It was a light air day of offshore buoy racing at Fishing Bay for the first day of the Fall Series. We had 6 boats in our fleet and wind out of the NNW at 2-4 knots for the first race.
At the start the wind was shifting all over the place and light. All of the boats were right in the box just behind the line and we were coming just below them all on port – just drifting through. Since everyone else was down the line and given the shift to the left, we started on port at the boat and worked our way upwind. I don’t recall ever winning the boat on port before.
The upwind .8 leg took us towards Stingray Point. We picked some shifts, but mostly looked for pressure and had to tack to clear away from other boats a time or two.
On the downwind leg it got even more light and shifty and we struggled to keep the chute full. Eventually pressure came down the course and were able to lay the finish as the 2nd boat over the line behind Sting and just ahead of Corryvreckan.
By the second race the wind went about 60 degrees to the left, now out of the west and we were sailing into the Piankatank. At the start, we were coming up on the boat end with Excitation close by and to leeward of us. Sting had an even better position and was able to shut us out requiring us to around at the boat and started about 40 seconds late behind everyone.
Upwind we focused on shifts and pressure and were able to get around a couple of the boats in our fleet. At the top mark, Afterthought, Excitation and Sting were ahead. We started downwind with some wind and worked to the left which was into the current that was taking us towards the finish. As we went down the course some boats jibed to the right and were becalmed. We held onto the left and eventually the current pushed us down to the finish behind Sting and Excitation.
With only 5 of us on the boat, it was a little challenging doing the maneuvers, but the light air helped and we got it down. It was great sailing with Todd, Spencer, Len and Joe. We wound up with a 2nd place finish overall.