Jan 28, 2009-Chaos at Koh Sum
Light Air Hell
I knew the day wasn’t going to turn out as I’d hoped when they called us over early at the start. We’d had Katsu and Yo!2 buried but we were too close to the line and then Fidgi pushed us up; we were both over and Lawana and Pheonix too. As we fought back against the ebb current I glanced upwind and saw Katsu and Yo!2 smokin’ towards the first mark, Koh Pai, Damn!
But we got back in the hunt from that one and on the next leg, to Koh Sum, there was a big hole to go through and it was anybody’s race. Katsu and Yo!2 went low and got out first, the rest of the fleet went high and died up next to Koh Pai. We went low and found some wind but it never was enough to break away. The wind filled in for the boats who had gone high and then it was a drag race in slow motion to the next island, Koh Sum. About 20 boats got there ahead of us and parked with no wind and a strong ebb tide. We came coasting into the parked boats and had nowhere to go, so we ducked down through a gap and got outside. Then the next pack came coasting in from behind and jammed up everything on both sides of us. Boats were bumping and everyone was fending off, Geez, it was chaos.
The worst was yet to come. Somehow, the crew says it was my insistence on having the boom held over so we were technically on starboard which caused us to go backwards, but anyway we got into some back eddy or other which sucked us right out of the pack, singled us out from amongst everyone else, and pulled us back next to the island. We went backwards for 200 ft. We thought we might hit the island and even started the motor as a caution but didn’t need it. We missed the rocks but it took us forever to get out of there and get around the island. Four tries to get going. Meanwhile every other boat just simply sailed away. It was unbelievable.
After that we had one helluva hole to dig our way out of, and dig we did. We got moving upwind and passed a number of boats tacking to the Koh Ba Tang Turning Mark. Then we had a great downwind leg to the finish and passed seveal others.
We ended up in third again on corrected time, or at least that’s what we guess based on the times we took; we'll see at the party tonight when they announce the results.
It was not a great race today for Wings but one thing we are happy about: the boat speed was very good. Now if only we can keep out of trouble. Tomorrow is another day.
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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket