Eureka Takes Two!

A few days ago I had the chance to tell you about the first race of the ONE WORLD Finals. Bunnie, Seraina, and Dunan proved awesomely fast and tactically flawless in that first test; they roared around the course to an impressive initial win. However, everyone knew the game wasn’t up yet, and there were still three more races to go.

So let’s rejoin that fearless finalist foursome from the fifth of March, and I’ll tell you a bit about the Second Race. 🙂

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For that test, Kentrock designed a chart based on a classic Olympic-style course, with upwind, downwind, and reach legs. (Of course, he threw in a few nuances. 🙂 )

It began with beat to the yellow mark in Flat Hammock, then fell off to a close reach to fetch the orange buoy in Sugar Reef. From there, the fleet made a beam reach to Race Rock sim, where they looped around two marks before starting home on a broad reach. The final turn in Sugar Reef put the fleet on a near dead run to the Finish.

This course was intentionally nothing fancy and there were no tricks, but over the short distance it was a great test of a team’s sailing skills. All four skippers knew this too, and were smiling on the raceline, full of caffeine and ready for fun.

As the final seconds ticked away before the Start, all four boats once again clustered to cut the East end of the line on Starboard tack. Here’s Hawk’s video that shows the prestart:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As you can also see in the first image below, Bunnie Mills sprinted for the line a few seconds too soon; she was forced to pull up a bit and lose momentum to avoid an ‘over early.‘ Armano and Cait were sailing FIYC New Experiment; they had better timing and used it to good advantage, coming up on KENOBI’s lee side.

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As you can see in the above pictures, FIYC was a little over-excited and cut this maneuver a bit too tight, slamming into KENOBI’s stern as the two boats crossed the line. For several seconds, there was a worrisome overlap that suggested an exchange of genetic material rarely seen outside the continental waters of Zindra.

FIYC protested KENOBI under Rule 11 (‘Leeward boats have Right-of-Way over Windward Boats’). KENOBI accepted that protest.

Whether the protest was valid or not is an interesting discussion; many thought Bunnie might have a potential counter-protest too. Hawk had much to comment about this protest, and I’m hoping he will offer his wisdom and let me link to his words or comment about it here. 🙂

Anyway, Armano was luckily able to get his nose out of Bunnie’s posterior, and the fleet of four all began the upwind beat in Starboard formation. As shown above, KENOBI was ahead and had FIYC trapped in her windshadow. Although Eureka crossed the line third, she actually had the height on this tack and was sailing unobstructed in clean air. Not a bad position to be in!

SVC-472 was trailing EUREKA, and that theme would play out for much of the race that followed. In fact, in the upcoming windy conflict, Momomos came closest to knocking the Race Two crown from Alain’s head. 🙂

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The image above proves my point about EUREKA’s advantage. 🙂

At the bottom of the picture you can see KENOBI taking a penalty turn, while all three competitors are on port tack, aiming for the first mark (shown by “*”).  FIYC tacked early to get out of KENOBI’s shadow, placing her lowest and furthest from the buoy. Eureka played her advantages well however, and was now in the lead, just two boat lengths ahead of SVC-472.

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Armano then played a skillful tactical move, flipping to a Starboard tack ( green arrow) that passed in front of SVC-472 on port ( red arrow). Momomos was forced to  take evasive action, ducking below FIYC’s transom while losing precious seconds as EUREKA barreled ahead.

The other amazing story documented in the above pictures was about KENOBI’s comeback! While Armano and Momomos were deciding who would round the mark first, Kenobi bounded across the sim width at incredible speed to rejoin the group. Look at KENOBI’s position between the first and second pictures above; I guess The Force was with that OBI KENOBI team!

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Of course, all four of the finalist teams were the best of the best. Each had made it to the Finals with a perfect score of four First Place qualifying victories. These were not sailors who made mistakes or missed any opportunity, and EUREKA was demonstrating that here.

The first image above shows EUREKA rounding the Orange mark with a substantial lead over the rest of the fleet. KENOBI’s passed SVC-472, and has FIYC in her gunsights. FIYC played the turn well however, beating KENOBI at the mark and beginning the reach leg in second place with a two-boat length lead.

As FIYC and KENOBI roared across Breakers Point, they were parallel and overlapped, and trading inside punches. However, suddenly without warning  a White Squall blew up, and both boats were damaged beyond repair. These teams are pros of course,  so without a whimper in seconds they were back on the water, rezzing new boats.

Momomos Netizen also took full advantage of the weather change, lashing himself to the tiller and steering through the storm, undaunted. The second image above shows SVC-472 far in the distance, past the trouble and right on EUREKA’s heels!

Although Momomos made a thrilling challenge with skill and speed, there was no denying the facts already in evidence. This race belonged to EUREKA.

Alain and Suzi successfully fended-off Momomos’ late-game, SVC-472 juggernaut, and on the return spinnaker reach EUREKA re-established a dominant lead.

While the crowd roared, Alain Gloster and Suzi Siemens gave the spectator sailors a master’s lesson in sail-racing; they turned a poor, third-place Start position into a Commanding First-Place Win, crossing the line a full twenty-four seconds ahead of the fleet! 

Woots!

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