June 25, 2016

Ullman Sails LBRW | J-70 Day Two Report

J-70 Day Two Report 

By Bruce Cooper

Day 2 racing in the J70 Class was tight with the RC hoisting the I flag on all three races to keep the general recalls to a minimum. All three races got off with only one general recall. Not bad. However, the wind prediction was for more wind but the wind stayed between 180 and 200° at 6 to 9knots.
This lighter wind really put stress on the skipper and crew to keep the boat moving fast but take some tacks to stay in the best lanes for wind and current. Basically you had to risk a little to get a little.
USA-32 led the first race at the windward mark and leeward gate. In the light and shifty conditions, it proved difficult to cover the left and right by sailing the left middle and right middle, getting passed by 4 boats from the far left before the windward mark. USA 32 finished 5th with Scott D's CAKE taking a well deserved first place.

Race 2 showed no increase in breeze with the wind staying left. Getting a front row start in the 26 boat fleet is crucial for a good lane. rounding in the top six at the first buoy USA 32 had a good spinnaker hoist and held a good starboard lane all the way to the gybe. First to the gate was catapult, we picked the left gate because the right gate had more traffic. USA 32 rounded the gate in good standing, but shortly found out the other gate had better wind and leverage, giving them an immediate advantage. The goal on the upwind legs was to get to a corner, preferably the left, but not too far. Catapult led again and held their lead, with a strong 2nd place finish by Flojito y Cooperando. With a semi shrimp hoist at the mark, USA 32 slipped a place or two, and finished 8th.

Race 3 began with the race committee resetting the line and buoys because of an even more left shift. We couldn't believe these conditions in long beach, we are scratching our heads wondering if we were racing in San Diego or Newport Beach! USA 26, USA 32, and Sugoi fought for the pin with USA 26 getting an early lead on the left side. USA 32 sailed a little too conservative by not sailing up towards the port layline for the final approach to the buoy. By coming in on starboard tack, this left the door open for boats to slip in from the left. USA 32 rounded mid fleet with a good hoist, and switched to attack mode. Staying on starboard gybe, as part of the J70 downwind train, USA 32 passed a couple of boats that gybed out early. At the leeward gate, USA 32 had caught up with most of the top 10, and had opted for the right favored, but more crowded gate. This proved to be a good tactic, letting USA 32 sail out the the left where there was still an increase in pressure and a steady left shift. On the final beat, USA 32 sailed the left middle and had some success passing boats and finishing strong.

It was a great day racing and we are happy with the performance and our effort so far.  One more day!

Bruce Cooper