Sloop Tavern Yacht Club Iceberg Race Report

Written by Ghislain Devouton

January 21, 2024

Despite very low wind (if any) on the forecast Freda Mae (F31) and Mojo (F25c) showed up on the starting line of the Iceberg race. Race committee announced a short course Meadow, West Point, Meadow and finish in front of the Seattle Shilshole breakwater. 

Wind gods listened to our prayers and a light breeze started right at 11 for the first start. The line was heavily biased and Vince and I lined up for a port start at the pin. Mojo staid closer to the line and was able to accelerate first despite starting a good 15s after the gun. 

We both took a mid line toward the beach looking for some current shelter as the pressure look even throughout the course. We crossed couple time ducking each other. Freda Mae had some speed edge on mojo but we sailed mostly higher. We hesitated to push to the layline but it would put us in the meadow point shallow which was quite risky without any electronic onboard (everything is in the garage for some solid overhaul before R2AK). 2 rushed tacks later we rounded a few boat lenght behind Freda Mae that had the courtesy to screw up their hoist and wait for us. The run was almost straight line to West Point with a single gybe toward the end. Mojo kept the advantage with better angle with a spinnaker while Freda was flying a screetcher or very flat spinnaker. We negotiated the traffic at the mark really well with a mint douse of my young but excellent crew (Enzo and Ben). 

The wind had picked up to 10ish knts on the upwind leg back to the Meadow and Freda stayed outside in what looked like better air and less current. We tried to get a lift from the channel water but that didn’t quite pay off and got into short current against wind chop. Couple crossing later with Freda Mae doing cleaner tacks we rounded the mark right on their heels. Luckily for us they had a “I hope there is no camera around moment” sending their spinnaker upside down. This gave us enough to get past them on a solid spinnaker run with a top speed of 12knts. We finished by mostly controlling our opponent of the day as we only needed to be ahead of the F31 to get the very well underserved win.

On a personal note , I definitely need to work on my angles and my tacks. I obviously stay too close to the wind. My laylines are not quite clean yet and my time on distance is very erratic. I put too much rake on the mast and the boat had a fair amount of weather helm. I also got to figure how to rig both the screetcher and the spinnaker. 

It was one of those gorgeous winter day on the water with a tiny bit of wind, lovely sun (never put gloves or jacket on) and great company with Vince and his crew. 

Mojo will most likely take a break away from the water for some paint job and prep work for R2AK.  

Before the race of me detaching our screetcher fix tack from the end of the pole