Abilyn Sailing in New England Solo/Twin Championship, Starting Today

At around noon EDT today, I'll be sailing Abilyn, my Mini Transat 6.50, single-handed in the New England Solo/Twin Championship.  The event, hosted by the Newport Yacht Club sends single-handed and double-handed teams overnight into the Rhode Island Sound on a course that is best characterized as New England's attempt at a mini version of the famed Caribbean 600.  

Abilyn Racing partner, PredictWind, is forecasting light to moderate breeze from the southwest, potentially with some more boisterous gusts.  

Source:  http://www.predictwind.com

The race track will be 77.2 nm as the crow flies, and will take me (and Auto) from Narragansett Bay to the southwestern corner of Block Island, followed by what will hopefully be a fast run over to Buzzards Bay Tower, followed by a cut across the Rhode Island Sound to the "NB" buoy, and then a final push home for a photo finish off Castle Hill.  The first mark presents a dilemma--go to the west of Block Island and possibly face adverse current, or go to the east of Block Island where there is less current but where I'll potentially fall prey to Block Island's wind shadow.  Those more knowledgable than I have advised that the default play will be to take the western side of the island, but sail in less than 50 feet of water to avoid the current.  This might prove difficult if I cannot sail the length of the island without short tacking.  

New England Solo/Twin 77.2 nm course

If you're bored at work on your Friday afternoon, I encourage you to tune into the "Where is Abilyn?" race tracker.  Link below.  


You can also access the tracker via the Abilyn Racing page on Facebook, or directly at https://share.delorme.com/AbilynRacing.  

Following the race, I'll tie up for a few minutes back at the Newport Yacht Club, pick up a sailor who has graciously come all the way from Takoma Park, MD to sail with me, and make a bee-line for Sheepshead Bay in my hometown of Brooklyn to stage for next week's Around Long Island Regatta.  212.2 nm later, it will be Monday (hopefully Sunday afternoon)! 

So what are you doing this weekend?