Stradford Shoal Race Writeup
The Stradford Shoal Distance race was not looking too promising late Friday, as well as Saturday morning with the water looking like glass and no prospects of having anyimprovements in the wind conditions. As we motored out to the start of the race we went over positions and our watch system, as well as what the current and wind was supposed to be doing for the day.
Once we arrived at the start line just off the execution lighthouse we were informed that the course had been shortened due to the dying wind. We were the first start on the 32 mile long course and arrived at the start line a little bit late as well as almost all of the other boats. We decided to go to the Long Island side of the course while the other boats decided to go way out to the Connecticut side of the course. The wind was coming out of the Northeast so it was an upwind beat all the way to the Cable and Anchor reef mark (R "28C" F4s Bell). Since we decided to go south after the start, we were the first boat to get out of the current, which as any Kings Point sailor has learned, this is a crucial part in distance racing on Long Island Sound.
As we weaved through channel marks and hugged the shore, we used our Navigation skills to avoid any hazards along the coast. Everyone in the crew did an outstanding job at keeping the boat going fast with superb crew work, trimming, and driving. As we got closer to the Cable and Anchor reef mark we started to realize that we were doing much better than many of the other boats in our division. We attributed this to the fact that we were out of the current as it was flooding in toward the west end of the island.
We were the first boat to round the mark by 13 minutes, beating all boats in our division including a Kerr 50 which is a much faster boat. The wind conditions by this time were about 7 knots out of the Northeast. As we went back towards the finish we were slowly being reeled in by the Kerr 50 behind us, so we decided to change our Spinnaker from the 1.5 to the 1. Which mad a significant improvement in our boat speed, which by this time was reaching about 9.5 knots. This however did not make enough of a difference with the other boat trying to catch up to us.
As we were going downwind the wind was filling in very well and was roughly blowing about 13 knots from the North. The crew work improved a great deal as we reacted to the change in breeze and had to do several Gybes toward the finish, where we finished within a few minutes of the Kerr 50 and a good deal in front of the other boats.
This was a good learning experience for all of the members of the boat as we have just turned the boat over from the seniors to the third class incoming skippers and crew. We are doing a good job at getting ready for the upcoming Around Block Island Race next weekend, and these past two distance races that we have done have been pivotal in the planning for Around Block. This was a great day of sailing and we are hoping for these same type of conditions for other races that we will be having in the future.
Kevan Stoeckler: Driver/Tactics
Karl Sergojan: Driver/Tactics
Ben Carbone: Bow
Kate O'Connor: Bow
James Pilliod: Main Trim
PJ Connolly: Main Trim
Jesse Penney: Spinnaker Trim
Shannen Dunn: Jib Trim
Ben Baur: Jib Trim
Rick Morgan: Pit
Coaching/Tactics: Jon Singsen