Saturday, October 01, 2005

Include in the How Not To File

Great action sequence of a boat capsizing in the San Francisco Bay under the bridge. I'm thinking this is not a great place to be sailing. Check out the waves swamping the boat! The sequence is about 118 shots in total. The page should load into a slide show.

Looks like all managed to survive. Think the mast and sails are toast!

Understanding Wind Patterns

Understanding the wind and how the geography of a sailing area is affected by or affects the wind is one of the most valuable tools a racer can have. This site shows the effects of wind over the geography of San Fran Bay area. The topology is displayed so you can get a feel for how the wind reacts and interacts with the land.

A Different Perspective

There are very few sites that I can find online that contain detailed information about a boats race. The site is one of the better detailed sites that I have seen. Adding this one to my daily reading. I find that reading race notes from someone is very helpful. You get a different perspective on strategies and an insight into how they think tactically.

Great site worth a read....and I am working on those flash animations. They will be coming shortly.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Last Race Weather Check

Wunderground forecasts:

South winds 10 knots or less becoming east. Waves 1 foot or less.

Weather Network forecasts:
SE 5 km/h winds 0% P.O.P

The satellite shows no major cloud cover coming this way yet. Thinking that in light of the last two rig tuning disasters I will average the weather forecasts for the day and plan on tuning to that and double check when in the channel out to the basin.

Hopefully the race on Sunday will be a good one to finish off the season. I hope everyone aboard enjoys themselves despite what happens in the race.

Visiting Davys' Locker

Always on the constant search for information related to racing, and the J/24. I came across this link and decided it was worth a good read. I had heard about the problems with the lazarette's (aft lockers on the topside deck), being unsecured and opening during a broach and sinking the J/24. The accounts and interviews with the owner/skipper here really make you aware of just how freak storms or wind gusts can broach a boat quickly and lead to a visit to Davy Jones Locker.

These are some action pics of the unthinkable for the boat "Quicksilver".

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stay Tuned

I've been working for the last little while on creating a flash base for animations so I can visually display tactical approaches and demonstrate some of the things that I have been reading and brushing up on. I will try to post as often as I can.

Once the animation base is complete posts will be quicker. I think the way I will approach the next phase of the blog is to start focusing on one starts, or mark roundings and dedicate a number of posts and animations to that specific topic.

To start organizing the archives I will add the flash animation files to the sidebar under topic headings.

Hope you will enjoy and learn from them as much as I will. Stay tuned and thanks for reading the blog!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rules as Tools

Using the rules of racing to your advantage is a great tactical edge. There are situations you will encounter or opportunities that will begin to form on the course as the race progresses that you can take advantage of or defend against if you know what you can and can't do. At first you need to be aware of the basic rules. You don't need to know to be a lawyer on the water but know enough to help you in key situations such as mark roundings and start and finish lines. Knowing when to use the leeward boat rule pays off...particularly near a mark or at the finish line when it can make the difference between you or your competitor crossing the line first.

I have been preparing for my winter hibernation away from the boat and pulled out the posey yacht tactics simulator. I was leading the pack to the finish line when a competitor used the leeward boat rule and forced me to tack. I ended up 6th instead of 1st.

There are a few basic rules that will help defend and strengthen tactics your tactics. The most basic rule of navigation "the starboard tack right of way" rule can play to your advantage if used in a tactical situation.

Try to look at the rules not as rules but as tools to form strategies with. Check out posey yachts simulators as well. The demo versions are free and fully functional (except they time out after awhile) I have other simulators on the sidebar (that also have free demo versions). Virtual Sailor is one of my favourites realistic sail and racing simulators.

Look for the link to the rules pdf for 2005 -2008 in the sidebar as well.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Now This is Racing!

Found this clip on a site called "The Wetass Chronicles". It is for the BT Global Challenge. It is a must see! And you will understand why it was posted! Enough it!

Winter is Close at Hand

Fall is definitely in the air today and thought how close it is to haul out. Looking around for some ways to satisfy my racing cravings through the winter months. Came across this site The Daily Sail. Some fantastic pictures and great articles...not to mention lots of links to great gear and gadgets. This is a definite read when the snow starts falling.

Sacrifice to the Wind gods

Just stepped outside and noticed that the wind was howling by, trees were bending! Checked the local conditions and the wind is at 15.1 kts. One day too late! Need to get in touch with the wind gods...they need to update the calendar to include Sundays...seems as though they went from Saturday to Monday. Perhaps a small sacrifice is in order?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Surprise, Surprise.

Forecast can often be wrong. Today was a perfect example...again. Winds were forecasted 15-20 knots. When I took my first outside weather check before heading down to the boat there were very light winds and haze or fog; A definite indication of no wind movement.

I had undertuned the rig in the last race and was determined not to undertune this time. So given the indicated 20 kt winds I maxed out the tension. What I thought would be building winds over the course of the day turned out to be dying winds. Halfway through the first downwind leg the wind dropped off completely.

The overall race was good, except for a few surprises along the way. The first surprise was the wind, the second came at the start. The fleet was unusually thin today and the Race Committee condensed the 3rd and 4th divisions together. I am not sure how the RC communicated to the fleet that the divisions were condensed. It could have been the VHF but we did not have any relevant chatter on the radio prior to the race. I have some emails out to confirm the process and see it does not catch us by surprise again.

The other surprise was the finish. Usually a shortened race ends at the next pin. The committee boat, during the bobbing show that was taking place, pulled anchor and dropped anchor at what appeared to be mark number 1 which was the next upwind mark. Turns out it was halfway up the leg and another boat (from the fleet) was the pin. It created quite a bit of confusion. I recall hearing loud shouting mixed with horns from the boats ahead but I was not ready for the configuration of the line. On the final approach I took the opportunity to pass 2 boats to the windward assuming the committee boat I was heading for was the mark with the pin just beside it. The leeward boats squeezed me up to high and I was forced to duck and foot to keep speed and pass to leeward. I then had to make a correcting tack to get me high enough to cross the line when I realized the pin was the other boat.

All in all a good race but would have liked a bit more wind.(see race notes).