As the week of racing continued, Dorade enjoyed a light-air day in which the Classics fleets sailed a single, long navigator-style race. John Burnham reports.
We had to wait until lunchtime for the breeze to fill, but enough wind pressure came in on Tuesday for another picture-perfect race on Rhode Island Sound. Better yet for Team Dorade, the result was a solid win!
This was Day Two of the New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta, and the race committee signaled a long course that utilized government marks as most rounding buoys and finished near Fort Adams, inside the Bay.
Greg on the helm and Kevin on the tactics set us up for a nice start to windward of a couple of bigger, faster boats, Black Watch, the yawl-rigged Sparkman & Stephens 68, and Spartan, the Herreshoff-designed New York 50. As we hoped, we were able to tack and work the right side of the opening, one-mile windward leg.
Upwind, we kept our crew weight well forward and to leeward when the breeze lightened, while Greg, Kevin, Matt and Hazy steered and worked the sheets to maximize speed. With two classes of smaller boats starting ahead of us and a starboard rounding at the first mark, we found plenty of slower boats to avoid. This created some discussion between boats and occasional quick maneuvers, but we were able to round in third, behind Spartan and Black Watch and with a modest margin on the class leader, Santana.
Downwind, Santana closed the gap and passed us after the jibe mark at the Beavertail buoy while we reached toward R2 off Brenton Reef. The two boats tacked simultaneously after the mark, and Dorade was able to pinch up and force Santana to tack after four or five minutes. This was a pivotal moment in the race as we worked the right and they sailed to the left on the three-mile beat that followed. We rounded the windward mark well ahead.
The final run to Fort Adams was about six miles long, and the breeze built to 9 or 10 knots as we sailed into the Bay with spinnaker, mainsail, and a pair of staysails set. Spartan crossed the line first, followed by Black Watch, but we finished close enough to take a clear first. Spartan was second on corrected time, Black Watch third, and Santana, fourth.
Wednesday is a day off in this series, and for now we have a one-point lead, but we have three more days of racing and know that we will have to keep upping our game to stay in this position.