59th Larchmont YC Edlu - Race Preview

It's less than 12 hours before the start of the 59th Annual Edlu Regatta.  Abilyn is one of 16 boats in the PHRF double-handed class, and one of three Minis.  

Earlier this week, Abilyn sat in the yard about 70 miles to the northeast at Brewers Pilots Points Marina in Westbrook, CT.  Our plan was to deliver her in the easterly which was forecasted (and actually did) materialize Thursday night.  Getting anxious, Sam and I hopped on Amtrak for a night mission Tuesday night to catch a northwesterly, which would allow us to reach home down the sound at an average clip of about 7.5 knots.  That night turned into a comedy of fails.  Our jib hadn't made it up to the boat with the rest of our sails the week before, which caused us to make a pit stop in City Island, NY.  We managed to catch the last Amtrak of the night in New Rochelle, NY.  But, when we got off the train in Old Saybrook, CT, we were greeted by no cabs, and worse, no breeze.  Oh, and it was about 38 degrees F.  Then, when we left Pilots Point marina, our keel was greeted by some mud.  And down the Sound, our runner just happened to fall out of the mast; it literally just fell out.  Hearing the crash made me lose a bit of sleep on the off-watch.  And the 10-15 knot northwesterly that was forecasted to materialize never did, which left us motoring most of the time at a brisk 4 knots.  We're typically not known as a 4ksb.  

Yeah, that's not scary...We are sailing, right?

One of the few perks of a night mission delivery.


Despite these frustrations, Sam and I had a pleasant delivery.  We got the Code 5 up for a little bit and managed to make 6.7 knots SOG in about 7 knots of breeze at a TWA of about 100 degrees.  Sam was bundled up in his balaclava (right, top).  We witnessed a brilliant sunrise (right, middle).  And after dropping Sam off in Greenwich Harbor, I was more than happy to arrive in Larchmont Harbor (right, bottom).

Not too soon after we got back, we attended to our to-do list to prepare for the Edlu.  Remove excess weight.  Re-install the runner.  McLube the blocks and cars.  Tune the rig.  Come up with a navigation strategy.  

According to the models (which fellow Mini sailor Josh Owen believes should never be trusted), the breeze tomorrow will be out of the southwest at between 7 and 15 knots.  We will be running out to Eatons Neck in favorable current, and then we'll be beating back to the finish line.  Our goal on way out will be to maintain VMG.  TWA to the mark is about 169 degrees, which will be too deep in the forecasted breeze.  So we'll need to make sure our gybes are impeccable.  Our goal on the way back is to limit our tacks.  Not only is our tacking angle far inferior to many of the other boats in the class, but our speed coming out of tacks is also inferior.  Luckily, the other two Minis in our class have the same problems.  That said, one has the ability to cant his 7-foot keel, which is why he gets a PHRF rating of 87 compared to our 111.

At the end of the day, we're not out there to win our class.  This is nearly impossible as a very well-sailed J/92, Thin Man, also has a 111 rating.  We're out there to get around the course as fast as we can, execute our maneuvers cleanly, stay safe, not blow up any kites, have fun, and beat the other two Minis!   

We'll let you know how it goes.