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On Top With Alchemy

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The 57th annual "Enchilada Derby" was slow for most; even the two largest boats, Magnitude (Andrews 80, canting keel) and Alchemy (Andrews 77, water-ballasted) fought the light air for the final 13 miles. After reviewing the race morning "Commanders" weather report and a special e-mail from our friend Mark Rudiger, it was apparent that we were not in for a record race. They both predicted a light southwesterly sea breeze most of the day with the Sea God's hitting the wind switch to "off" around midnight. The general consensus was to keep pretty much to rhumb line, and guard the inshore.
Friday morning in Newport Harbor was exceptionally beautiful with a balmy 10 knot offshore at Alchemy's masthead. Since this was not predicted, we knew we would have to be flexible in our strategy. On the way to the line, Dick Compton made it very clear that the first, second and third priority was to beat Magnitude over the line. At the start line the wind shifted abruptly to the west with a promising velocity of about 10 knots.
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