All tied at top in HPR US Nationals 2013
Published on September 27th, 2013
San Francisco, CA (September 27, 2013) – Peter Krueger’s J/125 Double Trouble showed the same form today that won them this class last year, earning two victories in Day Two of the HPR National Championship, part of the Rolex Big Boat Series. This performance now ties them on points now with yesterday’s leader Tai Kuai, Daniel Thielman’s Reichel/Pugh 44, though Thielman retains the lead on the tie-break.
“It was these guys that won the day,” said Krueger, gesturing to his crew assembled in the cockpit for their post-race debrief. “This team really came together today and showed the great form we had here last year.”
According to tactician Brian Ledbetter, an Olympic silver medalist in the Finn class in 1992, the difference was in getting good starts and shifting to a different race mode than they were in yesterday.
“We decided to sail more of our own race today than worrying about the other 125’s,” said Ledbetter. “This kept us in better touch with Tai Kuai, who is faster upwind, but we could stay with them more in the first long beats and not get tangled up with the others.”
Another factor to the day was the lighter air in the first race, which was started after a lengthy delay while race managers waited for the weak northerly gradient winds die out and yield to the afternoon thermal westerly, that today peaked to about 16 knots. And the second race of the day featured two reaching legs across the bay to give some high-speed variety to the normal windward-leeward courses.
“That was really fun,” said Chad Howard, headsail trimmer on Tai Kuai. “It was a good test of team work to have to shift gears to keep the boat moving fast at those angles.”
But it was in part those fast speeds and high loads in that second race that caught out Don Payan’s MC 38 Whiplash, who suffered a damaged bowsprit when the pole out line slipped, allowing the supporting bobstay line to go slack and the pole to flex upwards and crack. The resulting loss of speed downwind dashed the team’s hopes for a further climb up the standings after missing victory in the first race by only 38 seconds.
Indeed, the racing overall was closer today than yesterday, with only 1:16 separating the first five places in just under two hours of sailing in the first race, and the margin of victory being only 13 seconds after one hour and forty-five minutes of sailing in the second race.
Racing resumes tomorrow again at 1100 local time, with two races planned in conditions that are forecast to be somewhat lighter than today.