Thursday, June 15, 2006

Spring Series 2006 Race 6 preparation Race Day

Man the racing fleet must have pissed somebody up there off! To date this has been a brutal race season. 2 of six races have been completed. But last night on the water was like being in an episode from the twighlight zone.

All day I tracked weather, checked the forecasts...Again and again. Left at 1:00 to go down to the club....Flags were still flying. Winds out of North as predicted. Yes even a little rain as predicted. Wind direction at the bluffs was not the same as the rest of the surrounding area but I cleverly figured that out (see previous post), but the wind velocity was as forecast.

Awesome I thought to myself...This is finally going to be a great sail...A good race. Coming down the hill you can almost see across the lake to Youngstown. The water looked patchy. There were a few boats out and sails were flying.

After turfing about 50 lbs of excess weight from the boat the crew came aboard and we went out to practice. A little bit of wind. Things will pick up I thought. On our way out a boat still in slip shouted..."Let us know if there is any wind out there"....To which my reply was "we are going out to make a sacrifice to the wind gods!" Out into the channel we went to a sea of calm.

Not a breeze anywhere. We motored out to mark 1 where we sunned ourselves like a herd of iguana for a bit waiting for the fleet to come out...Hoping that the wind would pick up. We watched the committee boat come out with the fleet trailing. Some did not even bother to hoist even the main...Sail covers still in tact. The announcer on VHF-WX2 droned the wind conditions at various points close by. Toronto Pearson airport....Wind East 8 knots.....Toronto City Centre Airport wind East 4 knots....Etobicoke wind North East 4 knots.

The race was postponed 45 minutes in a desperate attempt to find wind.

After an agonizing period of slowly sailing drifting back and forth, the horn blew 3 long blasts. The fleet scattered like cockroaches fleeing from the click of a lightswitch.

Fully rigged and nowhere to go the crew decided to fly the spinnaker and just keep cruising to see if we could actually make it in. At about 9:00 (the usual finish time for the race...The winds picked up. By the time we got back in the club and de-rigged the wind was gusting nicely.

Take a look at the flatline from 7-9. What type of sacrifice to the wind gods would be appropriate? I was thinking of a full bottle of Appletons VX into the channel as we made our way out the course next week would be a good start!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spring Series 2006 Race 6 preparation Stage 2

Geographical Effects on Wind

The overall purpose of this blog is to keep an online reference (mainly for my own sake) of all my races, theories, learning links, thoughts and strategies with the hope that it wouold create a database that I can reference and continually analyse.

This season has been about learning the wind. Checking the forecasts for today, the indicators pointed to a definite North wind. But looking at the wunderground weather stations of my area the wind is coming SSE for only the Bluffs area.

This really hammers the point home about Geographical shifts and how much attention needs to be paid to them. We have entered the NOOD regatta at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on June 23, 24, and 25th of 2006. Our disadvantage will be that the sailors who sail the area will have much better knowledge of the wind patterns then we will. In an effort to try and minimize that disadvantage I will start tracking the regatta location winds and see if I can discern any noticable patterns.

Winds look great for today's race. I will keep tracking till I have to leave and see what the winds are doing and to check on the city effect.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Spring Series 2006 Race 6 preparation Stage 1

The forecast is predicting some good winds for tomorrow's race. Initial indications are a persistent shift from ENE to NNE over course of 3 hrs during the race. If the model is correct then the winds should reach about 10.25 knots or higher. Wind gusts will most likely be a factor as well.

Lots of wind the last couple of days and there is a large weather system to the south (Florida) passing up the East coast which could bring a bit of residual wind and weather this way for tomorrow as well.

Tactics tomorrow should be medium air tactics. Focusing on the start and the upwind beat. I think the course will be (orgin 1) 3:1:3:1.

With the wind at this angle it would be wise to head down farther towards the bluffs before tacking over to the mark. From previous races (like last week) it is apparent there is more wind compression and pressure closer to the bluffs.