At the end of Day 1 of the 2021 Viper 640 North American Championship at Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT, the top five boats were all in striking distance of each other. Now, after three more races on Day 2, two leaders have emerged and with a bit more separation in the top cluster.
The second day started like the first with a two-hour shore postponement due to lack of wind. Everyone was face down in their devices debating which weather model would come true, but the Race Committee decided to use the best model: reality. Out they went at about noon to find a 6-knot easterly that eventually filled to around 10 knots. This shifty easterly, with the start of a long fetch down Long Island Sound, created some challenging conditions when the strong, ebbing current was added to the mix. That said, given the boat speed advantage today vs. the lighter air Day 1, there weren’t the tide-induced mark snagging incidents.
Scoring 6 (throwout)-2-3 today, and with the throwout kicking in, Mark Zagol (bow 158) from Pawcatuck, CT, sailing with Tim Desmond and Drew Buttner took over the lead as Jay Rhame, and Peter and Rachel Beardsley (bow 269), now in second, threw out their first score in a 10-8-1 day. Zagol stands atop with 14 points to Rhame/Beardsley2 with 17 points.
“Our goal today was not to sail a ‘throwout’ race,” said Zagol. “We knew it was going to be a dicey day once the current began ebbing against the wind. For the starts, we did all mid-line starts just to stay clear of the pack at the favored end, allowing us to get onto the racecourse cleanly and sail our own race. We had a pinch mode that allowed us the holy grail of height and speed. That made it much easier. As the day progressed, and the velocity increased, we consistently increased our shroud tension to depower the boat but still leaving enough fullness in the rig to let us drive through the chop. Looking at tomorrow, the regatta will start over as we have another seven races ahead of us. We’re looking to see how we stack-up in the breeze that is forecast to start tonight. And, of course, we’re looking forward to the down winds.”
It should be noted that Mark is one of the Managing Directors of New England Science & Sailing, which is an ocean-based, experiential educational non-profit organization located in Stonington, CT.
Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 11:00. Breezes in the mid-teens are forecast that should give Mark Zagol his wish for sporty leeward legs.
Photos © Rick Bannerot, OnTheFlyPhoto.net