Day 2 at the 2018 Long Beach Race Week put a little mustard on the race track with winds ramping up over night as a low pressure system rolled in from the south, bringing a thick high stratus, winds in the mid teens and to near 20knots and a rambunctious sea state guaranteed to give your backside bruises and neck and back a wonderful workout.
By the time the 1st gun sounded and the crews set off on their 1st uphill leg, it was certain that today was not going to be like Friday’s mellow presentation. Interlodge would take an early lead to the right side then extend their lead to the top. Crews all lamented that port tack was considerably less painful than starboard and that was a big deciding factor in routing. At the 1st weather mark, Interlodge would lead Vesper by a few boat lengths, followed closely by BadPak, Invisible Hand and RIO. The fleet would spread across the course before rejoining at the gate then returning back in the right side. Interlodge would maintain lead position with Vesper in second, but a hiccup on their set cost the Green Machine precious seconds, an opportunity that The Hand was glad to use to their advantage. Vesper would recover fast enough to quelch that opportunity a continue their position down the course.
Another mad blast down the 2 mile run, which was gobbled up in rapid fashion and Interlodge would get their 1st gun of the regatta, a 1:08 delta over Vesper and 1:50 over Invisible Hand, with BadPak just 18 seconds aft and RIO struggling a bit further back.
Race 4 saw perhaps a slight relaxing of pressure, but if anything, the sea state even lumpier. Although the line was square to the course of 150 degrees, the boats continued to favor the pin end. Invisible Hand would grab an early lead with Vesper now playing the role of the chaser and Interlodge looking for additional pressure to suite their slightly shorter rig. Slightly further back, the bright colors of RIO and BadPak were engaged in their own battle, crossing paths with similar speeds from different angles again and again.
The Hand would maintain their position on the next lap coming back to the finish with Vesper in fast pursuit, ending with a 27 second delta. Interlopers from the PHRF A fleet, comprised of earlier editions of TP 52’s would blend into the mix. Nimbus would follow Vesper and Interlodge across the finish, 2 seconds ahead of BadPak and Encore would cross just 4 seconds ahead of RIO. Incas your wondering just how the older set managed to keep pace, it was simple, a 5 minute head start!
Race 5 saw even less breeze at the bottom but sea state did not relax, in fact some respectable swell was now occasionally, transitioning the course, with steep troughs hiding behind benign looking waves. Speed killing, jaw jarring impulses that required great concentration and reflexes to avoid losing momentum.
At the top of the course, it looked like Tom Holthus’s BadPak had finally shaken the monkey off their back, arriving in 1st, just ahead of Interlodge with Vesper in close proximity. As luck would have it, rounding 1st just inside of Interlodge, they hooked the buoy and started a domino effect the hastened Interlodge’s progress, with evasive measures for Vesper. Arriving just after, Invisible Hand saw an open lane around the pileup and took the scenic route around the buoy. Interlodge would squirt through like watermelon seed and Vesper would follow suite. The Hand would avoid the sticky wicked but come up short of a slingshot propulsion into the front. As for BadPak, to add insult to injury, was forced to perform a 360 to clear themselves..
Vesper would use their light air moxie and local knowledge to stretch their lead through the next lap, arriving back at the top with a several boat length lead over Interlodge, Invisible Hand leading a trio with RIO and BadPak charging from a more left side approach. With their sizable lead, Vesper maintained their positioning while The Hand focused on a more attainable objective, inserting themselves between Interlodge and the finish. Vesper would take race 5, their 1st Bullet of the regatta, with Invisible Hand 2nd, Interlodge In 3rd BadPak in 4th and RIO taking the 5th.
The current standings for the regatta after 5 races complete:
Invisible Hand 9
Racing continues Sunday with 2 more races.