So in my last post I made the mistake of looking forward to the racing we should have on Saturday based on the really strong forecast. Which, of course, was a grieveous error. On Friday, while I was in the car with my family driving to the Gorge, the forecast collapsed about as fast as the pressure gradients did, and we got to the Event Site to the remnants of what had been 5.0 conditions and had now turned into very marginal formula sailing at best. The forecast for Saturday, at this point, was calling for light Easterlies - which was roundly pooh-poohed by everyone at the beach. After all, how could the whole thing change so quickly. Surely, there'd be some breeze on Saturday.
And there was - the picture above shows the extent of the breeze we got during the window of opportunity we had for racing. The picture was taken by Carey Caronni off the jetty at the Event Site (thanks, Carey!) - so you can tell it's Easterly, and it's ripping ;)
Hope sure had a good time with this setup - this was the first time we tried towing her behind the long-board, and it made a big difference, as she could be independent but still feel safe, plus I could get her going, since it's hard for her to drive that big board with her 1.7. Thanks to Roger Jackson for the suggestion (I improvised the tether with four bungee uphauls daisy-chained together; I'm sure rope and regular bungee would have been lower in drag but this worked well). That was a lot of fun, as was the fact that the racers made the best of things as Scotia and Darren organized paddle and swim races and Scotia got a chicken bbq lunch delivered - so it was a nice day at the beach.
The wind did eventually pick up - right around 6 pm, and streaky, so we didn't miss much as we went off to the end of year awards ceremony and CGWA end of season party. Turns out that in overall standings for the season, I came in third behind Bruce Peterson and Doug Beaman. We only got 6 scores this year (we were unlucky in losing two races to the weather, and another two to equipment malfunctions related to the committee boat), so there was only one throwout, and I had missed two races (the Blowout and the August 18 race). Congrats to Doug - showing up is a pre-condition, and the vagaries of whether conditions will enable racing are certainly always part of the game.
I'm planning on doing a bit of a recap on the season in the next couple days. For now, I'd just like to say that I'm grateful to have such well-organized racing with such a competitive fleet here in the Northwest. Scotia is an organizational power house (as well as a saint to put up with us all). I've had a lot of fun racing in the Gorge this year, and I can't wait to do it all over again next season.