Alexandra Cup 2010 Recap

Click Here for Photo Gallery

Jack Cribb Memorial Trophy Series

Winning Crew of Lady Van

The Jack Cribb series was held between Aloha from Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club and Lady Van from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club to determine who had the right to defend the Alexandra Cup on behalf of Canada.

Crew of Aloha

October 9, 2010

After a huge downpour the previous night, racing got started under grey skies, but dry conditions. Race 1 was sailed in with the wind coming from the East at 5-7 kts. In the start sequence, Aloha was assessed a penalty, but was able to draw a foul on Lady Van to even it up before the gun. and sailed over the start line with a distinct advantage with Lady Van in dirty air. Aloha lead by 30 sec at the first mark, but Lady Van picked up 20 sec on the downwind leg. An excellent leeward rounding by Lady Van put her in a bow-out position and she managed to sail under Aloha to gain the advantage and lead by 20 sec at the second windward mark. She did not look back and sailed to a 40 sec win.

Aloha and Lady Van Cross Tacks

The second race saw the wind back to the Northeast and freshen to 7-11 kts. There was a classic dial up with lots of jockeying for position, but no fouls. Lady Van timed the start well keeping Aloha behind and to leeward and lead by 55 sec at the windward mark. Aloha had trouble on their spinnaker hoist and Lady Van stretched the lead to 95 sec at the leeward mark and never looked back winning by a margin of 110 sec.

A rain squall and big shifts were the recipe for the third race with wind varying from Southeast to Northeast and from 7 kts to 13 kts with gusts to 16. The first start was blown off as a big shift occurred late in the starting sequence. In the second start sequence, the boats started aggressively circling at 2 1/2 minutes before the gun, and broke off for the line at 30 sec with Lady Van to windward, but behind Aloha. Aloha was leading on the first beat, but a shift to the north meant she had overstood and allowed Lady Van to close the gap. Lady Van lead by 13 sec at the windward mark with no change at the leeward mark. With winds now lightening to 6-9 kts, Lady Van lead by 40 sec at the second windward mark, with Aloha closing to 22 sec at the lee mark. Further lightening on the last leg proved to Lady Van’s advantage and she ended winning by 55 sec as the wind dropped and heavy rain commenced.

Quote of the Day: “Our extreme pointing mode was working well today and allowed us to get out of trouble on more than one occasion” – Don Martin

Unofficial results from Day 1: Lady Van 3 points; Aloha 0 points

October 10, 2010

Under unexpectedly glorious sunny skies, Lady Van and Aloha took to English Bay today for the fourth race of the Selection Series.

Lady Van Leads to Finish

Weak westerly winds of 6-7 kts were present at the Warning Signal, but there was more than enough wind to pull the large sail areas of these R Boats. Lady Van entered on the port side to meet up with Aloha and both boats jockeyed for position before assuming a classic dialing up for 20 seconds before peeling away. Lady Van signalled for a foul, but was disallowed by the umpires. This left both boats competing to gain the advantage by sailing around the Committee Boat, with Lady Van successfully keeping Aloha away from the starting line. Lady Van broke for the line slightly early allowing Aloha to take the windward position at the start, but slightly behind. Lady Van’s high point mode forced Aloha to tack away for a short hitch, and then both boats headed for the favourable currents and shifts on the left side toward the Jericho breakwater, with Lady Van working hard to keep Aloha under control. With a couple of tacks on the shifts along the shore, Lady Van found the layline and rounded 40 seconds ahead of Aloha. With the wind easing to 4-5 kts, Aloha managed to keep pace on the downwind leg, and with an excellent rounding of the lee mark closed the gap on Lady Van as they both again drove to the left side of the course and taking a couple of short tacks against the breakwater. Problems with a jib lead on one of Aloha’s tacks gave Lady Van the tactical advantage and she kept Aloha in her lee all the way to the second windward mark, rounding 100 seconds ahead. Again with good downwind speed, Aloha closed the gap to 40 seconds at the second lee mark. But with Lady Van in a controlling position going upwind, there were no opportunities for Aloha to gain and Lady Van lead by 98 seconds at the windward mark and kept that lead to the finish.

