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SCRA Regatta, South San Diego Bay

November 2, 2003

From Geoff Nelson, driver of bi-lingual Turtles

For those non-participants, it was a fantastic day racing.  I have not seen so many boats all consistently changing
positions and all so close on repeated mark roundings.  The four boats behind Phlegm were all very close
and literally "duked it out" every leg.  If that was any indication of the caliber of competition we can expect from
Fleet 3 over the next year coming into the worlds, I think the campaign will be as much fun as the goal.
 
I talked to RC and said if race 6 results did not change the standings, I would not protest.  Clearly, if this was a
real (ie. Fleet Championship) regatta, then there would be a bit more of a reason to get scratchy about it (see terms:
"protest the RC"). But as it was (I think) the last SCRA race of the year, I would propose the race six issue should be
resolved as a tie for second for the two boats involved and we will settle it on the water over the coming months.
 

From Bill Jenkins aboard 8411 (aka Phlegm for the time being)

Five 505s made it to the SCRA regatta in South Bay yesterday. They were Ben Wood and Geoff Nelson on Tortuga, John and John Billings on Kitty, Dan and Bill on 8411, Mike and Marc on KAOS, and Doug Dommermuth and Harry Dunning on 7201. These were the five San Diego boats that plan to go to the World Championships in Santa Cruz next summer, and it looks like they are starting to get serious about their programs. None of the classics made it, unfortunately. They would have had a blast in the moderate conditions and flat water.

Despite the storm clouds all around Sunday morning, the rigging area at Navy Yacht Club was sunny and dry. Most boats got there early and spent a few minutes checking rake and shroud measurements. (Turns out the spreader angle adjusters on 8411 are frozen, so if anyone knows of a good way to loosen a stainless screw in an aluminum nut, let us know.) Mike and Marc got there a little late apparently they needed some extra time to get their hall passes in order. But they were still active with the tape measure.

Racing started promptly at noon, and the first three were sailed in beautiful conditions with sun and occasional trapezing. The smart guys in race one went to the right for more pressure on the first beat. Dan and I tacked up the middle playing the shifts and got to the top mark in second behind Kitty and barely ahead of 7201. But we set quickly and got into the high lane and were able to pass them pretty quickly. On the second beat, the smart guys went left to get the big left shift that filled in across the course. Dan and I went right to cover the majority of the fleet behind us that went that way. Tortuga went from last to almost first by hitting the shift correctly. We were barely able to out tack them near the top mark to retain the lead for the final run.

Races two and three were very tight with lots of position changes, which Ive forgotten now. But race three saw the only recalls of the day with 8411 and 7201 both called back to start correctly.

After that, the offshore clouds we had been watching finally covered the race course, dramatically lowering the temperature and also bringing a few knots more wind. The racing continued competitive, with some boats making huge gains by going into wire-running mode at the right times.

Dan and I decided to take our throw-out in the final race and dropped back to observe sailing styles. From that perspective we also got to watch KAOS crash tack to avoid 7201. We advised them to protest the lack of proper watch keeping, but they sailed on with out using the dreaded P word. The main observations we made were that boats were not being sailed flat enough in the puffs, and drivers were not working the boom vang enough in the puffs and lulls. Also, most drivers should hike out more than they do to keep the sails powered up.

Unfortunately we apparently caused confusion on the RC boat as they gave some of the 505s a horn after one lap. They stopped racing thinking that they had misunderstood the course, and only Kitty sailed both laps that made up the correct course. So either Kitty or Tortuga takes second place behind 8411, depending on how you think it should all be sorted out. Official results will be posted on the SCRA website soon www.santaclararacing.org.

This being SCRA, on shore after the racing Commodore John Schedel and Angela Schedel loaded up a dock cart with a cooler full of drinks, some chips and salsa, and towed it around to the unrigging boats. Very civilized.