The third in the 2014 series of SSANZ races in the Hauraki Gulf began as a beat to wind’ard in light airs. It quickly turned into a match race. The forecast was for winds backing from 88°T to 84°T during the beat. That favored sailing the left side of the course. And that meant tacking along Rangitoto Island.
The 1430nm Sail around Turkey race has become an epic annual challenge for SOLers. The Black Sea often has shifting light winds and the middle section has both the Dardenelles and Bosphorus Straits, both tight twisting channels that after difficult to navigate under any weather conditions. The course is not much easier in the Mediterranean Sea where near shore marks require close attention. The final couple of days are easy in comparison, but lack of attention can easily result in ruining the effort of the previous few days.
A race report on race #691 – Tokyo to San Francisco 2014
I started of as if it were a practice race, but soon we reached open ocean and I had no idea what to do. Luckily there were lots of boats around me who knew. I checked the wx slider and decided that the boats going south were probably right. I followed them. Every evening I tried to predict what the boats around me would do, and set DCs to keep me in the group. I wasn’t always right (example, I tacked about 2 hours too soon, thinking the winds were turning more than they actually did), and often ended up a bit too far north or south. I lost some hours to the leader in this process.