Thursday, May 23, 2013

Saylorville Dam Jam

More wind at the 2013 Dam Jam: Slalom sailing on a 7.8 Reflex2 with 75cm wide iSonic
* Photo by Steve Callaway

The Saylorville Dam Jam had great wind again. We had 10-20 mph winds Saturday and did 7 course races on a triangle course. I sailed my new Phantom 377 with the Severne 9.5 Raceboard for all the triangle races.

In the lighter winds in the morning my brother, Adam, was able to post a 2-1-1 on his 270L Mega Cat 380 and Kevin Gratton posted a 1-2-2 on his Equipe2 and Raceboard 9.5. I was able to nip at those two a bit, but they usually got too big of a lead off the start line due to some poor tactics and pre-start planning on my part. So I ended up with a 3-3-3 in the morning, needing to rely on good downwind speed to get into third place after windward roundings in 4th - 6th place.

After lunch the wind increased and I was able to grab a bullet in R4 with Adam (2nd) and Kevin (3rd) in hot pursuit. Kevin was right back in it for R5 and sailed a great first upwind to run away with the bullet and I was able to maintain a 2nd place ahead of Adam in 3rd. Don Altmyer, Alex Monroe, Niles Book, and Wayne Anderson continued to mix it up for the next several spots.

In R6 I was finally able to sail a solid upwind leg and round the windward mark in the top three. A quick first reaching leg got me out in front and I extended the lead early in the 2nd reach leg. But then the wind backed off and I ran the rhumb line low to the leeward mark. But Kevin stayed higher with his later rounding and used a puff from the top of the course to ride down on me and overtake me at the leeward mark. After a tight rounding and some grinding it out upwind we sailed together into a very large gust on starboard tack as we approached the port layline to the finish. I was able to muscle through the tack quicker than Kevin and punch out from beneath him into the lead as we crossed the line. I was happy with another 1st place, with Kevin in 2nd and Adam came charging in from the right side of the course on starboard to get a close 3rd place.

At this point (6 races in), Kevin led with 8 points on low point scoring, followed by Adam with 9, and me with 10. The wind was building even more into the upper teens and I was hoping for another race, and the committee called one. Adam and I got a jump on the fleet by hitting a great start right at the boat. I was slightly ahead and Adam was slightly behind but to windward. I managed to get to the upwind mark first, just ahead of him, pulled the track back, and blasted away on my batwing tail. My gps read 28.9 mph after the race - not too shabby I think. I was able to get a strong first place, with Adam in 2nd, and Kevin making up the top 3. I found out later that Adam got his mast track pedal stuck down on the first reach and wasn't able to get that rectified until the first jibe or else he probably would have made me work harder for the bullet.

So after 7 races, Kevin, Adam, and I were all tied with 10 points. I fortunately had the tiebreaker with 3 bullets while they each had two.

Saturday night we had a good time at the floating bar at the marina and then camping. We had a little rain but not much compared to the heavy storms we've had in the past.

Sunday morning had more wind with 15-25 by the time a course was set. I took out my 7.8 reflex2 and 75cm wide iSonic 121. It was a great setup for the figure 8 slalom, and I posted a 2-1-1 on the day to secure the Dam Jam victory for the 5th year in a row. Adam beat me in the first slalom race so I can't be too disappointed in that because he was on fire also with his 7.8 evo3 on a 80cm F2 Hornet. Adam came in 2nd at the event, and Kevin Gratton rounded out the top 3.

Here is a link to the regatta report on the MOWIND page. Here is a link to the RESULTS.

Here is a Picasa photo album. All photos courtesy of Steve Callaway.
Dam Jam 2013