20 September 2014

Final Results:
Photos: more photos here

There was a lot at stake for this last Calcup of the 2014 season as Eric Christianson and I were neck and neck for the lead.
I’d had a poor round 1 so I had to do well for the other rounds to overcome the bad start of the season. Race 1 of the last round of the 2014 season did not start all that well for me.
I had an ok start on starboard, heading towards the Berkeley pier.
Soheil was just in front of me and pointing high so I tacked on port before we reached the pier.
That was a reasonable option and put me in a good position relative to the rest of the fleet.
Half way through the beat, I saw Jack Lundquist crossing on starboard just in front of me.
I looked back to check his layline. He was below the top of the pier by quite a bit so I carried on for about half a mile on port.
I tacked on starboard and checked the layline, I was making the top of the pier, slightly over at that point.  As I got closer to the top of the pier, the wind shifted massively to the North. I ended up reaching to the top of the pier for the last half mile.
Jack Lundquist made the most of the shift and squeezed around the top, way ahead of everyone.
The rest of the fleet was not too far in front of me.
I managed to pass most of them except Soheil Zaheidi and Jack Lundquist.
I finished third. I had to improve the keep the Calcup title I thought.
I thought Jack had had an advantage by going North in the first race so I lined up for a port start in the second race.
I made sure I passed behind the starboard starters to play safe and away we were.
This time, I tacked early towards the top of the pier.
For a long time, it was difficult to tell if I was going to make it in one tack or not.
As I got closer to the top of the pier, again the wind shifted to the North and I could make the mark easily, this time in first place. Downwind, I kept watching the gusts as the wind was up and down. In the end, it worked out ok and I stayed ahead of the fleet.
The wind was picking up so I decided to put a bit more downhaul for race 3.
That worked well. It gave me more angle which hadn’t been all that great until then.
I followed the same strategy upwind by going North and the same shift took me to the mark at the top of the pier.
With a third in the first race and two firsts in races 2 and 3, I decided to sail conservatively in race 4.
Jack, Soheil, Eric and Chris all sailed well at one point or another but I figured out I had a reasonable point lead after race 3.
I started race 4 on port as in races 2 & 3, making sure I was passing behind the starboard starters to play safe. I had good speed and the rest of the fleet was a bit behind. Half way through the beat, I saw Eric Christianson tacking early so I tacked too. At that point, I realized I’d overlaid the mark a bit and with the usual northerly shift near the top, my beat was not so tight for the last quarter mile. I had good speed though so that was good enough to squeeze ahead of Eric in first place at the top.
Downwind, the wind felt good to the south so I kept going towards Emeryville.
That tactic turned out ok, I stayed ahead of Eric to win the last Calcup of the season!
The day wouldn’t be complete without a drink at the bar of the Berkeley Yacht Club to recount all the races of the day.
Thank you to the BYC and Mike Percey for organizing such a great series of Calcup again this season.
I hope to see many fellow competitors at the prize giving and for the new season in 2015!