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Frostbite Racing Recaps

Frostbite Racing Wrap Up: 1/27/18

A weird, warm and windy day greeted our fleet on the last Saturday of January. The forecast of SW 10-15 with gusts to 35 was about right. The gusts were nasty so with reefed mains and small jibs the fleet gave it a go. One of the gusts broke the top of a mast and threatened to add to the pile of ripped mainsails, but one race did get off in mostly 10-15 knots on the usual race course starting just above the airport cove up to marks bear Green 13. Jonathan Austin won his first of two races on the day.

With damage mounting and a massive salt carrier outbound, the race committee postponed and weighed options. Conditions “inside” behind BSC were squirrely at best, but not as dangerous. With warm temps, racing inner harbor would be less fair, but still fun if not frustrating.

This was an odd and quite short course. Clearly there was more room and wind on the left but with such massive shifts it would be easy to overstand. The RC boat was needlessly crowded although a little ebb current played tricks with the RC boat. There were general recalls, abandoned starts and some individual recalls. The day’s winner, skipper Andrew Baker, had a cool 5-2-3-2 but admitted he was over in the recalled starts. Last week’s winner had great starts when they didn’t count but was among the individual recalls. Also, anyone going right ran out of any wind that could take them to the mark, only away from it.

Boat handling was tough in such wacky wind. To be flexible for massive lulls and shifts, crews needed to be able to move laterally quickly (tough on a J-24 deck). Also it was best to sail with a loose boom vang for such a variable wind.

The winning route to the first mark was to start middle, go a little ways left, tack well short of the layline where a massive lefty would lift you to the mark on port leaving the right boats hanging out to dry and the left boats well overstood. We probably won’t be sailing in there again for a while.

Cool play to end the last race giving Will Pelleteri and an all Tufts team their only bullet. They trailed Baker close aboard most of the race. Down the final run they got a leeward overlap from behind. As such they couldn’t sail above their proper course but they could sail to the pin. That forced the leader a bit high. Once inside the three-length zone room was required. Pelleteri then had a better shot of jibing then shooting down where Baker could only jibe and reach the last couple lengths which put him five feet behind.

Top five for Saturday, January 27, 2018

1. Andrew Baker/Keith Fox on Phoebe 5/2/3/2: 12 points

2. Frank McNamara/Pete Balkus on Warp Drive 3/.75/4/8: 14.75 points

3. Andrew Siergiewicz/Jon Dexter on Deke 2/5/5/5: 17 points

4. Jonathan Austin on Aliza 1/6/.75/10: 17.5 points

5. Will Pelleteri on Kai 4/3/11/.75: 18.75 points

Written by Ken Legler