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TNT Report from Team Kitty

August 7, 2003

Kitty and TGIF traded places during a very tight race twice on a lovely summer evening on Mission bay.

It was a match race, with just these two boats on the line.  Steve Schnelker, the current MBYC 5o5 Fleet Captain and his very new crew Rich Ackerman were about 20 seconds late to the start.  They made up half of that to the weather mark.

Kitty, with crew John Billings III (Johnny) and John Billings II had an inspiring leg from Mark "F" the weather mark to Mark 1, and pulled out a 30 to 50 yard lead.  It appeared that Rick was just getting the hang of the kite, when it had to be dropped for part of the reaching leg to Mark 6. Kitty's front guy, insisted that he could not hold the chute on a tight reach to that mark and TGIF caught up almost all of the accumulated 150 yard lead!.  It's true. The sail is unstable in light air on a tight reach. Geees!

We rounded and headed toward the far North end Mission bay in front of the Cannibal Bar, Mark 3.  TGIF out-pointed and had better boat speed than Kitty & we got beat to Mark 3!  We could not believe it!  Classic fumbling around with strings and muttering to each other...but not as much excitement as the McKinney's create on the water when they get into it on Fever.

Chutes went up at Mark 3.  Kitty went way low to avoid the wind shadow of Santa Clara Point.  That worked!  We pulled even and discussed that great looking, newish chute that TGIF has.  There was no way to beat Steve in TGIF in a drag race.  So, we used some tactics. We slowly crept up and to weather of TGI and executed a classic roll'em maneuver, coming out inside and ahead at the final "T" mark.

TGIF and Kitty split the final leg.  Kitty sailed into a small hole, and used up 25 yards dropping into a covering position on TGIF in the last 50 yards of the race.  Kitty just nipped TGIF by about 2 boat lengths.   A very close boat race.  If the cover was not in place, TGIF would have easily taken Kitty at the finish.

John Billings

US7773  The Kitty