Alternate helmsman Jarrett Lynn, tactician Allan Terhune, and spinnaker trimmer Ezra Culver (left to right) bring Ed Tillinghast's Melges 32 Dark N Stormy across the line in fourth place, the fleet strung out behind them, for the final race of Key West Race Week 2011.
With the owner is pulled away for the final day of Key West Race Week, the crew sails on. But there's more missing than the boat's credit card.
A few years ago I interviewed the owner of a mid-sized offshore racing yacht that had entered his boat in a long distance race despite the fact that he’d planned a vacation abroad at the same time. While most of us might see this as an either-or dilemma, this particular owner simply handed over his boat (and ample checkbook) to a gaggle of pro sailors and went on his vacation. They rewarded him with a line-honors win.
Not every regatta is about the results. A long week of work for Team Ironbound yields some optimism for future events.
I said in my introductory blog that we would have to perform very well to beat any of the top 3 boats in our class. As it turned out, we started the week a long way off the pace relative to those top 3 boats and after the first day we decided to focus specifically on trying to reduce the speed deficit. A lot of early mornings ensued, and we made some huge changes to our rig tuning over the week.
By carefully executing our last-day strategy, we were able to sail away with victory in the Farr 30 fleet.
It wast the last day of racing, and our team aboard the Farr 30 Barking Mad had a comfortable, 9-point lead. The bad news was that there would be three races, giving our competition plenty of opportunities to pass us in the standings. It was time to change strategy: stay close to the second-place boat.
After being over early in today's first race, we were in a battle for second place.
Wow, what a week! Light wind again today, like all week. We had a rough day yesterday, so first was pretty much out of the question, but there were six boats trailing very close behind us in the standings going into today.
After ceding the lead in today's first race, we had our work cut out for us going into the final race of Key West 2011.
I'd rather be lucky than good! Today was a tough mental day on the PHRF 1 racecourse here in Key West. You have the pressure of remembering the scores, keeping tabs on the time between you and your competition, and sailing the boat fast, in the right direction, in a shifty, southerly breeze.
We went into the day only 2 points ahead of the J/109 Rush and 7 points ahead of Galilee and Wicked. No pressure, just sail our own race and things will work out.
A thick fog swallowed up boats like the Wonkavision in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Day 4 of 2011 Key West Race Week broke with no wind and heavy fog pushing back the harbor start an hour. Good news for lots of teams that took advantage of the happy hour that started quite early the day before.
Forecast looked promising in the early afternoon, and out to the race course we went aboard the Farr 30 Barking Mad. I couldn't believe how thick the fog was. We finally found the starting line when the race committee broadcast its coordinates, adding, “Since we can see the pin end of the line, we're going to start the starting sequence on time."
Key West 2011: A sticky situation encountered on the starboard layline has me questioning my obligations as a team member.
Very weird day today. We postponed onshore for an hour because of no wind and fog, then the race committee sent us out, even though it was still really foggy, sometimes visibility of 100 meters or less. Most of us eventually found the RC despite our total lack of navigation equipment (herd mentality). They started a sequence but then realized they could not see the other end of the line! Eventually the fog cleared, and we had two light races.
We found ourselves caught in a corner on the wrong side of a shift, and we were lucky make it out of the day with our lead intact.
What a strange day. We started out with an hour postponement on shore due to very thick fog and a light, unstable breeze. After an hour under AP, we left the dock and sailed right into the fog bank that was our racing circle. Just trying to locate the race committee boat was a challenge, but the RC did a nice job of broadcasting the coordinates of its location over the VHF. They set up a course so that, when the fog finally lifted, we were ready to go.
After a lousy start, we picked our way back to second place and grabbed the lead in the PHRF 1 division.
Today was all about patience and, once again, finding the best pressure. The PRO decided to stay on schedule and sent us out on time. We arrived to the racing area to find a light, southerly breeze. After a 20-minute postponement, we went into sequence.