HOW TO WIN THE CROCKER CUP
I have done the Crocker Cup about 8 times and I have won it 6 times including last year. This was also on 6 different boats. I really like pursuit races and the Crocker is a good example of a pursuit race. The race is very well attended with often over 60 boats.
There are 3 potential weather/wind conditions, however the highest probability is the sea breeze. Breeze umber 3 on my list.
The course is either 12 or 17 miles depending on the wind. They are using the 12 mile course more now to get boats in sooner. There are about 3 miles up wind and the rest reaching and running.
Wind condition number one is the northeast wind. This is a bad weather wind with very lumpy seas and often high winds.
Luckily in mid July we do not see this much. This course would be Gloucester bell to Newcombs bell back home to Gales ledge nun. First leg is key. You want to stay close to the shore to get the least wave height. Smoother water makes for faster sailing. Also it will give you a left hand shift lifting you toward the mark. The other 2 legs are just a drag race.
Wind condition number 2 is the northwesterly which follows bad weather. This breeze is very gusty and sometimes will fight the sea breeze. The closer you are to shore the more breeze you will get. After you go around Gloucester watch for the sea breeze to try and fill in as you go off shore. Leg one a broad reach with big shifts. Leg 2, a beam reach. Leg 3, up wind to the finish.
The 3rd wind condition is the filling sea breeze. Typical July Mass bay weather, therefore the most common breeze. Morning starts with a light northwesterly. This direction is not from a back side front, as in wind condition number 2. The smallest boats will often start in this light breeze only to stop in a short distance as it dies. Around 11: 45 the sea breeze from the southeast will begin to fill in. The first mark Newcombs is now up wind. Start on starboard and stay on starboard. Try to maintain clear air. Most boats will try to point high so you don't go over them. Put your bow down and go under them. Starboard will take you offshore as quickly as possible. The more you get offshore the better the velocity. As the sea breeze fills it will shift to the left and head you. Do not tack on these shifts. After about 1.5 miles of starboard, tack to port. You may get lifted more toward the mark which is now very good. Make sure you always have a good lane. You will be well short of layline so if you need a clearing tack it is ok. You can now get slightly to the right of the mark and tack on the starboard layline. By now you might even get a shift to the right which will make you look like a hero.
Leg 2, don't set right away. Sail high of layline for about 1/4 mile. This will give you a passing lane and also make setting the chute less hectic. Tight spin reach. Just before you get to the mark you will get lifted and easily make it with the chute.
Leg 3, take chute down and sail high of course to get back offshore. After about 1/2 mile reset and sail for finish. You might get lifted near finish but jibe if you have to.
You will finish very well. You can thank me for your trophy.
The party at the Manchester Yacht Club is very good. A beautiful location.
Please mail comments to me at Bump@newwaveyachts.com