that the wind would go further right. As it happens the left paid off and Jaguar were left trailing at the windward mark. Puma was third around the windward mark looking in great shape.
Both boats worked very hard and took chunks out of the leaders, steadily climbing up the rankings. Puma's excellent tactics on the last leeward leg, combined with excellent teamwork, paid dividends and resulted in them taking the lead. Jaguar had also caught up well and was looking good for a great result in the top five.
Having passed Prime Suspect and Playing Around, Puma had one last short beat to the finish. Simple, or so they thought! The only problem is that Bramble Bank was between the leeward mark and the finish. Puma, navigating around the edge of the bank, did not judge it to perfection. The result was that Puma found herself firmly attached to Bramble Bank and there she stayed for the remainder of the race. All the following yachts darted off in different directions, bouncing off the bottom. The results were turned upside down with Vortex, an X-35, coming from no where to win the race!
Jaguar circumnavigated the Brambles well and finished just eighty seconds behind the leaders leaving them in the running for a fantastic podium position. The team on Jaguar were eagerly awaiting the results. Bitter disappointment prevailed when the results came out. Jaguar Logic was controversially scored OCS despite there being witnesses on other boats to suggest that they were not. In fact all but two boats were claimed to be OCS by the race committee!
So, a frustrating day of racing for both our teams. Two potentially fantastic results snatched away from us by silly little mistakes. On the positive though, we are here to learn and what better way to do that than learning harsh lessons from our errors! There are still four races left in the series and after all, one race is discardable! So this weekend has provided us with the discard!
On another note, we suspect Richard has now been exonerated of all the Sunsail mark jokes and Bramble Bank will become the new in joke on board Puma.