A front was expected across the south Florida area sometime this afternoon with large thunder storms containing lightening and hail. The forecast called for 14-17 knots of breeze from the south prior to the front. After a brief postponement to evaluate the situation, the Coral Reef Race Committee got the Stars out on the water for what was the best race of the series so far.
The fleet got off to a clean start in 15 knots from 185. Shortly after the start the wind moved right to 195 and stayed there for the rest of the race.
Rodney and I had a good start, but went a bit too far left and missed the first important shift. Half way up the first 1.9 mile leg, we were in 20th. We had good speed and rounded the first mark about 15th and worked our way up to 7th at the finish. There was a significant amount of technique involved in sailing downwind today and I have to say that I am a bit rusty.
Xavier Rohart, with Serge Pulfer as crew were in a league of their own. They hit the right hand side of the course pretty hard and had a handy lead at the first windward mark. They are fast in breeze and therefore were able to stretch out on the fleet from there. My good friends Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry were 2nd all the way around the course. Brian Ledbetter and Josh Revkin sailed very well to get 3rd.
The hard luck went to Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl. They broke their connection at the top of the rudder to the tiller and saw a very good 4th place slip to 12th. That would have changed the score board a bit at the top. Torbrn Grael sailed very well to get 5th today as he was back with us on the first leg.
Lars Grael did not have a very good race today finishing 14th. But after 4 races all competitors get to discard their worst score. We now are able to average races 2-4 and get a placing for our redress in race #1. We are currently tied for 10th over all, five points off 5th.
Once a shore, the front hit at about 3:30 bringing a massive downpour and lightening all around. Fortunately all the boats and crews were safe. The Race Committee of all the fleets did a great job of getting the races in and the boats back to the dock before the equal line hit!
Tomorrow’s forecast is for 15-18 knots from the west. These conditions normally produce very shifty racing here as the wind is coming off the land.
For complete results go to: www.yachtscoring.com