Kingfisher Preparation 5/19/2012- Cape Henry Cup

The wind is up and ready to go for tomorrows race.  We look like we’re going to be shorthanded two folks, but that’s ok!! We’ll survive…

My job tomorrow is bowman.  I want to know as early as possible what I’m going to set the boat up for, so I’m looking at the forecast and the course to see when the spinnaker has to go up and on what gybe it has to go up on so we can be ready to go before the gun.  This will be especially important tomorrow because we’ll be shorthanded.

We only have 5 total and Kingfisher likes to have 7 and preferably 8 on windy days which it will be!

Wind forecast tomorrow at Noon! Wo!

So I’m thinking…given the wind forecast will I even put the chute up? But THEN I look more closely at the course and corresponding nautical maps and LOOK!

The Start is not shown…it’s to the West. 1st leg Port tack weather…to bear away set on port…then a douse…jibe…round then reach back to the finish. Around 30 nm overall. Image courtesy of Windalert.com

Another one of my questions for tomorrow…As we head down for the jibe mark which way will we be swept by the current…and how much will that effect the course Kingfisher needs to run to lay the mark in a sorta straight line? I can imagine if the current is ebbing (from left to right) we might overstand the layline a lot and jibe with the chute up if we realize what’s happening to late.  We’ll lets take a gander.

Current Direction and Magnitude at 9am (The Start) http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ofs/cbofs/currents_forecast.shtml

Looks like confused, switching current…lets see what it looks like at Noon. We should be half way through the race by now, at least.

Current direction and magnitude at 12pm (Middle of Race, at least) http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ofs/cbofs/currents_forecast.shtml

Ebb has begun…We’re going to have to be very careful not to overstand. This will mean heading a bit  lower than the mark with the chute up prior to rounding the first mark. This shouldn’t be an issue because the wind is supposed to a 5 degree turn to the East anyways.

Current direction and magnitude at 3pm. (End of race). http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ofs/cbofs/currents_forecast.shtml

The water is really screaming out of the bay now.  I don’t have a good close up for the mouth of the James River, which would be helpful, but you can be sure it’ll be very strong in the channel.  For the reach back it might be best to hug the Norfolk shoreline to stay out of the current. I guess we’ll see.

What I do know is that we’ve got to go over the tunnel of the Cheseapeake Bay Bridge which is going to put us right where we don’t want to be in terms of the current.  The question is what do we do after? Do we stick it out because it’s high winds and it’s a straighter course home? Or do we dive to shore for the current relief but have a longer course home?

If we’re in front we can closely watch the boats behind…and if we’re behind we can do something different to catch up. Sounds like a plan to me….but WAIT this is PHRF racing…so every second counts. Now I’m totally lost.  I guess it depends how far we are ahead.

My personal goals:

Don’t screw up the spinnaker set or douse
Hike as hard a possible…but with enough energy for the spin maneuvers
Be a good team member!
and of course to SURF THE WAVESS

Crush out.

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