The Beautiful Race to Admiralty Cove
Lyric, Haiku, Tahlia, Optiminium, and L'oaa Nalu met at the starting line for the start of the first Admiralty Cove race of the 2013 SEAS Cup season. As the countdown to the 10:15 start was proceeding, the breeze seemed to be filling in from the south. Was it too early to be hopeful? Finally, the starting horn was blown, and the boats took off towards Admiralty Cove in strengthening 5-10 knot breeze.
Haiku jumped to an early lead, and once she could clear Icy Point, set her spinnaker. Led by Optiminium, the other boats were in close pursuit.
After jibing for the run to the finish, Haiku lengthened her lead over the other boats.
Aided by a steady 10 knot breeze and a flooding tide, the boats traveled north up Stephen's passage towards Pt. Young at speeds approaching 7 knots.
An hour into the race found Haiku watching the trailing boats in binoculars, and noticed that they were no longer getting smaller, and they were all on the same tack. In a downwind race, the wind fills from behind, and it appeared to Haiku's crew that this was what was happening.
With Optiminium and L'oaa Nalu presenting an obvious challenge, Haiku jibed onto a port tack and was pointing directly at Pt. Young. The boat's VMG (velocity made good) exactly equal to the boat speed, Haiku was sailing as efficiently as possible toward the finish line.
In general, the sailing after Point Young, especially in a southerly, gets very light. This makes the finish in the Admiralty Cove race one of lore and much consternation. However, on this day, the wind actually moved forward to come out of a valley, and the boats were on a beam reach to the finish line.
Haiku finished the race in a little over two hours, for one of the fastest Ad Cove races in memory. Optiminium overstood Point Young, and L'oaa Nalu clipped them by going inside to cross the line second. Lyric, following closely, finished narrowly behind Optiminium, but due to Optiminium's blunder corrected to a strong third place.
SEAS newest boat in the fleet, Tahlia finished about 30 minutes later, under spinnaker for her first completed race in her SEAS career!
One of the best sailing days you could ever ask for now completed, several of the boats anchored, were joined by the recently 'changed hands' High Noon and proceeded to have a great beach fire under the amazing sunset and views of SouthEast Alaska.
Whether you are a racer or a cruiser, Saturday was one of the finest days for sailing and comradery that anyone can imagine.