CYC’s Center Sound Series wrapped up with a gorgeous Three Tree Point Race on Saturday. The course, however, didn’t ever get near Three Tree Point as it was shortened to Shilshole-Alki-Meadowpoint-finish. The southerly stayed in the 12-16 knot range for the most part and was actually a bit higher for the beat to Alki. Just as Bruce Hedrick predicted. (sorry, had to mention it)
So it was a fast race with plenty of time to party afterward, and no real surprises in the results. Sachem is still a force upwind, and with waterline conditions downwind she held on for a 2-second overall win ahead of Bravo Zulu and 46 seconds ahead of Finale. In fact it was an all around good day for the “furniture” boats of the fleet, with most of the classes won by medium weight boats with real interiors.
Check out these photos from Jan Anderson and see the all of them on her site.
In the ORC class laden with carbon rockets, furniture didn’t fare quite as well. Glory chased Crossfire closely around the course the entire way, taking the victory from the mighty 55-footer on corrected time. the Farr 395 Eye Candy, a bone fide cruiser-racer, did manage third on corrected time for her best race of the series.
Among the cruiser racers that deserve special mention is the Wauquez 40 Different Drummer. Designed by Berret/Racoupeau Yacht Design, it is a great example of what a modern cruiser racer can be. Owner Charles Hill explains the wins didn’t come right away. “It’s taken us a while. We’ve been at this for nine years.” But with being named 48 North’s top boat for 2016, and another Center Sound class win under her belt, it’s clear Different Drummer has found her stride. Hill, who is originally from the U.K., credits a stable, skilled crew for the uptick the last couple of years. A new bottom last year didn’t hurt.
Hill, whose previous racing was on the Irish Sea in events like the Fastnet, says the conditions there aren’t dissimilar to here. And, funny enough, he didn’t buy the boat for racing originally. “We were sucked into the racing,” he explained. Drummer of course has heat and and a fridge, among many other comforts.
For Three Tree, Different Drummer had a single mission, stay in touch with and hopefully ahead of the Sierra 26 Dos. “We figure below eight knots they’re going to beat us, and above 18 knots it doesn’t matter what we do upwind, they’ll just fly by us downwind,” Hill says. “Ten to 16 knots is our sweet spot.” With a 2,1,1 series in a variety conditions, I’d say the sweet spot is sweet indeed.
Oh yeah, and why the shortened course? I’ll let Matt Wood, Race Fleet Captain for CYC, explain:
All the wind models the PRO and I looked at that morning were calling for the wind dying quickly around 1 PM. As many boats DNF’d due to lack of wind in the Blakely Rock race, if the same thing were to happen in the 3Tree Point race, we could have had a 1 race ” series” .
As the only mark in the non “alternative course” description was the 3 Tree Point turning mark, we face a logistics challenge to attempt to get on station down there and finish, but also maintain a finish line off Shilshole. The whalers are less than ideal for this purpose, and YC5 cannot be in 2 places at once, nor can it move that fast.
As such, we decided to run a race in what wind we did have, and , of course, the breeze held all afternoon. That said, the breeze did eventually go light and variable in the middle of the afternoon off Alki, and was pretty much done off Shilshole by 5 or so, which would have been when the majority of the fleet would have made it to the original finish line. We did not please everyone, but we did get a 3 race series in for most people, and pulled off a good social event at the YC in the afternoon. As a note, the RC did not get off the water until 3 PM notwithstanding, as there were several stragglers.
Up next, Sloop Tavern’s Blakely Rock Benefit Race. This year it will benefit The Sailing Foundation, so pony up and get out there. The Sailing Foundation does great things for young sailors around here. And, as always, we’ll be tapping Hedrick to prognosticate the weather on Friday.
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