What A Difference A Day Makes!
Having won the Jack Cribb Series, Lady Van will defend the Alexandra Cup for RVYC and Canada against Ace representing St. Francis YC and the United States. Sailing Lady Van are Don Martin (skipper), Steve White, Barry Van Leeuwen, Andrew Costa and Rich Ballantyne. The Ace crew for the finals consists of Bob Cadranell (skipper), Russ Silvestri, Jim Cadranell, Tom Ducharme and John Collins.
While the Jack Cribb Series ended without wind, Day 1 of the Alexandra Cup Finals was a gear buster which tested the upper wind limit specified in the Sailing Instructions. While the heavy West Coast winter rain cooled the temperature, the winds in the 15-17 knot range kept both crews working hard enough to stay plenty warm.
Crews for the Alexandra Cup Finals
Race 1 – In heavy winds both boats had to work hard to find their groove. While Lady Van had the maneuverability to get an advantage on Ace, Ace had speed to get away. Lady Van started Race 1 ahead in the middle of the line, while Ace started to windward and 2 lengths behind. But the heavy winds brought Ace’s waterline advantage to the front and she outpaced Lady Van to the windward mark. Both boats struggled to get their masts under control at the rounding, with Lady Van suffering a slip of the running backstay and the mast swung well over the front of the boat and Ace breaking her permanent backstay. Back under control, both boats went around the course two times with Ace in the lead. At the second Leeward mark rounding, Ace went to the Finish not realizing the course was three times around. Lady Van kept her intentions well disguised and finally rounded the mark (and the Committee Boat to make sure of the course) and then completed the last leg with Ace watching.
Race 2 – There was lots of prestart maneuvering with Lady Van managing to get a Leeward overlap. The protest flag for a first incident where Lady Van felt that Ace was not responding as the burdened boat was missed by the Umpires. A second incident yielded a penalty on Ace. However, Ace’s stern wave managed to suck Lady Van’s bow in and there was a minor collision. The Umpires ruled that Lady Van was at fault the resultant penalty cancelled the one given to Ace. Lady Van again got a better start, but was run down by Ace and she lead to the Finish, this time making no mistake about the course.
Race 3 – During the prestart Lady Van had the port side, but got onto starboard and gain the advantage. As the boats crossed each other just before the start, Lady Van, on starboard tack, felt that Ace had crossed too close and bore away to avoid contact; and pulled the protest flag. The judges felt that Lady Van was not justified in her claim and did not award a penalty. Lady Van again had a good start, but Ace again pulled ahead. At the second windward mark rounding Lady Van mismanaged the spinnaker hoist and drove through the spinnaker. Unable to retrieve it quickly, she retired well behind Ace.
Results: Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Points After 3 Races
Lady Van 1 0 0 1
Ace 0 1 1 2