Fizz Cup’s in full swing, and the Round Three Regatta went off well this past weekend, hosted by EmmanuelMara Resident and the Marina Sport Racer Sailing Club. As one of the judges for the 6:00am race set, I was in a good position to snap pics of the race boats at some key points.
The competition fleet that morning had seven experienced sailors, and they were all strong contenders to win the ultimate Fizz crown. In alphabetical order, the intrepid group included: EmmanuelMara Resident (the Round 3 host 🙂 ), Liv Leigh (who sailed under the pseudonym “LivvLeigh Resident”), Miwha Masala (who sailed under the pseudonym “Miwha Masala”), Ox Seetan, Porter Tracy, Sandra Absent, and ziz Kidd.
Armano Xaris stepped in as Celebrity Race Director for the occasion, and Lothor Vlodovic bellied up for the awesome responsibility of Chief Justice for the event. Lothor did a great job, and he was backed up by an able judging crew that consisted of Gemma, Jane, and Kentrock.
The race took place in MSRSC’s home waters, and I thought it turned out rather great. Kudos to EmmanuelMara Resident and Fizz Cup staff for all the preparation! I know there was a lot of behind the scenes trouble-shooting, but at 6:00am everything gelled, and in my humble opinion the conditions for Group 1’s races turned out better than anticipated. From a judging perspective, it was possible to relax and actually have some fun. (How often does that happen in a major regatta series?! 🙂 )
Anyway, the racecourse chart is depicted in the graphic at the top of this post. It was a simple “Olympic style” triangle with equal legs. It began from the San Lucas raceline with an upwind beat to the Top Mark in Larate. That was followed by a reach leg to a race buoy in McGoubrey. The fleet then came back to a buoy in San Lucas to close the triangle, but before finishing, the fleet took an extra windward/leeward lap out to the Larate Top Mark again.
The course was pretty classic, and a good test of a sailor’s technical skill. It reminded me a lot of the old Mowry Bay Olympic “TPS” course (TPS stood for the shape of the course, which was a “Triangle Plus Sausage” 🙂 ).
So here’s how it played out Saturday morning:
The first race is often a ‘shake out,’ where everyone gets their sea legs. The race skippers experience the grid quirks for that day in that location, and they make adjustments. There is a saying in poker: “You play the hand you’re dealt.”
When the race started, everyone took off on a starboard tack and Miwha won the pole position. She cut the line next to the committee boat a scant one second ahead of ziz Kidd, who opted for a safer start in open water further leeward.
Liv was right on Miwha’s heels, but the Award for Effort in thAt race has got to go to Ox Seetan. Ox started eleven seconds behind Miwha and and from a worse angle. However, at the end of a tough upwind beat against a savvy crowd of expert racers, Ox caught up to Miwha. As they took the turn around the Top Mark Orange Can, Ox was tightly overlapped, parallel, and had the inside advantage. Miwha correctly gave room, allowing Ox to capture the lead as they finished the turn.
Sadly, at that point Miwha crashed, so we wont know how that duel might have ended if Ox and Miwha went toe-to-toe for the full fifteen rounds. However, a win is a win, and Ox looked great all the way through Race #1, taking first place in that heat, followed by Liv (#2) and ziz (#3).
Here are the finish times:
1: Ox Seetan ID900OS — 00:16:35
2: LivvLeigh Resident ID077LR — 00:17:16
3: ziz Kidd ID311ZK — 00:17:53
4: Sandra Absent ID033SA — 00:19:33
5: EmmanuelMara Resident ID017ER — 00:21:52
6: Miwha Masala ID710MM — DNF
7: Porter Tracy ID451PT — DNF
Once again, in Race 2 all the skippers chose a starboard start. This time ziz Kidd lead the pack, again choosing to cut the line far lee of the other boats.
Liv crossed two seconds behind ziz, followed by Miwha.
In this second race, the skippers showed they had found a groove; the fleet beat to the top mark in expert precision. However, the whole idea of starting a race with an upwind beat is to ‘break up’ the competion fleet through a series of tacks. That didn’t happen in race two; the competition skippers chose to stay glued together as they tacked back and forth. It’s a testament to their wonderful skill that nearly the whole fleet converged on the top mark at the same time. (Yikes!) 🙂
You can see a bit of what happened above (and please click on the images to get a full sized view). As you can see in the first frame, MM and ZK were in front, and MM tacked to the mark first. ZK followed suit, but was clearly astern to MM in the middle frame. (as you can see, LR and the rest of the fleet were converging on the Mark as well!). Anyway, in the third frame you can see ZK slam into MM’s stern, and Miwha called a protest, and ZK counter-protested. At the race’s end, the judges unanimously agreed the penalty should go to ZK in this case, not MM or LR. Since ZK failed to do a penalty turn, he was scored DSQ for race #2. Since Lothor was Head Judge, I’ll defer the details to him. 🙂
Well, that traffic pileup and collision at the top mark now opened up the field for Liv. She took full advantage and adroitly skirted around the rest of the fleet trying to tack. Liv then set her sites on Miwha as the two lead boats raced towards the Reach Mark. Liv sailed that leg superbly, catching up with Miwha just as they came to the race buoy, but as shown below, under the intense pressure of the moment Liv suddenly pitch-poled right in front of the Mark!
That gave Miwha a free ride, and she ran the rest of the bases with skill and finesse, ending a full 40 seconds ahead of Ox Seetan, who took the second-place slot.
Here are the finish times:
1: Miwha Masala ID710MM — 00:16:08
2: Ox Seetan ID900OS — 00:16:48
3: LivvLeigh Resident ID077LR — 00:17:20
5: ziz Kidd ID311ZK — 00:17:57 – DSQ
6: EmmanuelMara Resident ID017ER — 00:21:15
7: Sandra Absent – DNF
With one more race to go, the top spots were still up for grabs. Luckily, the weather held clear and sailors had a good chance to show their stuff.
Well, Miwha Masala certainly took advantage of the sailing conditions. She pulled out all the stops in Race #3, crossing the line a full eight seconds ahead of Ox Seetan. With clean air and open water in front of her, Miwha never looked back, doing a victory lap around the course ahead of her competitors.
Ox Seetan and Liv Leigh sailed closely behind Miwha, but they lost precious seconds dueling for the 2-3 spots, and they were never a real threat to the lead boat.
Although there was no protest called, an interesting pileup occurred at the reach mark in Race 3, as shown below. 🙂 As PT, SA, and ZK all came around the buoy, from my far vantage point it looked like first SA, then ZK landed ‘inside punches’ on poor PT. 🙂
Well, nobody protested, and if there’s no protest, it didn’t happen. I think that’s the Sailing Rule of Omerta.
Anyway, here are the Race 3 finish times:
1: Miwha Masala ID710MM — 00:15:55
2: Ox Seetan ID900OS — 00:16:13
3: LivvLeigh Resident ID077LR — 00:16:15
4: ziz Kidd ID311ZK — 00:17:51
5: Sandra Absent ID033SA — 00:17:52
6: Porter Tracy ID451PT — 00:18:19
7: EmmanuelMara Resident ID017ER — 00:21:06
And the Overall Group 1 Ranking for the three-race set:
1: Miwha Masala
2: Ox Seetan
3: Liv Leigh
4: ziz Kidd
5: Sandra Absent
6: Porter Tracy
7: EmmanuelMara Resident
Nice sailing, Fizzies!!