Following an off day between sailing where I worked remotely from an airbnb I arrived at Sarasota Sailing Squadron late last night. Sarasota Sailing Squadron is on the point of an island jutting into a wide bay making it a great sailing venue. There is plenty of beach launching and the sailing area is less than a mile from the launch.
The day started with a bit of a haze and no wind. Temperatures in the low 70’s. Even before the skippers’ meeting we were postponed ashore where we would wait for 1 1/2 hours. The wind finally started to pick up, we went out and a race was started in 5-6 knots of breeze. That ended up being the best of the breeze as it got very light during. The wind was out of the South West and there was a little current from left to right at the bottom of the course.
I had a good start and focused on keeping a clear lane of wind and trying not to duck too many boats on port tack. I did well on that first beat and rounded the first mark in 5th. Downwind I lost one boat and on the 2nd upwind I didn’t stay in phase as well as I could have and lost a few more boats. The final 3 legs of the race were pretty brutal. It was a LONG race not moving very fast and the Radial fleet behind us wouldn’t finish in the time limited. I ended up with a 12 in the 49-boat fleet.
After waiting for a little another race was started in a little bit more wind. This time I started at the boat and had a good start on the front line. I would sail almost to the left layline and was only crossed ahead by two boats. At the top mark I was caught by a few boats on the right and was top 10 around the mark. I continued to focus on clear air both up and down wind and held my position around the course as the 13th boat over the line – I would be 11th after OCS boats were taken into account.
By the 3rd race the wind had picked up a little more – now 8 and sometimes just over 10. Where I could find pressure and make the boat go in light air – pretty much everyone could make the boat go in this wind and it would be a lot harder with the fleet clumped up a lot more around the course. I had a good start, but got pinned to the left side and missed some shifts coming back the other way. I was probably in the low 30s around the first mark. Downwind I stayed in the middle of the course and was playing the shifts better to keep the boat moving fast towards the mark. I picked off a few boats. On the 2nd upwind I played the shifts and tried to keep my air clear and picked up some more places. On the final run I gained a few and lost a few – again playing the middle of the course. I finished 19th.
That put me in 12th overall – which sounds familiar as that’s how I finished the last regatta. Back onshore we put boats away, cleaned up and there was a nice seafood dinner at the club.