J FEST

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One of the best parts of a St. Francis regatta is coming together like this

Another exiting weekend is over. After the first day of racing there was a three way tie for first place. As ‘Big’ Mike said it is an indication of how the rest of the season is going to play out. Bring it…..We also were graced with the presence of a new J24 on the scene. Cry Havoc was a positive competitor and we hope to see them come out again. I’m sure we all want to offer them any assistance we can.
On Saturday we had ‘happy zone’ weather for the first race and then the wind picked up to about as strong as we’ve ever seen it. I’m sure it was in the low thirties at times. However the currents were the big handicap all weekend. Rivers of flood mixing with big blobs of ebb and switching back and forth rather randomly. On Belay was OCS and Shut Up & Drive was late at the first start leaving the fighting between TMC, Woof, Downtown and Little Wing for the first upwind. The extreme right paid off for Shut Up however and they were back in the race. Little Wing was in the middle for a while but opted out toward the extreme left. That also paid off massively. The fight for the next three legs was between TMC and Little Wing, while Downtown whistled joyfully to a first place finish. There was also an epic battle between Shut Up and On Belay which was settled by a nasty J105 blanketing the former. A little mishap on Little Wing even let the two stragglers in for a third and fourth place.
On the second race we had all switched into survival mode. Head sails changed, hatches shut (well most them), rigs cranked down. There was a nasty port starboard bump at the start. Most likely due to a vang not being eased on time. We’ve all been there. Both in the giving and the receiving role. So our sympathies go out to both crews. Thankfully there was no personal damage. But Little Wing (now named Broken Wing by SA and Little Rolex by moi) has a nasty gash that will need some repairing. The second race was won resoundingly by On Belay. They found a relatively nice piece of ebb and were able to control the spinnaker well on the downwind.
We were all relieved when the RC decided to call it a day and point us to the barn.
On Sunday we still had the roller coaster currents, but the wind was back in the ‘happy zone’ and was relatively predictable. It was very tight at the top end. On Belay, TMC, Downtown and Shut Up were close together on the first rounding. At the leeward gate TMC went for a starboard rounding and On Belay for Port. It put TMC on the inside of the mid course left shift and also in some better current. TMC was in the lead and never let it go.
The start of the last race was now a match race situation between TMC and On Belay. It was fun to see the cat and mouse game at the starting line. TMC made no mistakes and covered covered covered until On Belay started making desperately crazy decisions. At which point Shut Up and Drive again made hay. They were finding the right currents and sailing clean and fast. Their second place was well deserved. Nice going Val.
The best laugh of the weekend was when the prizes were being handed out. The look on Lulu’s face was priceless when it was announced that third place in the J24 goes to TMC-Racing……..what? wait just a cotton pickin’ second…….. oops my apologies…. third place to Downtown Uproar…..Yay Darren!
Results

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