As the racers were arriving, there was barely a knot of breeze. But by 11:15 a South wind was starting to work its way down the harbor. The starting line was set over by Piers Park with the windward marks near the Moakley courthouse. Due to a survey vessel working in our area, we were forced to move the entire course further out towards the airport, with the line by the Nantucket and the marks up by the ICA.
The winds were very shifty, both in direction and velocity. Speed was anywhere between 5 and 18 kts, usually in the 7-12 range, but there were occasionally some moderate puffs that would come down the course. The shifts were usually 20-25 degrees, but the total range between far left and right was probably about 60 degrees. By the second race, the RC had seen enough of the wind shifts to make the course as fair as possible. The pin end of the line was favored, which meant there weren’t the usual pile ups at the boat end. Dana Robinson and Matt Hebert took race 1 in a runaway, finishing well ahead of everyone else. However it should also be noted that John Pratt and Bob Coyle were OCS at the start, but managed to clear themselves and fought all the way back to 3rd place, no easy feat!
Robinson and Hebert came within inches of winning race 2 as well, but the team of Jen Bodde and Dylan Callahan managed to just stay ahead of them, taking the win. The remaining four races featured a great back and forth battle between Pratt/Coyle and Niko Kotsatos and Carolyn Marsh, with each team picking up two bullets. As the day went on, the wind velocity started decreasing. During some races, the fleet was very tightly compressed, but on others there would be more than an entire leg of the course separating the front and back of the fleet.
Something we have started to notice over the past few years is the effect of the new construction along the seaport, in relation to the winds on the harbor. It seems the closer you get to shore, the more unpredictable the wind can become. The RC witnessed one port tacker get lifted 20 degrees and sneak ahead of 5 boats at a mark rounding, when it looked like they had absolutely not a prayer. It definitely made for some exciting racing. Unfortunately there’s not much we can do about the construction, and things will only change more as more gets built.
It was a very exciting day on the water, but in the end it was Pratt and Coyle who won the day ahead of Kotsatos and Marsh. They were consistent all day long with a 5 as their lowest finish. Because there were no protests, we were able to have scores available before all the boats even returned to the dock. We were then able to retire to Pier 6 where there was plenty of warmth and beverages to go around.
We have reached out to the fleet captain nominees, and hope to have that all settled before our next race. Also, we should start thinking about Dec 9, which is the day Pier 6 is not available. Perhaps Brewers Fork? Blackmoor? The 99?? We have some time to figure it out, but not a ton.
As you probably know, we are off this week due to thanksgiving. We will resume racing the following Saturday, December 2nd. We hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving. If you are traveling, good luck and be careful. Enjoy the time spent with family and friends and we all look forward to seeing you back on the pier on December 2nd!
The Courageous Frostbite Team