Frostbite Racing Recap – Week Two

Sail Fast!
Sail Fast!

Sailing engenders amazing “community”.  There is outstanding information share that takes place because most competitors truly want to race against the best they can and everyone is mutually invested in getting better.  This is one of my favorite things about our sport.  Interestingly, I am not sure that everyone always recognizes how willing our fellow competitors are to share their information, settings, tips and tricks.  Asking good questions is one of the best ways to get better fast.  Walking around the docks and inquiring as to rig settings, controls and techniques arms you with the information you need to “copy the fast people” and move up the ranks quickly.

Below is a copy of a recent email sent out by one of the J/80 Frostbite competitors to the fleet.  Enjoy!

Good morning everyone in the J/80 fleet,
I wanted to pass along something that we used to do in the Laser fleet in Newport that seemed like a fun, easy learning expereince. Before a days racing, a competitor was selected to give a “days recap” of what they saw worked ( What didn’t) and provide a summary. We did it on Thursday nights as well in the J/22 fleet locally and seemed v helpful to try and paint the picture.
Here goes for this week ( Feed free to delete immediately!) 😉
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Frostbiting #2 – AYC
What a fantastic day with temps in the 60s, light to medium wind and 17 (!) J-80s on the line. No doubt this was a great look on the line with more than a few shorts being sported in the Spring like temps. With a southerly wind coming into the harbor, AYC set a D4 course with a set mark to windward, round to port, round 13 to port and back to the finish.
TIP:   Trying to read the SIs, Eric Menzel who joined us today let us know that his way of remembering which is Hartford and which is Triton light,
Hartford (H) is closer to the Harbor. Best advice we got all day.
Race #1 – Course D4
With a strong current coming into the river, it was critical to get right as fast as possible. With righties coming off the right hand shore, this was even more critical. Vayu, Stacked Deck, and Crush got it right and continued to own the right all the way up the beat. Finding a avenue to get over to the right was difificult with a few going early and reaping the rewards.
After the first mark, it got a little dicey as the puffs off the shore (Now on the left ) seemed tempting, but with a strong inflowing current on the right, there needed to be a time to make the step over. Emotional Rescue made the biggest gains in this leg by stepping however lost most of that by going back for more towards the Navy shore. Ken Magano on the other hand did a great job of playing the pressure and was easilly the biggest mover in the leg. Broad reaching seemed fastest with Stacked Deck (With the help of the Church Key contingent) doing a REALLY good job of sailing low in the light air.
Once the fleet reached 13 and the reach for home, it became more of a parade.
Note: Hat Tip to Rich Harrison – After realizing he rounded one of the marks in the improper way, informed the R/C he would be retiring after finish. Good on ya Rich. More than some respect!
Race #2 – Course C4
This looked like a carbon copy of the first race until The Puffinator made the left work on the first beat.(!) The wind did seem more stable yet the fleet still proceeded to option the right side by the shoal pole. Upon approaching the weather mark, it was the Puffinator who contined left and eventually rounded in the top two. I am guessing their were two things at play here. 1) The breeze filled in more so the puffs from the left were not as critical to a boats sucess and B) The current may have slowed down enought to let the left come into play. Either way, it made them look fanastic. Good on ya!
After the first mark (Rounding to starboard) it was a reach back to the harbor and into the finish. Note. With the tightness of the fleet, no one could make the low road work on this reach with the high folks able to drive down in the puffs.

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