Rappahannock River Yacht Club

Forecasts for thundershowers Saturday afternoon kept participation down but four racers; Tom Chapman (Hot Air), Bob Damon (Leilani), Gary Hooper (Grand Cru) and George Kuper (Ty Affair) were not deterred. PRO Mosby West and RC Team set up a twice around triangle course of a total of 2.7 miles with the wind coming out of the West at 8-12 kts at the 11:00am start.

As Bob Damon said at the awards presentation, “I learned a lot about current today.” The current prediction, based on astronomical data was for slack water at 11:00am with a peak ebb current of .56kts at 1:50PM. Gary Hooper won the start with Bob Damon close behind on starboard tack. Hot Air was 15 seconds late also on starboard. George Kuper, with the best strategy, crossed the line late on port tack heading west to catch the ebb from Carter’s Creek. It was clear that George had correctly figured that with all the rain we have had the ebb would be stronger than the astronomical predictions and he was right. Grand Cru seeing Ty Affair heading west on port, tacked over no doubt thinking, good strategy.

At the windward mark on the first lap Hot Air (a J-24) rounded first and noted the current on the mark as well as a 30-degree veer and a drop in velocity to 5kts. The course to the jibe mark was almost dead down wind. Ty Affair led the Tys at the windward mark and held the lead all the way to the windward mark on the second lap. Current at the windward mark on the second lap was likely close to 1 kt. In the dying wind all boats had to tack again at the mark to round it. On the downwind reach Ty Affair, was overtaken by Grand Cru with better speed. As they rounded the jibe mark, with Grand Cru having built up a multi boat length lead, Kuper once again demonstrated his feel for the current and headed higher on the reach than Grand Cru who headed more directly for the pin. With the wind dying and the building current the boats were within a boat length at the finish and having to tack to get to the line. Grand Cru held off Ty Affair for second place with Ty Affair third. Bob Damon fighting the current in the middle of the second beat decided that the better part of valor was to DNF and fight another day. Hot Air finished first, due as much to being a faster boat that got around the course in stronger wind as much as any skill.

Pro Mosby West and his RC of Debbie Cycotte, Coleman Brydon, Danielle Kuper (she was cheering George on at the finish), Ed Johnson and Stu Polhamus were thanked by all at the awards presentation. Ed Johnson, PHRF Fleet Commander provided excellent refreshments and awards amid discussion of how the current could have been so strong.