Casual Elegance pulls off their first second place finish!
Geoff Clark submits this article:
Sunday was a great day and everything kind of came together for us. Perhaps along with a little luck. Our crew were Rob Bartholomew, main trimming and strategy, Ian Howes the floor deck (both talked the strategy) and Mathew Watson and Greg Moore the spinnaker.
Our start focus was clear air at the Committee Boat even if it ment getting behind the line a bit. In the end, we had a good start and tacked right quickly to get lots of clear air and what looked like good wind. We also saw Sentient and Mandate in this part of the course. I concentrated on driving, supper focused said one. After tacking a bit past the lay line we could go down faster and I suddenly realized we were likely to be first to the mark. We got there with Thunderstruck right on our stern. One of the crew said it was a bit weird coming around the mark for the first time neck and neck with only one other boat.
Mathew and Greg did a great job on the spinnaker and with a couple of gybes we got to and around the leeward mark maintaining first place. We continued in the groove, eventually tacked and passed Hey Jude’s bow. We tacked on the lay line to the windward mark but Hey Jude made it just ahead of us. It felt even stranger going around the mark a second time with only one other but different boat. Our gybe wasn’t perfect and we got a small hour glass but it was fixed quickly by Ian and Mathew as we depowered. We didn’t seem to lose any momentum.
At this point we got defensive particularly with two boats on our left. We were trying to protect our second place. We gybed fairly quickly and did another at the lay line and sailed to the finish line with lots of excitement.
Perhaps of interest:
We had a new spinnaker used only a couple of times, and a new main picked up on Friday. Our present main is tired. It was a short learning process and the only change we made on Sunday was a more flexible upper batten. On the Thursday before the race we power washed the hulll and did a little VIC 17 touch up. I’m sure all this helped but to what degree is a question.