Sunday, June 17, 2007

Offshore Race 2007

Father's Day weekend were the dates for the 2007 version of the offshore races that I started in 1998. The race Saturday was full justification for that effort. The start was offshore of the jetties and well done by Greg Thurman, our race committee. The course was 33 n. miles with a 13 mile weather leg. The conditions were moderate to light with sunny warm weather and sparkling seas.
The crew was Jan, Steve, Danny, Ruddy, Art, John Files, Neil Gallagher (a new friend from the Bay Yacht Club). Thw wind lightened as we moved further offshore. The performance upwind was awful esp. on starboard tack. Eventually John figured out that the 150% carbon fiber genoa was choked on the inboard track. When we barber-hauled it out board things went pretty well, but by then it was way too late. The spinnaker reach was trying as usual. Without the ability to peel to the larger chute the run in was too light. Chris Corley and Dave cooked up great fajitas on the tractor disk grillers. I had a beer at Shorty's and then off to bed.
Art and Neil could not make the Sun. race which was fine since the RC sent us straight home without an offshore leg. Blue Max fouled us at the start, but I did not protest. He had so many children on board for Father's Day I did not want him to have to do a 360 in the heavy winds. We just got out legged down the channel. The wind was heavy from the SSW which was unusual. The forward forces were made even more difficult by a 'current wind' in the channel. Despite speeds in the hight eights and low nines White Pepper has clearly lost a step with all of the changes and neglect to racing over the past few years. Jan steered very nicely for an hour on a close reach. For the first time ever I did not go to the trophy presentation. I had to take crew to retrieve cars in Port Aransas, and I was miffed at the short race course for Sunday. I think that future offshore races should use a 'rabbit' start which will eliminate the greatest obstacle to offshore racing, the race committee. However, next year I will not even be in Corpus Christi so I will not worry about it now.
There will not be a Wed. night race 6-20-07 as Jan and I will be moving to the island. The next good race should be the Rockport YC race on July 21, 2007