A strong Northerly will delay high tide at the Severn and will cause a stronger, longer duration ebb. The current may vary significantly over the course. Watch for foam on the water running from the Naval Academy breakwater going southeast . This is a current sheer, and the current on the east side of this line will be stronger. In a Northwesterly during an ebb tide, you must decide if its better to go for stronger wind and more adverse current on the right or less current and less wind on the left. The left tends to have larger, more frequent shifts, especially as you approach Spa Creek. The wind can also get light on the left as you approach the breakwater. Either side could be favored in these conditions. The left can win out when a strong left shift filters down Spa Creek. The right can pay big with more wind and more predictable wind shifts. The key is to watch the water for the puffs. If there is consistent wind on the left, that is the way to go as you approach Spa Creek. This rule applies more at the end of the beat when the Creek is a factor.
What should you wear??
With the air temperatures in the 60’s, water temperature at 51, strong winds and a long day of sailing, I’m inclined to vote for the dry suit over a wet suit on Saturday. The call will probably be the same on Sunday with an early start before things heat up. A wet suit will still work well, but I would wear a spray top to keep the wind off. I don’t think you will need frostbite gloves unless you have poor circulation or get cold easily.
Some good references for the regatta:
Weather Bug Web Cam at USNA that looks out the Severn River to the course.