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2017 PT start weather and conditions and crossing

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 10:40 am
by SFO Tandem Island
Starting to track and review weather for the Port Townsend start. Once we round Point Willson do we point the bow at Victoria and go? Or stay close to the Peninsula till Dungeness Bay then cross at a more direct angle. Prevailing winds will oppose ebb tide. Then there is the commercial shipping lanes to be crossed. Or do they close the Strait to through traffic to allow us safe passage. :lol:

I have been training here in San Francisco Bay under a variety of conditions but do not know what to expect for the R2AK. Any veterans of the previous races here?

Re: 2017 PT start weather and conditions and crossing

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:56 am
by wdscobie
to start - it depends (you love this answer right? ha ha)

the winds in 2015 and 2016 were very different. 2015 a traditional westerly though it was different from expected in the wind was blowing hard in the morning and lessened during the day. 2016 a southerly that just kinda blew and there were wind 'holes' out in the strait.

in 2015 i sailed with the fleet, not an official participant but an event sponsor, and this was how it worked -

* Race Boss wanted the fleet to sail around Point Wilson and head west along the WA shore. once past Dungeness Spit and nearing Port Angeles turn north direct to Victoria. this was to keep the fleet out of the shipping lanes for longer, and crossing at a 90-deg angle.
* what happened for most of the fleet is rounded Pt. Wilson and sailed direct to Victoria. I didn't tack the entire crossing ... was a WONDERFUL sail.

now the positive to this choice -
* most direct route
* as the wind lessened got across before the tide changed

negative -
* if the wind had been 'normal' could have experienced very nasty condition mid-strait
* takes one across many shipping lanes and non-90-degree angle
* course is across a few well known tide rips (VERY nasty if the wind had built stronger)

my initial 2-cents ... looking forward to reading what others have to write.