Light west wind 12-16k with strong flood tide in first race, by 4th race, things heated up to 18-22 and a big ebb. Lots of traffic in the middle of the bay, with fishermen, ferries, and recreational lollygaggers to look out for.
The biggest lesson of the day is something I have learned before and will continue to learn: clear air is king. I got off the line one race buried and ate it the whole upwind. The other big lesson, I learned with to get out early and check the conditions. I was the first one our and began to realize the right side had more wind and better current. After the first race, we came in and switched down to 10.0s and the right side was beginning to ebb already. I started off on a 11.0 with 68 cm fin- just right up wind but by the second lap, I was noticing it a little dragon the downwind. I was 4th at the bottom mark but failed to cover the boats behind me who tacked early. I knew that the boats leading the other to the right side would be ones that would fare well. If you didn't lay the windward mark on the starboard layline, you really sailed a lot of extra distance with the flood up top. 2 times, I was able to pick a board or 2 off by doing this. Marks were rounded to starboard, so while coming in hot on the 3rd race on the starboard layline, I approached Percy who was just laying the mark on port. We crossed just in front of the r2 marker and when he ducked me, I thought he was going right into the mark. Luckily he missed it by inches and we fought it out downwind. I was going deeper but didn't feel my speed was the best/ In the first race, I was in the outside strap, making lots of progress off wind, then as it got windier, I came inside to the chicken strap. Mike Z and Steve have the best angle and speed in the fleet. I lined up against them in the 2nd start and they really got alot of distance on me. Again, get clear air and you will do well.
With the 10.0 up and a 64 cm fin, I felt dialed in and finally got a decent start on the 4th race, starting on port and leading the fleet to the right side. I rounded in 3rd and kept my position behind Steve and Percy. Overall, still need to be a bit more consistent. My finishes were all over the place with a 3, 5,5,6- making it a 5th place for the day. Good practice!