Women get competitive

It was Thursday Women’s Racing.  We had wind, lots of sailors, and competition!  A year ago women’s racing at CBI was kind of in a phase of building, or rebuilding.  A week ago I commented on how well everyone was sailing.  Tonight everyone was eager to step up the game and get more competitive.  There was more close maneuvering and more pushing on the racing rules.

Carol thought we were wimps to pick Ideal 18s over 420s, but it was chilly out there and most of us didn’t want to risk getting wet.  Temp was 53F dropping to 50 over the hour from 6pm to 7.  Wind recorded at the dock was 4kts gusting to 8 but perhaps from a direction (east) with a wind shadow.  Out on the water it was certainly more, perhaps twice that.  Wind started out E but backed to NE over the hour.

The wind shift, unnoticed by most of us, meat that the pin end of the line became increasingly favored.  I think there was a failed port tack start in one race, and then a successful one in a later race when the port end was more favored.

I sailed with Debbie and Kathryn, we traded off the tiller and each got to sail a couple of races.  I was called over early in my first race and didn’t handle it well.  I started steering back and forth a little trying to figure out how I was going to have room to turn back.  It was hard because there was traffic behind me and on either side.  My mistake was not just slamming on the brakes as hard as I could to let people pass me.  It was long enough back to line that we never caught the fleet again and scored a DFL as Debbie said.

Another costly mistake (not me at the tiller this time) was a leeward mark.  We were gaining on the boat in front of us but hadn’t quite caught them when the boat ahead called back to us “no overlap at the zone” or words to that effect.  The mistake was then sailing into an overlap.  The lesson is, well, don’t do that.  If you’re going faster, then steer to the outside as sharply as you have to avoid sailing into an inside overlap.  If for some reason you can’t do that immediately, then work on making it possible as soon as possible.  Again, slam on the brakes if you have to.  You can’t live there for long and you’ve got less than three boat lengths of sailing to do something about it.

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