Here's the summary....
Am sure you heard from Deb that our communications went
away along with the computer on the morning of the race!!
Ugh. Not one of my favorite moments. Check ins were
supposed to be done by email or sat phone and suddenly
I had neither. We managed to rent a sat phone out of
San Diego and have it delivered 2 hrs later in time to
leave for the starting line and head out to the race
course with no weather info and no "racing features"
like optimum routing onboard.
That actually turned out to be a blessing perhaps
in retrospect as everyone else seemed to have data
that told them to head offshore for wind. We on
the other hand thought we had plenty of breeze where
we were and stayed with our code0 rather than going
with a small headsail and heading offshore with
the rest. The breeze held and I thought we'd be
launched but two boats sailed even more direct
(plus we sailed some bad gybe angles that first
night) and we were mid fleet after one day.
From that point on, it was a lucky/good race
where every move that we made seemed to work
out. That plus the fact that the bigger boats
in front were constantly seeing less pressure
than we had so we compressed. We had a great side
by side battle with the sc52 (Prevail) for two days.
They were always in sight sometime faster,
sometime slower and I know that kept the
intensity up on the boat.
The last night we knew it was going to be
close for 1st and given the boats history knew
we'd be finishing at night. It was light 6-8
knots in the early evening and there was no
clear benefit to staying out or going in.
So....we did the traditional sail the
favored leg until about midnight, but the
shifts seem to follow us regardless as we
remained dead upwind of the finish and projected
to be an hour late.
It came down to a final call. A swing for the
fences, so based on the forecast we were supposed
to be watching for a port gybe lift and I made the
call to take off on port and head for the beach
hoping for some more pressure as well.
We never saw that port lift, but what we did
see was constantly increasing pressure as we
approached the shore, and the most amazing miracle
shift ever where we got headed at least 45 degrees
in pressure, made it around the point without gybing,
and blasted down the last 3 miles within a quarter
mile of shore in 20 knots of breeze on a beamy broad
reach in absolutely flat water (wind off beach)
with a full moon and the spectacular rocky cliff
scenery ashore. It was spectacular!!!! And, we
ended up winning by over two hours!!!
You can probably easily imagine what happened then.
It involved beer, rum, tequila, etc. we finished at
3am or so, and didn't really stop until 4:30am the
It was fun!! I was/am happy!!