We had three very hot, sunny days here in Chicago with predictable results for the breeze. Persistent right shifts each day as the thermal tried to fill.
Friday saw 6-10 knots of NNE-ENE breeze. Quick out of the gate, coming off a strong Colors performance, were the quad of Slapshot, Courageous, Blackfin, and Smee Again. Race one saw a classic Fleet 11 “down to the wire” moment with Slapshot going hard course right on the final run then coming in on a starboard-gybe heater.
Bravely (if sadly) sacrificing their hockey stick for the tie/win, Scott and team scooted across the line in a dead heat with Courageous as two 36.7s and five 109s finished within about 10 seconds.
Race two saw Smee and Blackfin duking it out for honors while Callisto, Full Tilt, and Courageous had great tactical racing the whole way around the course.
After day one it was Smee on top with 4 points, chased by Courageous and Slapshot with 6.5 and 7.5 points, respectively.
Saturday brought more solid, thermally-supported breezes out of the NE-E and we got two more races in. Flat water and puffy condition made flat sailing fast (as the North video seminar hammered into us last week). Team Callisto shook off some Covid rust to go 2-1, trading bullets with a blazingly fast Blackfin, 1-3.
At the end of Day 2 it was Callisto on 11 points, Blackfin on 13, and Smee on 15 with Slapshot close behind at 16.5 and Full Tilt lurking at 18.
Sunday was a very odd weather day in Chicago. An overnight northerly was still blowing at 12 knots at 10am from 346 mag. By the time of our start at 11am TWS was down to 8 and TWD had begun its right shift, swinging to 000.
The fleet split soon after the start, with four boats tacking right and four going left. For our part, Callisto tried to hold a center lane before tacking right in anticipation of a continued left shift. Turns out right was the wrong choice!
By the time we hit the windward mark the fleet had seen a dramatic left shift and drop in velocity. Smart positioning in the new breeze lifted three boats way out front. Fleet veteran Pete Priede and Full Tilt made the most of it, grabbing a lead they never let go. Liquid Lounge and Vanda III were right there with them and made the most of it.
With winds drifting in the 4.5 knot range, the White Circle RC pulled the plug and the results were final. Callisto (5-3-2-1-6, 17pts), Full Tilt (6-4-6-2-1, 19pts), and Smee Again (3-1-4-7-4, 19pts) shared the podium for the NOODs.