Let the hard core racers get all aggro with me but...
We had our last PHRF Weds. beer can races yesterday. Forecast was for gusts to 30 mph and when we surveyed the situation from our mooring my racing partner and I decided to throw the first reef in the main since we were shorthanded. We race on the lower Hudson near some 300' tall cliffs that can really make the NW winds fluky.
The winds were stronger out on the river by the starting line and many boats were getting rounded up by the strong sudden gusts. Our next problem was figuring out how much jib to unfurl so the boat wasn't constantly being knocked down. We ended up using about a 100% of our 150 genny until a few particularly vicious gusts hit us near the cliffs. The gusts seemed to veer through about 90 degrees (from N to W) in a few seconds and we were knocked over such that river water was in our cockpit. We had to reduce the jib further and rounded our upwind mark.
The VHF was crackling with calls to the race committee as other boats abandoned the race. The RC had called for mandatory use of PFD's (life preservers) and several boats were disqualified (DSQ) because they did not comply with the RC's edict. One boat that abandoned the race had wind instruments on board and reported that they were hit with a gust of 38 kts when they got knocked down. They abandoned because they did not have a smaller jib then 140. We reefed and furled and finished in 2nd place and nothing broke. My underwear was wet but otherwise clean. Never had that much water in our cockpit before from going over.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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