Derivate (J/125, Mark Surber) Daily Report

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 1300

It's 12:55 PST on Wednesday. Just officially passed 5 days of racing. Looking downwind at the finish, 5 miles away. Unfortunately, our sistership again snuck past us during the night and looks to cross the finish line just ahead (amazing how we watch her all night, then lose sight, then she pops up just in front, plain as day). A bummer to say the least, but to be within 4 miles of your competition after 1000 miles of racing is pretty cool. I calculate we had 6 or 7 lead changes just in the last 2 days. Good times.

Today is hot. I guess we officially arrived in the tropics. Can't wait to hit the water... probably half a boat length after the finish!

Next up is MEXORC. This series of 3 coastal races and 4 buoy races starts Saturday. A few days off to fix broken items, re-introduce ourselves to social environments and explore local flavors (buckets for me, please). Should be fun!

On a side note, other than the 10+ squid that ended up on the deck last night (the one that landed on Ian's hand and wouldn't let go was my favorite), and personally getting hit by a flying fish (not sure who was more surprised, but both of us were happy to get 'em back in the ocean), was the Boobie bird standing on the back of a swimming sea turtle. Ian was going to don his penguin hat and do the same, but in the end thought the turle may bite. Strange the reasons we don't think things are good ideas.

Again, great thanks to everyone involved. Can't wait to do the next event!

Monday, March 5, 2018, 1620

Here I sat, tired and dirty, hoping like hell that we didn't screw the pooch - but then...

Touching back on yesterday, very fast, very wet, very good. Still in first! As mentioned the Saturday night Cedros "corner cut" paid big time and set us up for an epic day of planing in close quarters with Timeshaver. Before getting to that... Fun breeze (mostly 18-22 kts, with a few 25 knot puffs late in the evening). While our goal is to always stay straight and maintain solid average speeds and prolong wave rides, the occasional (ahem, Pike) stray occurs and large speeds are reached. Pike was the day's master with 23 knots, I was in a solid 5th with a few 21s. Other than that, lots of 20s and sustained 18-19 knot runs each a minute or so at a shot. Great surf, right direction, crap-load of water (a little down below... maybe all of it), and fun breeze. Good times! Oh! I failed to mention the huge moon! Wow! Doing 20 knots while surfing across moon sparkled ocean is spectacular. It's why we do these events!

Back to the point, Timeshaver did a great job reeling us in, and after several hours of hauling ass and a few jibes, we were able to pull back away. We ultimately separated about 1 this AM (they stayed on an in-shore path, we headed out). Fun playing with you guys!

In the middle of this goings-on, Ian made another stellar meal. Jambalaya, and jumbalaya. As this was a pot full of food and paper bowls, and flat out blasting off waves, there was zero need for sides. Only time for a quick shovel. Another solid effort!

So what has happened since then? As mentioned, we split with Timeshaver. All our forecast models said light inside today and that we need to go wide and far past Cabo to miss the huge wind shadow.  All according to plan until today's new weather arrived... a bit late as we had already made our bed. That said, while we had zero second guessing (OK. Maybe a little), it was entirely satisfying to just now have Rio100 go blasting by a quarter mile to weather. If they're doing what we are doing, my confidence just went way up. Hope we aren't both idiots. Tomorrow will tell the story. Did our competition, who appear to be heading for a tight turn at Cabo do better? Or did our path, much longer sail, much further South, pay. We will know at roll-call. Please send us good vibes! 

Sunday, March 4, 2018, 1300

Day 2 (or is it 3?)...Mostly sunny, 18-22 kts wind good rollers and back sitting in first.  Good times, but still a long way to go!

As hoped last night, the inshore passage at Turtle Bay paid off and we gained massively, retaking first from our sistership and catching the quicker boats ahead. Good routing was part to blame, having solid breeze and waves always helps! Lots of high teen boat speeds and many 20s. Boats a washing machine, but no one gives a crap when we're ripping! Yee haw!

Next tactical decision is Mag Bay. That ETA is about 1 AM tonight. That said, we are a little perplexed where our competition is as their YB Tracking system is apparently on the fritz. Suuure it is. That said, we snuck a  private antennae on their mast before leaving the dock and the jokes on them! (OK. Just kidding...) While we are on a long distance race, this is still buoy racing. Know where your competition is, stay in the pressure and stay between your competition and the finish. I think we knowly clearly how to do two of three, but will for now keep it a secret which we are less confident. Time will again tell.

Dinner: Ian is currently icing his elbow on dinner. Not sure what it is what it is thawing quicker with his generosity. He's OK, but I think the wait to beer-thirty at the finish got a little more real.

Thanks again to all for your support and keeping tags on us. Just hit another 21 kts boat speed. Hard to type on spin cycle... Gotta run and get me some of that!

Friday, March 3, 2018, 1330

Here we are on a beautiful day, 70 degrees, sun, blue water and winds slowly going right to a Westerly... not always this nice, so pretty happy here!

Friday's start was typical Scott... aggressive and leading out. Four boats in our class (Timeshaver, our J/125 sistership; Fast Exit, a beautifully e-done Andrews 40; and Fractions a turbo 1D35), all got away clean and picked our way out the harbor towards the Coronado Islands. We and Fast Exit took the highest line with the others a bit lower. We were the first to reach the islands and elected to go between North and Middle Coronado Island. Fast Exit and TS to the left of Middle Island. They snuck through nicely and came out abeam and to leaward. As the inshore route was forecast to be light, we and Fast Exit stuck to our plan of getting ~20-25 miles West of Todos Santos. Timeshaver went a bit lower and in the end paid off as they came out ahead of us this AM. They are currently off our Starboard bow and offshore from us (probably 6-8 miles closer to the finish). We are positioning ourselves to line up close to Cedros to cut distance off the easterly turn and perhaps gain a few back. Long ways to go. We shall see...

Everyone is doing well, well-fed (beef burgundy for last night dinner, fresh roll and frozen chocolate truffles for dessert. Today's breakfast was chorizo, egg and cheese burritos. Tonight's menu includes cage-free pork and wild rice with devils glazed chocolate brownie surprise. Not bad for a one-pot stove (thanks to Ian and Rob for putting these meals together!).

Everyone says hi and is setting up for another long-night battle. Hopefully no more rain!

Mark, Jeff, Ian, Scott, Pike, Rob