Monday, December 26, 2011

Doing RC on a Race Night Early This Summer

Team Ambitious did Race Committee duty in late June, and truth be told, it was somewhat problematic, but still fun. It was an evening of light winds, which can make things more challenging. Still, it always beats working, and good stuff can happen. It was a lot of fun to join up with the usual RC people, who are out there for us every race night. Aileen, the main scorer knows almost every boat now.

First, we postponed the usual 6:40 pm countdown to wait for late boats. That is something I am not keen on with evening racing, but when you only have a handful of boats, and you can see most of the competitors are not only late, but are just leaving the mouth of their harbours, you don't have much choice. With a north breeze making our start line distant from shore, it took yet longer for the fleets to arrive. While we waited, the winds, already light and shifty, began their light evening die-down. Hmmm, perhaps, Montreal's oft-light summer period had begun. We sent off a mark boat to bring the windward marks in closer. Radio contact was lost . One mark was moved closer, but not close enough, and the 2nd mark for dinghies did not get moved. A second mark boat was dispatched with radio to re-establish communication at the windward end. The second mark is moved after some confusion. Neither mark is close enough for the light winds. However, at this point we need to get racing going without further delay, or it won't happen, given the wind and time. Most of the boats had arrived. So, we re-started the countdown sequence at 7:04 pm, and settled for a long race, and a late night. Still, all the fleets finished their races and were back in harbour well before sunset. Hooray for late summer nights. Sometimes, you just have to take what conditions are thrown at you and make the best of it.

The big shifts in wind were coming pretty frequently, so the favoured start-line side would change, but mostly ended up being the pin. The Fireballs congregated at that end making the start difficult to call. As many as 4 teams may have over early, but we only called out the 2 sail numbers we were certain of. In PHRF 3, Encore Une Fois went over early, re-started, and still accomplished finishing 2nd. Jospe and crew finished first, thanks to the two Fireballs that did not re-start after being OCS. Even in difficult winds, entertainment can always be had on the water.