We held the Intergalactic USA National Championships the weekend
of 26, 27 September at Santa Cruz Yacht Club.
Racing Saturday was in good strong winds.
1st Race: Brad, Jerry and Gil on the starting line, Kirk Price was a
bit tardy. he had not yet got his rebuilt Goldspar mast sorted and
missed the start.
Jerry got away with the best start and Gil sailed right into
a big patch of weed and dropped suddenly back to 3rd. Gil worked
past Brad on the upwind leg but was still back in 2nd for the first
rounding of the bottom mark. On the second work, both tacked out
on starboard and tacked back toward the starboard layline.
Jerry came unraveled, tacked too soon back to starboard for the
top mark, capsized and let Gil slip into the lead which he held downwind
and up to the finish.
2nd Race: Jerry White had much the better start and just motored away.
The wind had increased some more and big waves on the run permitted
extensive surfing and occasional burying of the bow. Gil, Brad and Kirk
in that order dutifully followed Jerry to the finish.
3rd Race: Jerry and Gil fought upwind to the top mark in increasing
winds and considerable ocean waves. A bit of kinetic sailing seemed
appropriate on the run and about 6 boat lengths from the bottom mark
Gil managed to sail by the lee on port to leeward of Jerry and claim
overlap at the rounding. An enormous clump of weed trailed to leeward
from the bottom mark and Gil towed some away after leading round
the bottom mark. Hoping to clear his rudder, Gil tacked to starboard
and sailed just a tad too far so that as Jerry and Gil sailed to the finish
it was obvious that they were almost tied. Indeed, as they crossed the
line, both looked expectantly to RO Dave Wahle who made a
mysterious "T" figure with his hands. Ashore, the race results went up
showing 1.5 points for each helm. "T" stands for tied says Dave.
4th Race: The wind had lightened some and shifted at least 20 degrees
to the left. Jerry was fiddling with his trapeze while Gil stealthily moseyed
down the line toward the RC boat and with 15 seconds to go tacked to
port. Jerry, Brad and Kirk were still down at the pin end on starboard
barely able to cross the line.
The fleet took a long port tack and found the top mark very difficult to
distinguish against the glare of the sun and reflections off the water.
After too long a port tack, Gil first spotted the top mark aft of abeam
and frantically took off toward it. Kirk, to weather and astern of Jerry
tacked next then Jerry and Brad. The procession of four boats reached
as fast as possible back down to the mark with Gil well in the lead.
Due to the lighter wind, the RO shortened the course and Gil cruised
easily to a win followed by Jerry, Kirk and Brad.
Sunday's sailing was in 0 knots blasting to 4 knots.
Very light winds sailing out of the harbor. 15 minutes stretched to an
hour and the postponement flag was hanging limply as we inched
and millimetered our way out to the start area. The RO pulled his
anchor and moved the start area toward some promising ripples and
more downwind of the top mark. Finally a weak wind rose with the
wind way to the south.
5th Race: Brad asserted leeward rights and almost pushed Jerry White
over the line early. But Jerry had the best start and motored away to
windward in very light winds. Gil struggled to keep Jerry in sight
but never threatened.Brad was third. Kirk had sailed part way to the
start line and recognized that the incoming fog was going to shut down
the wind and returned to the harbor.
Jerry White and Gil each had two 1st place, two 2nd place
and the third race where the RO Dave Wahle scored us tied.
Therefore, tied on points, we fell back to the tie breaking rule
RRS A8.2 which says" If a tie remains between two or more boats,
they shall be ranked in order of their scores in the last race. Any
remaining ties shall be broken by using the tied boats scores in
the next-to-last race and so on until all ties are broken. These
scores shall be used even if some of them are excluded scores." .
In this case, Jerry beat Gil in the last race and therefore was
Intergalactic USA National Champion for 2009.
Your obedient servant
* USA-2126 won the tie with USA-2117 based on her win of the last race.
This Page was Created Tuesday 13 October, 2009 by Gil Woolley
The above is but a partial description of the US Nationals.
Kirk Price wrote:
The view from the other end of the fleet.
I got to Santa Cruz, site of the 2009 Nationals, about 1 1/2 hr before
the start of the first race. I had spent the day before finishing the
rebuild of my broken Goldspar, motivated by the first Nationals
since 1999. After a rushed rigging job, I sailed out of the harbor
and discovered that I had managed to hoist the port trap line to
the top of the mast by wrapping it around the halyard. Rather than
try to lower and hoist the sail on the water, I sailed back to Aldo's
dock and re-rigged, thus ensuring that I would miss the first race.
I made it out to the second start ( did I mention no watch?) and
started with the rest of the glorious fleet of 4 Contenders. Gil
and Jerry promptly rocketed off to the windward mark. At Santa
Cruz, the course are windward-leeward twice around with a gate
on each upwind leg. The gate allows Dave (the one man RC) to
tell people like me to not complete the second lap, which greatly
facilitates quick turn around. I was the recipient of the "whistle of
shame" in the first two races.
I could not see the details, but Gil and Jerry had some good racing
up front. They were typically catching the tail of the 505 fleet which
started 3 minutes ahead.
All in all, I think there were 4 races of which I started 3, got called
off the course in the first two races after one lap. The last race was
my highlight as I rounded third, in sight of Gil followed by Jerry,
since they were both so enamored of their boat speed that they
overstood the mark by 100 yds or so. Then, my moment of glory
was passing Jerry in the time-honored Contender fashion....he
Thus a moral dilemma ensued. Should I finish the race knowing
that my boat is XX kg under the minimum? Or sail past the finish
line like a true Corinthian?
This dilemma was solved by a capsize of my own while jibing for
Sunday was a different story. I showed up on time, launched on
time, but not in time to catch the last of the morning easterly.
After about 1 hr of trying to get more than 1/2 mile from the harbor
mouth, I turned around and drifted back in. The A fleet ( Jerry, Gil
and Brad) got one race in before the fog came in, which is the
sign in Santa Cruz that there will be no wind that day.
All in all, a great Nationals. The first day was perfect Santa Cruz
conditions, i.e. 12 to 15 with big waves. In between races I had
some nice reaching practice runs. I am looking forward to getting
the mast tuned up, the boat up to legal weight, and seeing a fleet
of 5 next year....who can we get on the water next? Brad has done
a great job of fixing my old boat (USA 192) with CF tower/rudder,
new sail and Pro-grip decorations.