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Just got back last night from Mackinac. Raced the Cove Island course on Sagamore in PHRF A. We finished at 2:43am Monday morning. Good race for a shakedown of new crew and systems. We will be doing the Chicago Mac this Sat.

Saturday. Start was off the wind in about 12-14knots. 12 of the 13 boats in class set up on port, ready to pop their chutes at the gun. Unfortunately Il Mostro, the Volvo 70 came screaming down the line on a starboard reach at about 12knots scattering the fleet like a big black bowling ball going through the pins. With closing speeds of 20 knots let's just say it was interesting. Nothing like having a 70 foot Monster heading directly at you with rights and boats below you and above you. Yikes! Fortunately, we got away clean in the middle of the line and popped the .6 symmetrical. Nice boat speeds near 9 knot as we sailed deeper than most of the fleet. A couple of hours some of the fleet gybed out. The eventual overall winner(TP 52) stayed left and got into lighter air. 5 hours in the TP 52 gybed and headed over to the Canadian shoreline well behind us. Beautiful day, sunshine and war. Champagne conditions. We gybed and started heading towards Cove Island in the early evening. The sun was replaced by heavy cloud cover and wind and waves picked up. Clouds were replaced by rain and heavy fog at dark. Wind and waves picked up again as we put up the .85 chute and really started to move. Boat speeds picked up to 10-13 knots as we fought to keep the boat under the chute. Just a few roundups It got cold, really cold and very wet. Ugh. Adrenalin kept us awake as we reached Cove Island rounding mark around 3AM in the middle of the A fleet boat for boat and near the front of the fleet on handicap.

Sunday. After rounding the mark the wind died and switched to the west. We tacked to the north towards the Duck islands. We still were in pretty good shape fleet wise but our lack of flat main hurts us in the big wind and 8 foot confused chop. We changed to #3 to #4 and back a couple of times as we slogged through a disturbed wave pattern. Eventually we dove south which was too soon as the wind clocked even further right causing us to have an even longer beat (about 90 miles). The leaders got away from us at this point as they short tacked north of the rhumb line and timed it perfectly for the shift north. The rest of the race we reached in with chute in light to no air.
Natalie J (TP52) won our class and overall. Congratulations. They sailed a great race and went the farthest right on the first leg which allowed them to have a high speed ride to Cove Island.

We learned a lot about the boat and crew. Nobody got hurt and all the gear is still intact. Let's hope this weeks Chicago Mac will be more to our liking. The early forecast looks to be all downwind which definitely will be warmer.
 
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