Acorn’s Jeff MacFarlane and Mike Nicoletti have another podium finish notched into their bulkhead. As you are aware, a part of the program is also learning about public and press relations and communications; Here is the report that they filed.
The Race: Doublehanded and singlehanded divisions raced around a triangle course beginning in Newport harbor out to the southern tip of Block Island then east and around a mark just east of the Vineyard and back to Newport. Our competitors in the class one included a Class 40, an Aerodyne 38, a Beneteau First 36.7 and 3 Quests.
Newport to South End of Block Island
Jeff and I started with the #3 jib and a full main in a seemingly building breeze of 12-15kts. We took full advantage of the oscillating breeze and worked up the right side of the course toward Point Judeth and were rewarded with an early lead. The breeze died throughout this leg to just 6-7 kts. We switched to the #1 and pushed on around the west side of Block Island. Our early lead over the class 40 diminished as the wind died and they switched to what we assume was a code zero.
Block Island to The Vineyard
After rounding block, the class 40 was hot on our heels and took off with their code zero. We set our A1, but we were not able to carry it for long. Unfortunately the breeze built and backed to the south earlier than expected, forcing us to switch back to the jib. These reaching conditions were similar to the Block Island Race earlier this year and Jeff and I pushed hard to keep the boat fast.
The Vineyard to Newport
We reached the jibe mark in pitch dark and pressed on toward Newport. Again, the wind angle was too hot for us to carry a spinnaker, so we continued with the jib. Fog built as we neared the mainland and breeze gusted into the low 20’s which made for an tricky approach to the busy harbor. We crossed the finish line off Castle Hill at 1:35AM.
Once we made it back to our guest mooring at Conanicut Yacht Club, we listened to the radio and recorded the other boats finishes anxiously attempting to calculate our finish position. Based on the basic PHRF calculations, we knew it would be really close between the Class 40, and the Beneteau First 36.7 and ourselves. The race committee was using a slightly different time-on-time handicap based on PHRF, so ultimately we had to wait till the award ceremony to determine our finish. When all was said and done, we finished 2nd, only 10 min behind the Class 40 and 15min ahead of the Beneteau!
As competitive racers, we think we could have done better, but we believe we made good decisions and sailed a pretty good race. This raced marked yet another success for Jeff, me and the Oakcliff Ker 11.3.
You can also watch a video on the Oakcliff Facebook Page.