Around Principe — never right

A race report on race #721 – Around Principe 2014

There is not much to say about tactics and decisions in this four hour sprint. There was an option for a split twice, east and west of Principe.

Different routes around principe
Different routes around principe

West of principe there was the possibility to go east, with two extra tacks, but the tws difference was too small to favour pressure and performance loss over the windshift. Though, iomkiwi (5th) went up the middle, tacking two extra times (only 0.007nm loss) for (on average) about 0.07kts of extra pressure, giving him about 0.01kts extra VMG (0.2%). Some other boats in the final top 20 went that way, but my guess is they made up the lost second later in the race.

On the east side of Principe I went for the pressure, again only one gybe. Two extra gybes would cost about 0.012nm and only get me into lighter winds. The shift that would make the right (east) side favourable for sure would only arrive after the downwind mark, so there were some people trying to go left. The fastest boat I could find that went left was brandystrega, who also went for the three tack option in the west side of Principe as well.

It was this leg, on the east side, that I made a mistake. I somehow noted down a windspeed of 11.3 instead of the actual 10.3, this made me stear about twa=155, instead of 153, causing me to have a VMG of 0.012kts worse that my competitors for about half an hour. That cost me some (fractions of) seconds.

These numbers show how small the gaps were this race. After four hours of racing, less than a second between first and second. The gap was so small that the server had to think for a bit before putting Jawz in first place and TeamGermany in second. Congrats guys!

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