Saturday, October 1, 2016
In a way today was a momentous day for both the Venice Sailing Squadron and Green Flash Sailing as it was the beginning of a partnership in which Green Flash will be running the on-water aspects of the VSS Racing Program. In another way, the partnership started with a whimper, as only three boats came out on a pretty nice day. I do know why some boats didn't make it out, and maybe the current red tide event also played a role. The sight of thousands of dead fish wasn't very appealing.
The SailFlow forecast also wasn't very appealing, with a light easterly predicted in the morning and early afternoon and a weak sea breeze developing around 3 PM. The reality was much better with the sea breeze actually coming in about 12:30 and continuing until after 4 PM at 5-8 knots, a pretty normal afternoon here. Initially, I called for the fleet to go round the 5 nm triangle counterclockwise but as the time got close to 1 PM the wind was still shifting around some, so I called for a postponement of 15 minutes; however, that decision was met by some resistance, so I just reversed the direction to clockwise and let the early-birds take off. The first boat to start was Irish Wake followed closely by Opalina. By the time we (Flash) started, about 10 minutes later, the breeze had shifted right far enough so that we could sail right toward the first mark while the two O'Day 28s were trapped to leeward, south of us, on a lift, and with no good options. We led by a good distance at the first mark, while the others were beating up wind. The good thing was that the two O'Days were quite close together, so they had good close racing for the entire distance, eventually finishing so close that they couldn't agree on which one was ahead and compromised on a tie for second place.
It was generally a very nice afternoon, but a bit hot and more breeze would have been nicer, so I class it as somewhat sub-JAPSDIP. Though we did have a rainbow, nice puffy clouds and dolphins fishing. Since the O'Days took a bit over 2 hours to sail the course and it was warm, I didn't offer a second race. The crew of Flash picked up the marks and headed to the Marker 4 bar. If there had been a few more boats I would have declared it a complete success.
Here are the results: