Rascal just won the Channel Islands to MdR race OVERALL!!!
Our little cruz boat beat 39 other boats!!
Saturday….. crew: Tim Doran, SCCYC Staff commodore, Rob Moodie, Mike Geyer, Nadine Lajoie, Eva, Jasmine Kostraba, Kellie Hardick and myself.
Rascal hit the start right at the gun, a little deep on the line, but clear air. I started holding high and noticed I didn't need to. Luckily, we had an unusual wind blowing a bit more north for that time of day and could make Gina, the oil island, our first mark. I wasn't ready to give up any room yet and stayed there. But, we gained too much high and I started to go down, sailing fat.
At the start, a C34 was on my right hip. My crew is not the best at keeping me informed on what is behind me. I kept a boat in my right "rear view mirror", thinking it was the 36, which we would eventually gain on. Then I realized it was Starlight, and Clive was working over us with more speed. So, back up we went fighting him off.
We didn't head down until we had him under control. We fell off to a tight reach and rounded as the first boat in class.
Starlight was last year’s class winner, we used Starlight as our “fight”, working to stay ahead and to cover them, at least a loose cover.
The only preconceived course I had I mind was to stay away from the shore, head to the middle of SM Bay and go for the shortest course down where we could find a breeze. I thought I saw that more wind would be out in the mid bay on Windy.
After rounding Gina, we were the first in our class to jibe in with an angle of 120 to Pt Dume, we were about 5 miles offshore when we headed in. The shifts made that 120 a bit of a joke! Our asymmetrical spinnaker went to work both as an ayso and as our poled-out chute. We started to work the “white caps”, what few that were out there, and jibed into what looked like more wind over and over, never going in or out too far, jibing again when we could see the wind getting light ahead.
We watched the VMGs every step of the way as we worked off the miles, sometimes reaching without a pole when it was light, sometimes heading deep with the pole out in puffs. We watched the performance boats close in shore behind us as well as those reaching high, jibing back and forth behind and in front of us with their aysos when we could keep our VMGs sailing deep. We closely watched both the outside and inside boats and noticed that none were making better time, so we stayed our course in the “middle” working the puffs. I estimate probably 12+ jibes during the day.
It wasn’t until just before Pt Dume that the performance boats caught up to us, and Sapphire Knight was the first boat to cross us. As we entered SM Bay, we were the first in our class to get the “hoped for” expected wind and we “surfed” the ‘ole Rascal all the way home with the pole up and going deep. We entered the breakwater/finish; we saw a whole bunch of spinnakers out there as the sun touched the horizon.
“A magical day sailing down our beautiful coast” sort of says it all. I have done this race many times over the years; my stories and memories from each one would be an exciting chapter in a book. I am so pleased that the race is back and building excitement in the fleets to come out. Thank you, Jane Thomas, Rick Ruskin, Brendan Huffman and all the teams at both ends for working so hard to bring this race back to life again so we can all go out and play.
Kathy St. Amant