Day 1 in the books. Due to some severe weather that is moving through right about now—it’s 5 p.m.—we had a dying southerly trending west all day. On our course, Course 3, the PHRF and multihull division each sailed two races.
The story of the day was all about finding the breeze. In any dying breeze in a frontal situation, the puffs tend to be very scattered. The direction of the breeze didn’t vary much, other than a slow trend to the right. It’s important to have your head out of the boat, searching for the next puff and playing connect the dots, as I like to say.
In the first race for PHRF 1, we saw a little more pressure moving down the left side of the course, so we opted to start pin third of the line and to leeward of most of our fleet. We were trying to beat them to that pressure. With a right trend happening, most of the fleet tacked out early. We found our pressure and tacked on top of our fleet, heading right, and played a conservative race from there. The J/109 Rush sailed a very fast race to take the win, and we came in second.
For the second race, we saw the same thing happening—trending right with more pressure to the left. Playing connect the dots, we worked our way up the beat to round in a close second behind the 1D35 Revolution. We made a few good breeze calls sailing downwind to take the lead away from Revolution. We managed to cover the fleet take line honors, ultimately correcting out for the bullet. Like I said, the story of the day was finding the breeze and managing your fleet to beat them to that pressure, and in conditions like we had today, I’ll always take more pressure over angle, especially in PHRF. This frontal system should move through tonight, making for some great sailing conditions tomorrow, with breezes out of the north.