Cetaceans Capture CLASSIC Cup
by Jane Fossett and Naeve Rosinni
Following NYC-Narwhal’s rather remarkable win in Race Three, The 2009 J-CLASSIC Finals Championship became a toss-up for the top three teams. Naeve Rossini summarized the situation for the throng of spectators perched atop balloon platforms around the racecourse:
“As we go into the final race, the standings look like this: Waypoint is in the lead with 5 points overall, Narwhal and Eureka tied with 7 and Second Chance in fourth with 11 points. With one discard, the order is Waypoint, Narwhal, Eureka and Second Chance.
This race WILL decide the winner of the J-Classic 2009!
A win by either Waypoint or Narwhal will declare a clear winner. A Eureka win could result in a 2 or 3-way tie.”
The winner of Race Four would decide who took home the J-Classic Cup… Oli’s Cup.
For the fourth time in a row, when the gun went off all boats chose a starboard start. Chaos Mandelbrot was again at the helm of NYC-Narwhal, but he was apparently still cranked after the thrill of Race Three and jumped the gun too soon. Narwhal went “Over Early” by a full two seconds. Eureka (00:07), Second Chance (00:11), and All-Stars (00:17) maintained their focus and all had good starts.
Chaos immediately 360‘d around the East end of the raceline to recross, but believed that any chance to win had just gone up in smoke. NYC-Narwhal wasn’t ready to throw in the towel however; they had come too far and were having too much fun to give up just because they were going to lose. As shown by the yellow arrow in image below, the Narwhal crew cooked up a desperate strategy to restart on a port tack, placing them almost exactly a full tack behind the other three vessels.
If you look more closely at the top picture below, you see that Eureka has the height moving toward the windward mark and Second Chance is lee but ahead of WYC-All Stars and closely overlapped.
After both boats tacked port, WYC and TrYC continued their overlap duel for position all the way across the Southern Sugar Reef Latitudes. However, As waypoint and Second Chance reached the far end of their port tack, Team All Stars’ skipper Massy Johin crashed off-line and the WYC boat went on the rocks, grounded! Toraba Magic lept into action, taking control of the helm and redirecting the boat back into deep water.
In the top image above the location of the first mark is indicated by a yellow arrow. Eureka is closing on it by pinching from starboard, while Second Chance is coming in on port. NYC is on close haul with a far more efficient wind angle than Eureka but several boat lengths astern. Eureka then stalled as it set up to take the turn at the mark, caught in TrYC’s strong windshadow as Trapez cut across Eureka’s bow to fetch the mark. Narwhal grabbed this opportunity, and within a few seconds NYC barreled past Eureka, capturing the second-place position (shown in last image above).
Approaching Race Rock, TrYC was the undisputed leader, with several boat-lengths separating the Second Chance boat from NYC-Narwhal. Eureka and All-Stars vied for the three-four spots.
The image above shows TrYC brief moments after taking th tun at Race Rock, and about to enter Hay Harbor Channel. NYC is off the port aft quarter and setting the spinnaker pole.
A non-sailor then briefly jumped aboard the Second Chance in the waters around Race Rock; this likely brought the TrYC boat to a momentary full stop, allowing Narwhal to roar past as it entered Hay Harbor Channel on a slightly more Easterly course. NYC took full advantage of the open water and clean air, building an impressive lead as they rounded Fishers Island and began the home trip through Schooner Run. Entering Anchor Cove Channel, NYC was also briefly boarded by the griefer. Narwhal came to a dead stop, but then quickly regained momentum before the remaining fleet could close in.
Eureka got within a few boat lengths of NYC’s stern, earning the second position. Immediately behind Eureka, however, All-Stars was staging a remarkable comeback performance. Given the short course distance and the field of outstanding sailors, WYC’s crash in Sugar Reef should have taken them completely out of competition, but their great teamwork and remarkable sailing skill brought them back into the fight. As WYC reached the entrance to Anchor Cove Channel, they fell windward and overlapped with TrYC and then played that tactical position to advantage, pulling well ahead of Second Chance as the boats turned downwind into Plum Gut. WYC slowly gained on Eureka as well, but both Eureka and NYC held their own, completing the short windward- leeward loop of Quoddy Head with flawless efficiency. Narwhal hit the finish line in First Place with a commanding, thirty-second lead over Eureka, with All-Stars and Second Chance falling into the third and fourth positions.
Although an early over, a crash, and two griefing episodes complicated Race Four, none of the competing boats raised a protest or petitioned for redress when they were polled at the finish line. Head Judge Soro Dagostino then declared this last race of the 2009 J-CLASSIC Regatta “closed” and valid.
In a rather remarkable display of heart, humor, and flat-out relentless sailing determination, NYC- Narwhal came back from a clumsy Start error to capture the win in Race Four… and earn Oli’s Cup in the process.
Congratulations to Nomad Zamani, Chaos Mandebrot and Glorfindel Arrow!!