Last year we entered the Beancrock for fun since we are definitely not racers and Rose Lee is definitely not a race boat at 18 tons and all furling sails:). We did surprisingly well finishing 4th in our class but a lot of that was due to the wild weather which was saw the wind up to 35 knots. Several boats withdrew and the remainders all suffered a little bit of damage including Rose lee. We had some damage to our genoa and had our steaming light ripped off the mast by a spare halyard that got away from us.
Fast forward to this year and it was looking like a very similar forecast with lots of wind, oh boy here we go again. Luckily the forecast lightened up a bit and they were only calling for gusts over 20 which should be good for Rose Lee. WE had a few crew changes and I was fortune to have JIm and Freda come this year. Jim has a world of sailing experience and can really drive a boat. Jims coaching paid off and we had a much improved start crossing the line cleaning but about a minute late, which was fine. We started with a short upwind leg which allowed us to get our tacking smoothed out and make some great tacks. We rounded the 1st mark just ahead of one of our main competitors an Hunter 46 with all furling sails. I expected the hunter to be difficult to beat just because they were quite a bit lighter. Once we turned at the 1st mark and started our long down wind leg Jim started setting up the boat putting blocks on the genoa so that we could fill it a bit more, wow these small changes made a difference and we really opened up a gap between ourselves and the \Hunter, in fact that was the last time we would see the hunter as Rose Lee sprinted away.
I asked Jim to drive at this point as he is a better driver than me and I wanted to gain as mush knowledge as possible and make the boat go faster:) As we were exiting Bedford basin and coming under the bridges we were gaining on our friend John who is an excellent sailor and had a great start. It took a bit of work but we were eventually able to make our way past John. The downwind leg was great but the wind was stilling rising and was now up to about a steady 15 knots, good for us. As we passed Georges Island and made our way to out mark in middle ground the wind was up over 20 gusting to 25. We watched the boats ahead of us jibe around the mark with some difficulty in the 25 knot breeze. We had a great rounding and started a long upwind leg for home. Some of the boats we had made great gains on going downwind were now sailing away from us, since they were able to point so much higher and regardless of how much we tweaked we just never got the shape to match their superior pointing ability. The wind was now up over 20 with gusts up to 28 so sail trimming was key being able to ease and trim quickly when we were getting over powered. We did ok with not having a regular crew and pretty much all of us being non racers and we were rewarded with some nice lifts that Jim took full advantage of. Our leg back to the finish was pretty good and we rounded the finish line with a very respectable 5th place in our class. There was only 90 seconds between 5th and 3rd so next year we will be working to get 3rd but I was really please with the crew and Rose Lee (but that main really needs to be re-cut to get it working properly).
Congratulations to my great crew Donna, Joyce, Les, Tom, Rob, Freda and Jim for a race well sailed.