Jean Black Presents the Jack Cribb Trophy to Don Martin

By winning the fourth race, Lady Van took an insurmountable lead for series and the boats headed for home. Jean Black, daughter of Jack Cribb – the famous skipper of Lady Van who beat Sir Tom for Lipton Cup in 1929, was on hand to present the Jack Cribb MemorialTrophy to Don Martin, skipper and leader of the Lady Van team.

Unofficial results: Lady Van 5 points; Aloha 0 points

Alexandra Cup

After beating Aloha for the right to defend the Alexandra Cup, Lady Van moves on to tackle the American entry, Pirate representing the venerable Seattle Yacht Club, for Mr. Dunsmuir’s cup.

October 14, 2010

Day 1 of the Alexandra Cup finals were held under the postponement Code Flag AP – no racing today. With a low pressure zone parked over English Bay bringing drizzle and no wind, no races were held today.

October 15, 2010

Crew of Pirate

Day 2 saw clear, sunny skies and the promise of westerly winds. While they did not fill in as much as hoped, the Race Committee managed to hold 4 races with winds varying from 4 to 10 kts.

Race 1 started in winds of 10 kts at the warning signal. At 4 minutes before the Start, Pirate entered from Starboard side 10 sec ahead of Lady Van and immediately steered downwind away from Lady Van declining engagement. With both boats running downwind on port tack, a timed start was in order (the “Vanderbuilt” start) with Lady Van keeping between Pirate and the Start Line. With 2 minutes to go, Lady Van gybed around to starboard and was first to headfor the start line. But she moved a little early reaching the start line before the gun allowing Pirate to start on time and ahead. Lady Van came back to dip the line and take after Pirate. In lighter airs, it was clear that Lady Van could out-point Pirate (sail closer to the wind) and half way up the first beat had managed to pull ahead as both boats stayed in the wind and out of the current on the south side of the Bay. As the wind faded further up the course, Lady Van never looked back as she lead by 3 minutes at the first windward mark. Pirate closed the gap to 1:43 at the second windward mark by sailing in more pressure on the downwind leg. Lady Van opened up the lead again on the second lap and lead the rest of the way, winning the race by 1:36.

Close Quarters

Race 2  was started in 7 kts of wind and again Pirate, this time entering on the port side, was first into the box. She again sailed straight downwind declining an engagement with Lady Van. Lady Van followed for 2 minutes, again keeping between Pirate and the Start line. Again, Lady Van turned first back to the start line close reaching on starboard tack, but timed it much better having a clean start going faster and higher than Pirate. Pirate had to tack onto port to clear the pin and started :30 behind Lady Van. The race was much closer as Pirate held her own with Lady Van leading by the same :30 at the first mark, :35 at the second mark and :38 at the second windward mark. As the wind faded a bit, it held for Lady Van a little longer and she lead by :44 at the second lee mark before opening up a bit and winning by 1:09.

The Race 3 attention signal saw winds building to 11 kts and strong across English Bay. Pirate, back onto the starboard side for the start, entered first again and moved into a dial position with Lady Van in a close engagement more traditional to match racing. Pirate then peeled away to port and reach across the bow of the committee boat hotly pursued by Lady Van. With 2 minutes to go, Pirate moved first to the start line with Lady Van behind and to leeward. Lady Van managed to get an overlap to leeward and used her luffing rights to slow Pirate down. Lady Van then pulled ahead and used her “extreme pointing” mode to move to weather of Pirate and cross the Start line with a :15 advantage. By keeping Pirate in her dirty air as both boats fought along the south shore to stay out of the flood tide, Lady Van picked up a lift on her move the mark and lead by :47. As the wind again lightened, affecting Pirate first Lady Van stretched her lead to 1:51 at the lee mark. Lady Van then never gave Pirate a chance to get back into the race by covering her tack for tack for the rest of the race and won by over 3 minutes.

