WHEN 'SCEPTRE' GOT HER BIG WIND

An analysis by ARTHUR KNAPP JR., skipper of "Weatherly," with race diagrams by Allen Beechel
October 05, 1958

FIRST LEG
1-Third race was decisive: for first time Columbia raced Sceptre in 20-mphwinds for which Sceptre was designed—twice around windward-leeward course(rhumb line) running SW by W ¼ W. Two minutes before the 12:10 p.m. start, wind(black arrow) was 23 knots SW by W ¾ W and both boats (1) had rounded up tostarboard reach. Columbia (red line), three boat lengths to leeward and a boatlength ahead, went for the line (2) and Sceptre came charging over to coverher. Boats ran across line abeam with Sceptre to windward but Columbia soonpowered ahead and at the end of three minutes was giving Sceptre backwind.Sceptre at 12:13 went on port tack and Columbia (3) immediately covered. At12:16 Sceptre (4) went to starboard tack, crossing two lengths astern ofColumbia.

SECOND LEG

2-Tacking duelensued just after Sceptre (4) crossed Columbia's stern. In trying to forceColumbia into sail-handling error, Sceptre tacked at 12:17 and 12:18, forcingColumbia to cover, but when Sceptre tacked at 12:19, Columbia held courseacross rhumb line, where she finally covered at 12:21 by going to port tack.Sceptre split and Columbia crossed her bow three boat lengths ahead (5),pointing higher, going faster.

3-Splitting tacks,Sceptre now hoped to pick up wind shift favorable to her and thus unfavorableto Columbia on other tack. After crossing Sceptre bow (5), Columbia covered at12:23, tacking for the sixth time, and Sceptre tacked away for the seventhtime, Columbia waited until 12:26 to cover, Sceptre split and Columbia crossedSceptre's bow (6) five boat lengths ahead, pulling away.

4-Halfway to markColumbia got benefit of freshening wind first, lengthened lead so that shecrossed Sceptre 10 boat lengths ahead (7), and then when she tacked for the11th time she crossed Sceptre 15 boat lengths ahead (8). Right after Sceptre(9) had made her 14th tack, Columbia (10) made her 14th tack and rounded themark (11) at 1:09:28. Sceptre rounded 2 minutes 23 seconds behind.

THIRD LEG

5-Around markfirst, Columbia (12) got wind shift 5° south, so was able to leave her boom toport, hoist red-top Hood spinnaker (Big Harry) and run down to second mark onstarboard jibe. After rounding, Sceptre jibed, hoisted her red, white and blueHerbul√¥t and worked out to the west slightly (13). Sceptre jibed back (14),headed for mark at 1:26, holding even with Columbia, one-third mile ahead.

6-Nearing secondmark, Columbia, to avoid any complications in rounding, took down her spinnakerat 1:42 (16), set her "genny," jibed main and was ready to swing up.Sceptre (17) doused spinnaker even earlier, was taking it down at 1:44.Columbia passed mark at 1:45:27 and Sceptre swung around two minutes and 29seconds later, having lost six seconds on leg.

FOURTH LEG

7-Heading up onthird leg, both boats ran on port tack (1). Sceptre split at 1:51 (2) andColumbia immediately covered. Columbia covered again when Sceptre split toport. When Sceptre went to starboard tack at 2:00 she crossed (3) half a mileastern of Columbia, who was standing up better to the wind (now blowing at wellover 26 knots) than Sceptre and pulling away. When Columbia crossed Sceptreagain (4), she was getting an unfavorable shift to south and so tacked and gota lift which further increased her lead. Sceptre, getting ready to come aboutat 2:32 (5), was almost a mile behind Columbia (6).

8-Laying thirdmark, Columbia gave herself good margin for leeway. Sceptre came about lower(7), attempting to squeeze it, but hit unfavorable shift and had to come aboutagain before getting in position (8) to lay mark. Columbia luffed by (9) at2:43:23, and Sceptre rounded at 2:51:07.

9-Heading down tofinish after she rounded mark (10), Columbia had wind shift to south, couldhoist Big Harry and hold rhumb line without jibing. After rounding, Sceptrejibed, put up red, white and blue Herbulôt and worked toward west (11), lookingfor westerly, exactly as she had on her first downwind leg. She jibed backagain (12) at 2:55 to head for finish. By this time Columbia was a mile ahead,and her spinnaker, though smaller, was pulling well enough to drag her another36 seconds ahead by the time she finished race at 3:09:07. Sceptre finished herrace at 3:17:27, thoroughly beaten.

DIAGRAMALLEN BEECHELSTART
RHUMB LINE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12:10
SW X W ¾ W
DIAGRAMALLEN BEECHELRHUMB LINE
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
1:10
SW X W ¼ W
DIAGRAMALLEN BEECHELRHUMB LINE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1:46
SW X W ¼ W
2:16
SW ¾ W
2:41
SW X W ¼ W
DIAGRAMALLEN BEECHELFINISH
RHUMB LINE
10
11
12
13
14
15
2:44
SW ¾ W

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)