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January 11, 2021 Race Fleet Captain's Message 

On Sunday we had twelve boats out for a nice start to Winter Racing season.  Winds were strong and Mei Li set challenging courses for the fleets.  A and B got to go around Hat Island, and C and Double/Single got to go out to H and G marks for a nice afternoon sail.  Winds were fairly constant with a few gusts by the Eastern part of Hat Island and again as boats made their way into the final loop around the anchored barge.  No rain and almost some sunshine with temps nearing 50 made the sailing enjoyable - and if you had enough freeboard, dry as well!  An off-season whale was also spotted over the shallows before our racing started.  It was nice to see everyone out there and good to see Dennis and crew bringing out Happy Seal to do the buoy races.  

In A/B Fleet race, folks got off to a fair start, and Espresso immediately tried to climb over GECKO but was forced to tack away.  GECKO had to drop well below Hula Girl and Wily B who had Starboard rights, and then Happy Seal snuck in to get an inside lane around the barge.  Coming back around the barge, GECKO headed up a bit higher than the fleet to get our asym-spinnaker launched, and while we had a successful launch, it was hooked up with tack and clew reversed!  (Thanks Jeff and Pete for the lovely photographic memory of that.)  Happy Seal tried to do something with their asym spinnaker too, but that left them well behind.  Hula Girl ran away with a reefed main and headsail, making a sharp gybe into H mark for the required rounding.  Wily B, Espresso and Dulcinea made direct tracks and cleared the H mark without troubles.  Coming into H mark, Outlier blanketed GECKO with their turquoise colored spinnaker as we ran our VMG angles across the course.  Turns out that wing-on-wing worked out pretty good for my "unconventional" spinnaker hoist, and we got back to being able to make out laughing faces on Hula Girl and Espresso as they made the turn around the western shore of Hat Island.  Wily B was off trying to douse their spinnaker which left a lane open for GECKO.  At this point it was a choice of where the wind was stronger.  We had up a full main and #3 and had an excellent sail back to the M-Mark rounding mark (falling further and further behind Hula Girl) before an upwind finish to B mark.  Espresso and Wily B were a bit further north, and did not have quite the same wind but enough that Espresso would end up correcting into first place for A-Fleet by over a minute.  Dulcinea did a perfect sail for a win in B-Fleet, and looks like Exhilaration got the C-Fleet.  For double/single it is close to call but maybe CatsPaw squeaked a few seconds on corrected ahead of Isloa (provisional as we have to re-run those results and start times).  Good times!

Results are posted on the web-site, and we'll get CatsPaw, Isloa and Mei Li moved over to Double/Single class for the Winter Series.  Anyone else we need to move to Double/Single?

Our Winter Series continues with the following races:
Jan 24          RC - Wily B
Feb 6 (Saturday due to SuperBowl)   RC - Jabez
Feb 21         RC - Mistral
Mar 7           RC - Outlier

We had the Milltown Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening and 23 race boats received award plaques for great performance last year.  Those will be mailed to you with the membership booklet and pocket calendars.  Club Champion for 2020 was GECKO - not for a lot of first place finishes, but for consistent performance (1, 2, 2, 2, 2) and being out there.  Also, if you get a chance, sign-up for RC for the 2021 season.  Starting in March, things are wide open, and if you pick Spring or Fall Regatta it is a benefit for your annual score for club champion!   Good way to use your boat and be COVID safe with limited contact.  Instruction/training is provided as requested! 

Race Fleet Captain
Joe Geck
C&C 99  GECKO  "#1"