Wait … a Second? (Or Two!)
Saturday Dec 15, 2012 - When the spring racing wrapped up in late June the cruising grounds bekoned, and this year we headed north to Desolation Sound once again for a couple of weeks, including transiting Surge Narrows to the Octopus Islands. Very cool! (See the Cruising page for pics). Shelagh and David then took the boat to the Gulf Islands for 10 days, returning it in time for the first Fall Series Thursday race (we came third, behind Jasmina and Rhumbline) and the SOAR regatta.
SOAR this year was on Aug 10-12 and saw lighter winds than usual throughout the southern reaches of Howe Sound, although there was the usual consistent steady breeze north of Watts Point and in the Squamish Harbour. The inflow race saw Krikkit nail the start and get away in the light wind with a small pack of five boats, only to find a wind hole later on (just in time for the photo boat to record our spinnaker hanging like drapery) and lose the lead we'd established, slipping past the finish line near the bottom of the fleet.
In the main race we started under blade and full main, and then soon had to swap to the bigger headsail. Coming back we flew Tutti Frutti (the big kite) until Watts Point and then had some some real excitement when we went to swap to the smaller kite. Suffice to say we decided to alter our normal procedure in order to allow a quicker swap over, with the result that we A) bounced the spinnaker pole into the headstay, B) started to round up and C) managed to recover the round-up through some brilliant independent thinking that saw the guy and sheet released simultaneously. Normally we wouldn't admit to any of this, but it just so happens the race videographer caught the entire spectacle, which ended with Krikkit flying the spinnaker like a giant masthead flag, on video. See it at www.mmxproductions.com/video/SOAR2012.mp4 . After recovering our kite with a tricksy downwind do-se-do, we finished the race without further incident, 5th out of the seven Div 3 boats and just behind Natural High, and 14th out of 20 overall. The outflow race was run light-crewed in light winds and saw us struggle to sneak across the finish line in nearly nonexistent wind, 13th out of 16 boats. (Left-hand photo: Krikkit in the SOAR Regatta)
The next Thursday evening race saw Krikkit finish 2nd behind Rhumbline, and then the English Bay Scramble on Aug 18 saw much better results for Krikkit than we saw at SOAR. It was light wind at the start and we made the call to go to the Bell Buoy first. As we struggled to round the buoy mark in light winds and building contrary current it looked like we'd really pooched the race … the inside boats appeared to all be moving nicely! But finally after nearly two hours we got around the mark and worked our way into the strait where the wind lit up, and stayed lit. Meanwhile, as we bombed around the Passage Island the boats in English Bay got becalmed and swept backward by the current. We experienced some of this light air after rounding Passage, but the current was carrying us in the right direction, and after an uncomfortably close slow-motion crossing with a freighter we found the wind again and finished in good time, 4th in our division and 13th overall out of 45 boats. (Right-hand photo: Pre-start at the English Bay Scramble)
We then ran the third and fourth FCYC Thursday races amidst a whole bunch of mid-week and weekend cruising commitments, getting a disappointing 4th in the 3rd race and 3rd in the 4th race, finishing the series in 3rd overall.
Then it was the super-entertaining Deep Cove regatta. Krikkit pulled off some very good races, with a best finish of third in our very competitive fleet, and besting every boat in the fleet at least once, with the exception of Coho which kept consistently ahead of us.
Unable to get crew for the TCYC Last Chance or VARC Closer regattas, Krikkit closed the 2012 series with the Fraser Lightships race, having a super fun, fast race with Simon, Chris Gordon and Rhumbliners Sean and Veronica Owens aboard. We battled in close company with Arashi for the entire race, finishing a few seconds behind them for 3rd out of the five VARC boats competing.
So … after four years of racing during which we always ended up either third overall or (just the once) first overall, but never second, this year's racing was good enough to see Krikkit wind up 3rd in the VARC Distance Series, 2nd in the TCYC Div 1 Championship and 2nd in the VARC Championship! Woot! Two seconds! And a big shout-out to the Krikkit crew ...
(Photos below: Flying the wasp spinnaker on an FCYC Thursday Evening, nicely decorated at the Deep Cove Regatta, plus Sean, Veronica and Chris Gordon at the Fraser Lightships Race.)