With the sun getting lower, but the wind holding in at a very steady 6 kts, it was decided to hold Race 4 with shorter legs. Pirate was back on the port side of the course and again entered the box before Lady Van. Lady Van on starboard headed straight for Pirate to attempt to get a port/starboard foul, but Pirate turned away to the south side of the box and ran downwind with Lady Van following. Pirate headed on beam reach toward the north side and Lady Van gybed to follow. Both boats sailed on a beam reach over the north side of the box behind the Committee Boat with Lady Van again keeping between Pirate and the start line. As Lady Van approached Pirate, Pirate had a leeward overlap and luffing rights but allowed Lady Van to sail over top into Pirate’s wind. 45 seconds before the start, Pirate gybed around to starboard and headed for the line. However, this maneuver allowed Lady Van to tack onto starboard and gain 2 boat lengths to windward and stay ahead of Pirate. Pirate had to tack onto port to make the pin and Lady Van crossed ahead by 15 sec and immediately tacked onto port to staying in Pirate’s air. Pirate footed off to stay clear, but gave up precious windward gauge and the advantage to Lady Van. Part way up the leg, Lady Van got out of phase with Pirate and gave her an opportunity to sail in clear air and gain back some of the lost ground. But Lady Van lead by 1:10 at the windward mark. On the second lap to windward, Pirate took a flyer and went to the north corner of the course. This tactic rarely pays in English Bay and this was no exception. Lady Van lead by 3:40 at the second windward mark and went on to win handily.

Pirate and Lady Van Fight for Position

At the end of Day 2 with four races complete, the unofficial results stand at Lady Van: 5; Pirate: 0.


October 16, 2010

Day 3 of Alexandra Cup competition started with a whimper. While the sunny skies were welcome, the lack of wind was a concern. After an hour delay ashore, the breeze finally started around 11:10 and filled in to 9 kts by the time the first race underway was underway at 12:30. With a 5 point lead going into Day 3, clearly Don Martin and the Lady Van was going to be careful and not let events overtake them.

Race 5 had Lady Van entering on port tack on the south side of the course at the same time as Pirate coming in on starboard on the Committee Boat end. Pirate immediately headed downwind about 5 boat lengths with Lady Van chasing. Pirate then turned to the right and gybed onto starboard, allowing Lady Van to take a position between Pirate and the start line. Lady Van then circled behing Pirate trying to get a leeward overlap, but Pirate circled again to prevent this. At 1:00 before the start  Pirate did a final gybe onto starboard and headed for the line. This allowed Lady Van to tack onto starboard and have the windward gauge as both boats leaded for the starting line. A small shift to the north helped Lady Van make the line, while Pirate had to shoot into the wind to make the pin and avoid having to tack. This left Lady Van ahead by 15 sec crossing the line and 2 lengths to windward. Both boats proceeded on starboard tack to get relief from flood current on the south shore with Lady Van pointing higher and keeping Pirate in trouble. Lady Van tacked on the shoreline and was lifted all the way to the weather mark easily leading Pirate to had to make 2 more tacks. Lady Van lead by 1:01 at the weather mark and Pirate closed to 0:52 at the lee end. Lady Van then stretched out her lead and won the 3 loop race by 1:50 and gained a further 2 points.

Racing to the Skyline

Race 6 saw the breeze 7 kts. Lady Van had the advantage of starboard entry and immediately attacked Pirate. It was obvious Pirate was going to decline the encounter and Lady Van passed Pirate to the windward side as Pirate repeated the tactics of previous races by driving downwind on port gybe allowing Lady Van to follow on her transom. Pirate started circling to the right to shake off Lady Van, but she matched Pirate tack for tack, gybe for gybe. After 5 circles with Pirate not allowing Lady Van to gain a lee overlap, Pirate led to the starting line with 1 minute to the start, but was obviously too early and bore away at the pin rather than crossing the starting line. Lady Van was also early and was over the starting line at the gun. Lady Van quickly turned back and recrossed the line on port tack. Pirate had also tacked onto port and crossed the line, but a little slower than Lady Van and therefore behind. Pirate tacked onto starboard, but Lady Van quickly followed suit and got into Pirate’s wind. Lady Van lead to the south shore in a repeat of the previous race and lead to the windward mark by 0:52 and more less maintained that lead the rest of the race.

Lady Van crossed the finish 1:25 ahead of Pirate to take 2 more points and an insurmountable lead, allowing her to claim the Alexandra Cup in a successful defense.

Unofficial results: Lady Van 9; Pirate 0