Confused seas, 20 knots of wind, and (at times) seeming impenetrable fog bank confronted the Fleet today. My personal mantra to avoid contact was in high gear at the start and worked out well for us as the Good Guys got off in clear air about at the 85th percentile to the preferred end of the line. Still, we were captured and prevented from tacking into the beach to avoid current by a boat on our leeward quarter.
I cancelled the spinnaker and instead set the crew to watching for boats in the thickening gloaming. After we had tacked on to starboard at the lay line, a port-tacker tried to cross us and failed. I had to alter course to duck his stern. This was difficult because we were all cleated in and, in the gust that hit at the same time, I had to throw all of my weight on the helm to prevent us from rounding up into the port-tacker. I threw the protest flag, but the dude continued to sail the course anyway.
On that point, flashing forward to post-race conversation with the Race Director: he asked me if my protest had to do with yachts not sailing the correct course. I said "No", and only then realized that half the boats in our fleet may not have sailed the correct course.
The visibility improved by the time we sailed through the gate next to the start finish line. Surfing downwind, wing & wing, our Velocitek hit 8.5 knots frequently.
Finally, on the last weather leg we had a chance to break out the camera. My bad: since I had recently downloaded some shots, I left the camera on "video". It's hard enough for me or Trophy Wife to shoot good video; but when we're unaware we are 'filming', the results are not going to be very promising.
Anyway, racing in 20 knots, who is going to check camera adjustments?
Here's my slip neighbor, heaving-to with a broken mast:
I am told we corrected out to well in to the top half of the 20+ boat fleet. As always I am most interested in elapsed finishes. Those will be available in a couple of days.