Go Left, Young Man
You know the expression, “Go West, Young Man”. Jim Barr would echo the manna, but say Go West, or in our case “left” on the race course. On Wednesday, March 19, 2015, six E scows raced two and a half races in which Jim Barr went to the extreme left into the cove, and it seemed there was no way that he could beat the E’s going right into stronger winds. But, as we approached the weather mark, he came out looking savant as he got lifts off the mooring fields, and reached the weather mark in first or second place. We wondered why it worked out, and at the get-together on the dock afterword, he said, “I was avoiding the current.” Since many E’s are sailed on lakes, other skippers seem to be unaware of currents, particularly with Moon-driven tides in the spring.
Just to be racing was a challenge to get the E’s out of their slots and winding around Albacores, RVs, containers, trucks and other obstacles to the launching ramp. Craig warned us that if we did not get back in by 3:30, we would have to wait until 5 PM for all of the 54 Scots coming back from their Mid-Winters.
With the NNW wind, we set a course with a start near the channel and the bridge, to a weather mark near the goal posts and a wing mark in the cove. Every time we entered the cove, the wind lightened up which made Jim Barr’s strategy seem impossible. Bill Nolan tested his spinnaker work in anticipation of the upcoming SSS Mid-Winters this weekend; and Jeff Nicholas, Bob Cole and Don Fancher tried out their asymmetrical spinnaker. As Jeff said, the huge mast-head spinnaker is like “going from a Ford to a Ferrari.” On the third race, we saw all of the Scots with spinnakers coming home; and we abandoned the race and most E’s got in before them so as not to crunch up the ramp. Two E’s that retrieved racing buoys come in late, but had no problem getting out the water, tying up to the left side of the main dock. And, we were rewarded since there was a bucket of “Scot” beer at the head of the dock, and many of us did not feel guilty taking a brew since we had served on the Scot race committees.