This last weekend I felt like I belonged on the poster above - another lousy day at the races - and for the second time in a row I could not really put my finger on why. I won't even try blaming Karma this time.
On the other hand, I did finish well, so, overlooking the first 90% of the race and 90% of the other boats, I did very well and I guess that is some small consolation. After dropping behind dramatically I did finally catch two boats that were a good 50 meters ahead. First, I gained on a downwind leg by avoiding the straight downwind layline to the mark. I came up onto a broad reach and gained some position with the higher boat speed and then gybed back toward the mark, sailing by the lee. In each case I was sailing a longer distance but gaining well on the boats ahead who were just going straight downwind.
Then, rounding the final mark for a beat to the finish I took a very careful look at the wind on the water. The other boats went off on port tack toward the deeper water where the tide would be against them. I had generally avoided the tide before but I noticed this time that even going toward it would be a mistake since the wind was weaker in that direction. I headed off on starboard and sailed until I overlay the mark just a bit (to compensate for the tide which would still be pushing downwind) and came storming back and finished ahead of both.
So, overall another lousy day, but at least I finished it on an upbeat note.