We went to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron for a SBYABOTY race last Sunday.  Fruition was the only other Venice boat there, and she was sailing in the Spinnaker Class.  The forecast was for very light wind, but the reality was just dandy, with a nice southerly at about 8 knots with gusts into the mid teens. 

    There was a miserable turnout (though better than most others recently) with 22 PHRF boats in four classes.  All the PHRF boats started together using Rule 26 signals and flags, but the Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker boats sailed a 7-leg windward-leeward mixed with triangles course of 6.5 nm length, we (Spray), in the Cruiser Class as well as the Pocket Cruiser fleet, sailed the first 5-legs with the Spinnaker/Non-Spinnaker fleet and then sail a couple of shorter legs for a total of 5.3.nm.


     Note that the published result sheets that I show here show that the Cruiser/Pocket Cruiser fleet course length was 4.45 nm rather that the 5.3 nm course that I claim in the text above.  What happened was that when the data were entered into the spread sheet the Spinnaker and Non-Spin courses were input as being from mark “I” to mark “E” as I>E> etc., but when that was done for the Cruiser and Pocket Cruiser fleet the first “E” was left out of the string producing I>C>A....  The boats of course, actually sailed I>E>C>...., as posted on the committee boat, so we seemed to be sailing much slower that we actually were when we looked at the final results.  That drove me batty for a while until I noticed the missing E.

    We got a good start on starboard tack near the port end of the line just to weather of In Tune, a boat I always want to be close to on Sarasota Bay.  We just stayed on starboard until we were near the port tack layline.  We and In Tune tacked about the same time with them being a couple boat lengths to windward and a bit behind.  Zephyr had come from the right side of the course and crossed both of us by a length or so and as we rounded mark “E” Fruition began to creep up behind.  That little cluster of boats plus the Etchells 22 No Bullshit and the J-24 Azzurra seemed to be glued together until we (Spray) broke away to sail to the finish line of the shorter course.  Zephyr, was way out in front for the whole race after the first mark.  I’m pretty sure that the incorrect course length will have no effect on the results of the Cruiser class but may well in the Pocket Cruisers.

    Spray was the first boat to cross the finish line Zephyr was next.  It was surprising to me and others as well, I’m sure, just how equal in speed that cluster of boats were.  We (Spray) averaged 4.52 knots, Azzurra was 4.30, In Tune was 4.64, Fruition was 4.55 and No Bullshit was 4.42.  That is amazingly close over that time.  It should be remembered that Zephyr averaged 4.98 knots.  These are the average speeds made good around the course without any adjustment for handicapping.

    It was fun.  We had some of the regulars onboard, Zsolt, Miriam, Burt, Mark, Drew and myself plus some friends of Miriam’s, Jake and Sue.