Steve Levy’s Eagle and Jonathan Nye’s Attractive Nuisance won their classes (class 1 and 5 respectively) in the recently completed Riverside Yacht Club Stratford Shoal Race.
The forecast was dire and somewhat typical for this race (light). The RYC committee wisely kept the fleet ashore for a few extra hours before getting everyone assembled to race the short course alternatives. For the Stratford Shoal fleet, this meant 28nm to Cable & Anchor, Matinicock, 32A, finish; for the non-spinnaker fleet, Cable & Anchor, 32A, finish (17nm).
Racing got underway in a light but doable southeasterly. The beat to Cable & Anchor was mostly lacking drama with little going on tactically. For the spinnakered fleet, what turned the tables was the 11nm leg to Matinicock. On Eagle and Attractive Nuisance, decisions were made to make the best of the pressure and sail south of the rhumb line. This was designed to take advantage of perceived better wind along the Long Island shore and benefit from the predicted southwesterly that was due to arrive late afternoon. Lots of second guessing on both boats as the vast majority of the fleet gybed away from the rhumb line and crossed the Sound reaching the CT shore near Captain Islands/Rye Beach. This proved sub-optimal as the breeze in the middle/CT shore dissipated and when it filled in, the new direction was southwest putting many boats dead downwind of Matinicock. At Matinicock the RYC race committee made a second outstanding decision and choose to shorten the spinnakered fleet there.
Eagle was the first to finish with the fastest elapsed time while Attractive Nuisance was fourth to finish but since two boats ahead of her started earlier, she was actually the second fastest around the course.
In the non-spinnaker fleet, the group fell victim to the course. With 32A being their second mark, they were compelled to sail away from Long Island towards the middle of the Sound where there was little to no breeze. In the end, only 4 of 5 of D6 finished and only 1 of 5 in D7.
Full results at yachtscoring.com.