Epi and Oli Split Friday Takos

This article was originally posted to SLSailing.com on Oct 27, 2007

Glida Pilote is usually in charge of the Friday Tako Races at NYC. However this week, while Glida is away, this supreme responsibility fell to Jane Fossett and Oliphant Ming.

Although Glida often serves up a Friday menu of marathon courses and Force ten winds, Fossett opted for a kinder, gentler race dancecard, chosing four races on the B-1a course, each with NYC’s Standard wind (spd 11).  With unanimous consent, the Friday race sequence commenced…

Epicurus Emmons, Francois Jacques, Liv Leigh, Yuukie Onmura, Daizy Dovgal, Orca Flotta and Oliphant Ming all raced. Jane Fossett crewed while trying to find a no.2 pencil to keep track of the scores.

In the first race, Oli got over the line first, followed a few seconds later by Francois Jacques, then Yuukie Onmura. Here’s a great view of Yuukie chasing Francois:

As the first race progressed, Oli’s long experience at the tiller proved overpowering and his lead  inexorably widened. Oli took Race One with more than a minute to spare over Francois’ second place score. Yuukie finished immediately behind Francois, and Daizy Dovgal came in thirty seconds later.

Race Two: At this point, late as usual, Epicurus Emmons showed up, rezzing a distinctive tako with red sails and a wood hull. Before the fleet could inquire about Epi’s boatyard expenses to maintain that wood hull, the warning gun for the second race went off, and the fleet raised sail. This time Francois Jacques was first across the startline at 00:00 followed very quickly by the rest of the race fleet, with Epi bringing up the rear.

Epi skillfully made up for the bad start and gradually moved forward in the pack until he captured the lead at the final turn. Epi burst across the line in first place, and was immediately followed by Oli, Francois, and Yuukie. Daizy Dovgal and Liv Leigh took the fifth and sixth spots.

Race Three: In the third race, Oli changed strategy and approached the start line on a port tack, while the rest of the fleet used a more traditional starboard tack. Oli’s gambit to run for open water failed, however, when Epi and Liv Leigh made it over the line first, effectively blocking Oli’s path. Oli didn’t mind; with only miliseconds to spare he came about and fell in parallel, leeward to the lead boats. Here’s a snapshot of Oli about to make his ‘port tack’ gamble; you can see Liv and Epi waiting for him:

Once over the line, the boats beat windward, jockeying for position in Bougainville Strait. Here’s a great picture of Daizy Dovgal’s orange #53DD Tako. Daizy was caught in the twilight zone just past the “End of World” warning line; Francois Jacques moved her #08FJ tako in parallel, stealing the wind and blocking Daizy’s chance to tack free. Daizy had little choice but to bounce off the sim edge:

08FJ steals the wind from 53DD

As the boats moved south on the second leg of the B-1a course, Oliphant Ming’s tacking and sheet skills dominated, and he built a commanding lead. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the downwind run through the Solomon Sea, with Oli out front. Like a row of ducklings, the other five Takos line up to stern.

Oli went on to win the race, with Epi, Francois, and Yuukie following. A surprising duel then developed between Daizy Dovgal and Liv Leigh in the last leg, as they made the dash around the final red marker towards the finish. With textbook good sailing and a few tactical moves, Daizy finally pulled ahead, finishing scant seconds in front of Liv.

Race Four: Although the entire fleet put on a display of tight, confident sheet and sail skills, the final race of the day belonged to Epicurus Emmons from start to finish. First over the start line, he caught open air put it to good use. Here’s a view of Epi’s familiar red sail at the start, with Francois and Daizy to starboard and just behind.

Here’s a view of Yuukie and Daizy chasing Epi’s tail on the long board reach down the east shore of Bella Lavella:

And finally, here comes Epi on the final homeward lap. He lead the pack with nearly a minute to spare, followed by Francois, Yuukie, and Daizy:

It was a great conclusion to a wonderful week of racing!

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