Finish of the Lake Ontario 300
We finished the LO300 Monday night at 11:57PM North American EST time. Just 3 min. before Tuesday, so we can claim we came in on Monday. ; ) Thats 2 days 12 hours 57 minutes. Almost a day earlier than last year. We are happy with our results, as a beginner crew, still learning the boat, we found out in this race that the rig is not tuned properly for performance sailing and we ripped our spinnaker. Thanks to Will French and Andrew McAllister for many strategy and tactical lessons which we will focus on more next year. This leaves lots of room for improvement. Hope to be back next year and do just a little better again.
We tacked in shore, and started sailing the rhumb line to the Niagara mark. We should have done that the whole time on this leg, would have placed much better. Once we rounded the mark, the wind shifted, and it was a spinnaker leg to the finish. We lost lots of time on this leg, at least 3 hours. The wind then died completely, and the last 6 miles took us another 3 hours or more.
We encounter some heavy winds….15 to 22 knots. Our top speed was 10.5 knots, cruising steady at 8 to 9.5 knots on the first leg, Sailing the asym spinnaker at about 110 to 130 degrees to the wind. Then on the 2nd leg, Main Duck to Ford Shoal, we sailed through 6 to 8 foot seas, in about 13 to 17 knots of wind. Our average speed here was 7 to 8 knots, sailing 40 to 60 degrees to the wind. We put 2 miles between us and the boats behind us in this leg. We passed 3 boats and caught up to the fleet ahead of us. After this race, I think our PHRF rating of 87 is pretty fair. I think we have so many areas we can improve on as sailors that in the next many years we will do much better.
For those that followed the Mackinac yacht race this week-end on Lake Huron, you’ll know that the conditions on Lake Ontario were much better. They had very light winds through most of the race. Average boat speeds were around 3 knots.
Everyone jumped off the boat and went home for a good nights sleep. I too slept 6 hours last night, then the family showed up at 8:30am to drop Thomas off at Sailing School. We are now spending the day just cleaning up the boat.
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