Update: Jan Anderson’s gallery is up here!
What promised to be a fast Scatchet Head race fizzled into a rainy drifter last Saturday, making it two unusual races in a row for Center Sound. But the race also gave John Buchan’s new-to-him Glory a chance to strut her light air prowess for everyone to see.
A puffy starting area saw crews lugging sails up and down companionways as they assessed whether the wind would build as predicted. The downwind start in an ebb tide made for someone interesting conversation at the pin end as those fighting for that favored end sometimes misjudged and had to scramble to get back on the starting side of the line.
West proved best for the later fleets, and Glory charged along farthest to the west after the start. Carl Buchan’s Madrona led the Class P02 from the west as well. The Scatchet Head buoy rounding was crowded, but the east to west current wasn’t as strong as expected so most of the boats got around and headed back south cleanly.
Most skippers took Bruce Hedrick’s advice and headed for the east after the mark under reduced or at least depowered sails, and that proved the right move. But from there it got weird. First the wind went far east, then started dying and going west. For many, taking that header out into the teeth of the ebb worked as the wind then went far west. But you couldn’t be too far west either.
The final push around Meadow Point and its back eddy proved crucial for several winners.
Glory legged out on Neptune’s Car for a 10-minute corrected time victory in the IRC class. Class P02 dominated the PHRF overall taking four of the top five places, as the dying breeze and ebb took its toll on the rest of the fleet. Tachyon sailed the second half perfectly to take the overall win.
The final race of CYC’s Center Sound series is March 22. Look for Bruce Hedrick’s weather brief here on nwyachting.com the day before the race.