This Sunday, the two weekend AYC Spring Series concluded. It was a hard fought series in a range of conditions. Scott helmed High Noon (Custom Tripp 41’) in the division IRC 1 and pulled together a fun and talented team. For me, in the back of the boat, it was great working with everyone aboard.
One of the interesting aspects of IRC racing is that each boat sails differently relative to its rating in each condition. The regatta had a range of conditions, which presented opportunities and challenges for us. High Noon has been optimized for Long Island Sound in the summer. This means we are very fast in light air compared to our rating, but not as strong in 10 knots and above. The regatta began in light wind and we won all three races on day 1! However, we didn’t get to rest on our laurels long, as the following day brought mid velocity winds and a couple deep finishes. This last weekend was mostly 10-15 knots and we sailed very well to finish races in mid-fleet position.
Given that the boats have corrected ratings, boats will go slightly different speeds around the course. In our division, all the boats were about 40’ long, so our speeds were fairly even, but there some interesting differences in modes. The Farr 40’s had conventional spinnaker poles, so they could sail a lot deeper than the rest of us who had fixed bowsprits. In medium breeze going downwind, they would even VMG better than us. This presented tactical troubles as they could always control the inside lanes on the runs and road block boats like us who needed more lateral space to sail our VMG. There seemed to be two ways around it 1) an early gybe so we stayed out of rhythm with the Farr 40, or 2) go until almost over-stood and come in hot at the bottom, which was quite risky. However, in both cases, our strategy was dictated by another boat.
It was a fun event and congrats to Scott for leading us to a 3rd place finish in the series. Complete results here.