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A Bomb Lands in Mexico!

The race in Pcola bay was downwind against an incoming tide in 2-10 knots of breeze. The start was very slow. We passed Decision about 20 minutes into the race as they sailed into a hole and we carried more breeze .5 mile to weather of them. We were in first for a solid minute. Awesome! The key to the bay exit was staying in shallow water along the north side of the barrier island. We left the bay with a .25 mile lead on Kativa which was a huge victory for us.

The remainder of the day was light air upwind work which we oddly excelled in. The sun set and we were maybe 2-4 miles behind Kativa and My Sharona. Decision was already gone over the horizon. The first night saw a 360 degree gradual wind change. 3 kite peels and a lot of ballast/boat trim mods and when the sun came up we were 1 mile behind My Sharona. Another victory! Sadly, as the sun rose the wind shifted to 10-15 from SE. My Sharona marched over the horizon to a 50 mile lead and we couldn’t do a thing about it. We continued to work east whenever possible and just worked the boat. Our one gear malfunction, an inability to reef due to bolt rope problems, really hurt us on day 2-3. We were probably .25 to .50 knots off polars due to our mainsail problem.

Day 3 saw a small front role through. We saw 35 on the anometer. Sailed with jib only for 3 hours since one or two reefs resulted in the bolt rope pullig out everytime. Ouch…

Night of day 3 and day four were in the loop current. We saw 4 knots of favorible current. 10 knots sog with the jib up. Launching over waves! Constantly taking water over the bow. We had to sponge the bilge dry every 30 minutes.

Day 4 and 5 were a straight line into isla. We wanted to minimize distance sailed at that point. We had the A3 and A5 up in some of the light stuff when the sun set on day 4. That night was amazing. We spent 12 hours with the A2 jib and full main doing 9-12 knots through the water. The squalls worked out well for us that night. Crossing a warm current always leads to squalls and you really need a lot of luck to not become becalmed. We rode the edge of several clouds and never lost our breeze.

Day 5 and as the sun rose we saw My Sharona to our SE and the race was on. They had a better angle to the finish but we had a shorter dtf. We carried the A5 as long as possible as the wind swung forward with sunrise and quickly went to the jib as it continued to pull forward. My Sharona was flying with there mast head zero. But, we crossed the finish 7 minutes ahead of the J-111!!

The trip was great fun. I owe so much to everyone who helped me prep for the race. My crew was awesome. Kate Buras was the glue that kept us together. She drove 50% of the race and cooked! Amazing. Joey Stokes was there for that horrible 3am shift everytime and Bo was there to fill in with whatever was needed.

Having a great time is Isla. Sailing solo back on Friday. See everyone in NOLA when I get back.


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