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SanDiego505 - August Triangles

Sunday, August 26, 2001

Mission Bay YC August Triangles

Team TGIF (8024)

The 505's eagerly awaited this regatta for several reasons: It was the third and final regatta of the high point series, and with a 5-race series on triangle courses, it would provide plenty of opportunities to get in some good, tactical racing.

The morning greeted us with light and shifty breeze that would continue throughout the day. Six 505's showed up for this regatta, including the two classic fleet contenders (Team Schoolbus and Team Taz). The Weasels and the Billingses were in borrowed boats and Team "Bo" was in the dinghy park nursing a broken limb. With only 6 boats competing, the (damn) Weasels had a mathematical lock on the fleet championship, and today would be a battle for second place in the regular division. I considered as the day went on that I probably could have recruited enough boats to give Team TGIF a chance at the championship if I'd really tried, but it was too late for that now. The classic fleet championship, however, was up for grabs.

The first race quickly demonstrated that while Team Weasel wasn't in their usual untouchable craft, they were still pretty quick in Sneaky Pete, but even more importantly, their tactics were as good as ever. We tried hard to keep up with them, but some rust was showing on TGIF today, and we just couldn't catch them. Second.

Race 2 started off with a "head fake" by the RC when they hoisted a Snipe class flag for the first race and subsequently replaced it with our fleet flag. This race was later thrown out, much to the Weasels' chagrin as they grabbed their second bullet of the day in this one, and then retired due to some damage to the centerboard cap on Sneaky Pete.

The third (later re-scored as the second) race was a very competitive race. Team Taz had very impressive speed off of the line, and really made us worry that they might roll right past us. With a lightening breeze, the Billingses really dominated. They led at the weather mark and never looked back, grabbing a bullet and leaving us with a hard-won second with Fever Pitch breathing down our necks. Despite asking for "no breaks" the RC decided they needed more beer and told us to head in for a lunch break.

We sailed back out for our final 3 races, and due to the throwout from the AM, with a 1-point lead on the Billingses for the day. We were late and slow at the gun and would spend the race trying to claw our way back to the front after briefly hanging out in last place. We slowly reeled in the leaders, but ended up sailing down into Fever Pitch after the jibe mark and were hopelessly out of contention after doing our circles. Scored a fourth.

At the gun for race 4, we counted 1 less boat than expected and saw the Billingses had been enjoying the antics of a playful harbor seal instead of minding the signals on the committee boat. We got a comfortable lead by the weather mark, and had time to watch a real battle unfold behind us for second. It looked like a very close rounding, with Fever and the Billingses duking it out while ignoring Bus who sailed straight to the leeward mark and quietly passed them both. Bus rounded ahead of the two of them and Fever Pitch was really moving out trying to catch Da Bus, but Bus held on to take second by about a boatlength. First.

Race 5, which was the sixth race of the day, was sailed without Team Taz as they didn't realize we would re-sail #2. This was a straight windward-leeward course, and The Billingses decided to sneak in a port-tack start. We were late enough for the pin end to do anything about it and they crossed all of us on port ahead by more than a boatlength. With a 2-point lead on them our thoughts were on making sure no one else passed us. We sailed a fairly conservative beat and tried to reel in the Billingses on the downwind leg. An ill-advised jibe did us in, and they rounded the mark less than 2 lengths ahead of us. We followed them to the finish for a second.

Dan led the post-race debrief where some valuable information was exchanged. Most of the boats seemed to really get some valuable information from this debrief and we expect everyone to be just a bit faster next time. Next race is September 16 in the ocean.

Congratulations to Team Weasel and Team Schoolbus for winning the regular and classic division championships this year!

Watch for official results soon.