Thursday night we had about 16 boats out for three races in a nice light, shifty South wind. Robin S. stepped up and won the first race after no practice in the boat for over a year, go figure. I won the second race squeaking past a very fast Mike W. on the last upwind leg. In the last race my father Dave E was first across the line to showing Robin that his training and time on the water actually do improve results.
A right-biased line with shifts coming more often than not from the right made for a competitive (pushy) start line. So competitive, in fact, that in the last race the race committee put up the X Flag (individual recall flag) for the entire fleet except for two boats. When the individual recall flag is up on a normal P Flag start, it indicates that at least one boat was On Course Side (OCS). So everyone has to guess whether they were the ones who were over and decide whether they should go back and start again. If the race committee is not sure who was over the line and who was clear, they can put up the First Substitute Flag (general recall flag) to indicate that there has been an error in the starting procedure and the starting sequence can be restarted. If, however the race committee is certain that all boats are OCS at the start, they can put up the X Flag and penalize every boat that does not come back to restart.
(Check out rules 26, 29.1 and 29.2 in The Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, or download it from ISAF here.)
In Race 3 all but two boats were OCS, so those boats and the boats that went back to restart would be the only boats to be scored with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. The rest would be left with fleet scores. I say 'would be' because when we came in I found out from the race officers that the first of the Thursday Night Twilight series will not be counted towards the series. They are also sending a strong message by counting nearly everyone OCS instead of letting us off with a general recall.
Join us next Thursday for the first Thursday Night Racing that will count for points in the series!
Also come out for this weekend's Saturday and Sunday Training Camp and of course Tuesday Night Race Team so that you are primed and excited for the upcoming Icebreaker Regatta.