Spicey start at 2021 505 North Americans
Published on September 30th, 2021
Newport, RI (September 30, 2021) – The 2021 505 North Americans started day one with a moderate, puffy and shifty northwesterly, with the RC choosing Course Circle Bravo up inside Narragansett Bay, north of Gould Island.
Race one’s course axis was 025, 4 leg windward leeward. Fortunes were gained and lost on every leg, but many of the usual suspects did much more gaining than losing (a recurring theme…). Upwind left seemed to work more often than not, with more upwind current and good pressure against the Conanicut shore, but late beat righties sometimes sneaking through the gap between Conanicut and Prudence Islands (a recurring theme). Downwind a lucky pair of dice was your best friend, if you got stuck in a puff you smoked past people and if you got stuck in a hole you paid. And paid. And paid.
RC Chairs Sue Reilly and Matt Duggan played hide and seek with some big shifts and did a great job choosing good times to send the fleet off, moving the course axis slightly left for race 2. Different race, same story – going left up paid more often than not, being in the puffs downwind cured all ills.
The breeze decided to show a bit more spice in race 3, with rigs raking aft and smiles getting bigger. The “go left always” pattern showed some dents as the flood began to ease and the left lay line moved slightly farther off the land. Downwind puffs were easier to come by – they were everywhere – and full send was the go.
Race 4 got even what you might call a bit sporty, with median wind strength in the higher teens and puffs into the 20s. Most of the fleet got a chance to test their reflexes as your media officer’s lower gudgeon evaporated at the top mark, leaving the 27 or so boats behind the quick choice of above or below the swearing swimmers (midnight marine is now closed for the day, hence the delay in posting said report).
As is so often the case, if your boat’s helm is named “Mike” your odds of winning move up dramatically. Mike Martin and Adam Lowry lead, with Mike Holt and Carl Smit just behind.
Source: David Kirkpatrick