Steve Cain, owner and skipper of the Beneteau 36.7 SHOOTING STAR,
writes about winning Division 7 in the 2011 Around Long Island Race. This is a 190-mile race that is a near circumnavigation of New York’s Long Island. The race starts off the southwest corner of Brooklyn and finishes at the northwest corner of the Island off Sea Cliff Yacht Club. SHOOTING STAR beat the second place boat, another Beneteau 36.7 by over 45 minutes:
“The key to success in any distance race, besides the obvious -- work hard, never stop trimming, put yourself in the right place on the course keeping tidal current and weather conditions, both in the present and projected over the duration of the race, at the front of your strategic thinking -- is to have an arsenal of sails that allows you to take advantage of every wind angle.
“SHOOTING STAR's distance racing success over the past few years has been in direct relation to our development of asymmetrical spinnakers that we fly on a traditional spinnaker pole. For this race, the predicted southerly built up and held almost from start to finish --our brand new A3 reacher, with its fine entry, full shape and easy trimability allowed us to go pole forward, almost into Code Zero territory, when the wind cycled hard to the south, and we were able to square the pole back and ease when it moved 20 degrees or so back to the west without losing boatspeed. Our main competitor within our division had a brand new giant masthead asymmetrical spinnaker on a sprit, but they were unable to hold the tight angle when the wind cycled forward and had to sail much deeper than us and put themselves into a more downwind situation and were unable to take advantage of the hotter sailing angles that we could.
“It was a fairly simple race, flew the A3 to Montauk, peeled to a symmetrical spinnaker to work downwind around the eastern end of Long Island,and then back to the A3 and then the genoas for the rest of the race down Long Island Sound. We never had to tack until just before the finish; instead, we just kept changing jibs and reefing in response to the variations in wind speed.
“Our UK Sailmakers Tape-Drive offshore main is easy to reef, holds its powerful shape in the lighter air and can be flattened well for heavy air. The race was wonderfully consistent and fast -- that's how they hook you to come back for more!”
Shooting Star crew left to right: UK Sailmakers's Jeff Tyrrel, Chris Bingo,
Carl Silbergleit, Steve Cain (owner), Dan Watt, Will Pritz,
Steve Pritz, missing Wes Bemus, Mike Colucci.