Thursday, January 14, 2010

NOW We're Racing

Just before 11pm while averaging 9-10 knots a darting light came up
from astern, and there was only one boat it could be. Crosswinds, the
F-27 who'd been 30 minutes behind us had found the sweet spot in
apparent wind and climbed up in our six like a fighter plane. True to
the movie, he jinked low, shot high, we asked "'Where'd he go?'
Hollywood said 'Where'd WHO go?!'" as he flew by to weather easily
four knots faster. Still under our symmetrical with the wind building
to 20 true and angle close to 90, we moved to take it down. In doing
so we broke the dousing sleeve line and [gasp!] had to pull it down by
hand. The reacher unfurled and proved to be as fast for a while, but
we just now finished changing tithe asymmetrical as the breeze rotated
aft a bit and boatspeed had dropped. A lot of work for a 2500 sq ft
sail but we managed with three of us. We picked up another knot of
two with what's clearly the right sail and now seem happy around 11
kts. Checking the tracker, we saw Crosswinds now parked well outside
and behind us, indicating a problem. Nothing on the radio so we
assume and hope it's a simple gear problem and they'll be back in the
race soon -- comfortably behind us! No way it was the jib, Victor!

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