The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
Yesterday we had a four boat race, consisting of a J70, a Carrera 290, my old J24 and I think an O'Day 27. I had never raced against the Carrera or J70 before. The J70 and Carrera were fully crewed and flying spinnakers. The ODay and I were flying white sails. I was singlehanding.
Here's an online photo of some J70s.
And here's an online photo of a Carrera 290.
At the start I got buried behind the wind shadows of both the Carrera and the ODay, and had to drive hard to windward to cross their transoms and clear my air. Once clear, I focused on speed, and rounded the windward mark well ahead of the ODay and about a boat length behind the Carrera and the J70. After rounding, the boats weren't allowed to cross the start/finish line until the finish, and the J70 and Carrera sailed toward the committee boat end, near the heavily wooded west side of the lake. They were obviously match racing each other, and not concerned with the old singlehander. I sailed toward the pin end of the line, in the middle of the lake, and found good wind and a favorable wind shift that took me straight toward the leeward mark. I rounded the mark about 3 boat lengths ahead of the Carrera, and had a bigger lead on the J70. The Carrera caught a little gust just before dousing its asymmetrical spinnaker and slingshotted around the mark and past me. I also had some difficulty getting my jib trimmed for the next leg, and it took me awhile to get up to speed. Once I got going, I focused on maximizing speed, and led the J70 about half the distance to the finish, when he finally passed me. They both beat me on elapsed time, but I think I probably beat the J70 on corrected time. If the Carrera owes me enough of a handicap, I might have beaten him too on corrected time, but he probably crossed the line about 100 yards ahead of me.
The moral of this story is, in a sailboat race, if the other boats are faster than yours, you can't beat them if you get in the parade behind them. You have to break away from them and find a shorter distance or better winds or smoother water or less adverse current. You don't always succeed, but it's sooo sweet when you do.
Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind" previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22 Past Commodore
Great work! (Happy the O'Day didn't correct out ahead of you--I assume he gets a few more seconds.) I once crewed in a one-design match race (no handicaps of course) where the other skipper slid behind some rocks that interrupted an adverse tidal current that our skipper wasn't thinking about as he headed straight for the line. The trip back to the dock was a little glum--no surprises to come later. I guess the bright spot was a lesson was learned.
Dave Bristle Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, USCG "sixpack" (expired), Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.