Well, what can I say? It’s all been pretty straightforward in the 2012 Pac Cup so far.
We are now into day two and scooting along. The daily run yesterday was a mediocre 215, but not horrible given the conditions that plagued the area earlier in the week. So I am definitely not complaining. As of the 8am roll call on Friday, we were 5th in class, 5th overall in our extremely competitive fleet… Medusa, the SC52 with a full contingent of talented crew punched out to claim an early lead in class and overall. And with Swazik, Double Trouble, Condor, and the rest, the team rosters read like a who’s-who of West Coast racing. This is going to be a tough fleet.
Most of the day yesterday was spent reaching with the Code 0. We saw Condor with their spinnaker up off our starboard side, but over the course of the afternoon they dropped down below us to the south, and eventually disappeared overt he horizon. Their heading was WAY south and I wasn’t comfortable with that, so we kept reaching with the Zero. In the late afternoon the breeze had not yet shifted to the north and had come up to about 14-15 knots, so we dropped the Code 0 and went back to the Jib Top and GS, which we carried thru the night.
First light. Breeze shifting right, to due north. That can only mean one thing in a Hawaii race: Spin-time. We went straight to the 2A, and with a bow pointed almost directly at the Islands, took off at about 11-12 knots in about 16 knots of breeze. We are riding a wave of new pressure onto the course, coming into the fleet with the new breeze. This should mean that we are closing with the smaller boats ahead of us very quickly, and that we are in for a good amount of unstable wind. And sure enough, it’s been shifty and puffy, but the team has been handling it well.
At the 8am roll call today, we found we had snuck into 4th place. Encouraging news for the team, even if the early standings don’t really mean too much (1600 miles to go!). Well to the north are Swazik and the other SC50, while well to the south are the J125 Double Trouble and Condor. Interesting to note that the leader is way south. Second place is in the middle. Third place is in the north. And fourth back in the middle. So there seems to be a lot of potential lanes out here, but as I said, it’s still very early. What I do know is that we have a bit of a drag race going, and we need to sail the boat well to keep up with these guys.
Freeze dried lasagne for dinner tonight, and probably a bit of salad. Then into our first night with the kite up. It’s pretty clear today (patchy clouds) but not much of a moon so it will be a dark one. Beautiful right now, 15 knots and flat seas, and we are looking forward to a fun evening.
Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team
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