Guest Blog: The MFA Race within the Online Race

June 22, 2020

Gulf Stream position

Scott Guerin/wsguerin filed this update last night on the competition among several Mamaroneck Frostbite Association (MFA) racers, all sailing Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300s in the 2020 Online Newport Bermuda Race.

Day 3 June 21 1700UTC   N2B_MFA report #2

The MFA fleet is roughly in a line 50 nautical miles across, east to west, with newcomer Dino Ness/TroyTempest still getting his sea legs under him watching from 60nm back. Granted he was racing IRL (in real life) yesterday but I heard it was a drifter.

According to the author: “If we all were sailing the course IRL (in real life), we’d be about to cross the Gulf Stream, but here we are just looking at maps.”

The MFA crew is acquitting themselves very well in the fleet of 77 Sun Fast racers—out of the total number of boats listed as entering the race (520) of which it looks to me that 370 are actually paying attention. [Eds note: a number of boats apparently forgot to set a course to start and are still stuck in irons in Newport.]

~1800UTC Standings: (Sun Fast / Fleet)

John Field/Jbafield 16/182 and more in the middle, east to west.

Bill Zobrist/zobiwan 26/219 off the the West in mid front row, Bill’s having the race of his SOL life!

Simon Mahler/sfd in 33/234 also in the West but back a bit

Scott Guerin/wsguerin in 41/248 with a lot of boats around me as an “easterner”…mistakes please!

Dino Ness/TroyTempest in 73/346

The East group has begun their tacks in the midst of a 100° knock. I took mine at 1800UTC and the predictor line looks good to carry me down toward the rhumbline. From there the wind builds and it becomes pretty much a drag race with consistent wind from the Southwest. The TWA and COG isochrones have become very similar which means a steady wind is predicted and I think getting closer to the layline offers a better angle to the next mark. Our Hudson River Community Sailing pal seeUlater uses qyVLM and predicts my best-case arrival is 6/23/20 at 1332UTC, yet being a committed SOP-er I noticed the route looks pretty idealistic!

But things are looking up for the Sun Fast eastern group as the breeze seems to build and hold longer on our side. Of note, a line drawn perpendicular to the rhumbline goes from Sun Fast leader sloanburns (secret agent name?) to my bow with everyone behind that line except a tight group of four, just in front of me, including dtayls, ecesare, hoppy, and knockando60. I think one of those boats will lead the Sun Fasts across the finish line and my bet is on dtayls.

In closing, I offer the following bit of doggerel as has become my newly acquired SOL tradition:

The N2 wasn’t to B

Instead we raced virtually

Deep sleep it was rare

At our screens did we stare

That next wind shift must hold the key.

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