Lisa-Marie Lane & Team “As You Wish” Earn First Bullet!

We had 11 (!) Lightnings on the river this past Sunday for Spring Series #3!  That is a fantastic turnout!  The weather was a bit less cooperative, providing us summer drifting conditions.  A determined RC eventually got us off on a W2 race in a very light and patchy southerly.

A huge congratulations!” to Lisa-Marie for earning her first bullet in some very tricky conditions on Sunday.  Sailing with Jim Lane and Chris Kozel, Lisa-Mare and crew demonstrated great patience and focus in very light breeze (nonexistent breeze at times) and a hefty current.  Team As You Wish got off the starting line well as far as I could tell, and then did a great job of seeking out clear air and the patches of breeze that were to be found on the river this past Sunday.  Once they worked their way out to the front they stayed there, maintaining focus and not making any mistakes to win a very challenging (and long) W2 race.

Congratulations are also due to Kristin Burke (sailing with Brian Burke and Bob Astrove on Progressive Plastics) for a 2nd place finish.  Determination and patience brought team Progressive Plastics up from mid-fleet to eventually catch everybody but Lisa-Marie in another demonstration of some great light air sailing.  As Bob Astrove pointed out, this is perhaps the first time in Fleet 50 history that the top two places went to female skippers!  That’s awesome!

Aboard #14592 (sailing with Piercarlo and new crew Claudio Purificato) we also worked hard on being patient, observing the current, and finding wind.  We were too bunched up with other boats on the start line so ended up with little speed at the gun (and then less speed after we tacked away from the group).  That is a cardinal error in light breeze.  Groups of boats go slow together in light air, and there we were, instantly in the middle of the pack.  We worked up the right side of the course on the first beat and headed into the windward mark 7th or 8th.  The boats out in the river seemed to make out better, even if they were fighting a bit more current.  A group of boats hit the mark due to heavy current (another cardinal error in light wind) and effectively took themselves out of the race given the time it took to recover, clear, and do turns.  We were lucky enough to catch an easterly puff for the 1st “downwind leg” (a jib reach) and passed a few more boats in the process.  We did OK in holding our spot upwind save for 1 extra tack — and that extra tack allowed Kristen to get by and also allowed Will to get back by us after we had reeled them in on the 2nd beat.  We were able to hold our place in 4th though for a decent finish — and some tough reminders of the things to watch for in light air racing.

Scores will be posted soon, so check back in a bit!  And feel free to add comments & observations of your own here or via the Fleet 50 email listserv.

2 thoughts on “Lisa-Marie Lane & Team “As You Wish” Earn First Bullet!

  1. here is the aboard report from As You Wish:

    The first time the PRO started the race, our plan was to be at the boat. Unfortunately of us, and most of the fleet, we were stacked at the boat and over early causing a general recall. Phew!

    We waited for the PRO to reset the course and then talked about our strategy. It was all too clear that 9 out of 11 boats wanted the committee boat, as it was largely favored. We decided to stay away and get some fresh clean air. We had a fantastic start and hit the line running. We decide to play whatever shift there was and tack onto port fairly soon. Unfortunately, so did most of the boats inside, stealing whatever air was there. We decided to foot pretty significantly to keep the boat going, especially in that wicked current.

    We were about 6 boats back closing in on the mark, and we watched everyone either come up short, or hit the mark and we made the decision to continue further south. Even if we over stood, we would still have speed on other boats.

    On the reach to the mark, we lifted the centerboard a bit to slow our drift, as the current was pushing us pretty quickly toward the mark. We turned down, and then unconventionally, lowered our centerboard again so it would catch the current – and we flew by 4 out of 5 boats in front of us.

    the second upwind leg was a bit trickier. We stayed in the wind on starboard for a good chunk of the leg – making sure to keep the boat moving. Knowing the wind was about to shut off, we tacked on to port with a little bit of speed. Because the wind was coming more from the left, we knew it was important to be on the wind side of the course, wherever it would take us. This proved pivotal as we were continuously lifted approaching the mark. Again, we tacked with plenty of room to not hit the mark, dropped the centerboard and cruised to the leeward mark.

    Once we rounded the last mark, our tactics were simple, keep the boat moving and cover – especially Barney (just kidding – we didnt even know he was there).

    Great job to Lisa Marie and Jim for an outstanding race!

  2. Congratulations to Kirstin, Brian & Bobby for sailing a great race!!!!

    Both Jim and I are Very Appreciative Chris for a being part of great race and for wonderful lessons! Having so many very talented skippers, who are so willing to help “newbies” is one of the many reasons we love sailing here!

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