Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hard Work Pays Off

Still trying to download the gps data from last the race last night. Windows software is not happy running on a Mac! Will have the race results posted as soon as I am able.

Great race last night. The hard work and regatta practice is definitely paying off. We jumped 5 spots in one night to finish 4th. Very happy with this result. To start with we gave ourselves plenty of time at the start and started the clock at 15 minutes to our race. We followed the countdown to double check. This gave us plenty of time to get into our desired start position. We did the startline dance (more like a waltz compared to the J fleet in regattas), and managed to have and excellent windward position start.

On the upwind leg we lost a little ground on the other J. Checked and adjusted trim and boatspeed and we were able to point as well and gain ground on the other J. When they tacked over we waited and tacked to windward of them. We managed to pass to windward on a good lift. Still working this one out but top third of the course they managed to pass us. Trying to resolve whether it was a trim issue or wind issue. They managed to get good speed on us and make a bit of headway. Come to think of it there is a large hole (windshadow from geography) between 1 and 3 and seems to me that is just about where we lost ground. Not absolute on that though. We were headed towards the Black hole "marker 3" with huge current. Large swells and light winds meant we would surely get pushed to the mark. Just before tacking to the layline we had to give right away to starboard boats. Footed off early to get some speed and make the duck less of a course problem.

Tacked to the layline (with a little extra in case) and made a good rounding. The pre-feed step had a little difficulty. The spinnaker came under the jib a little and had to be corrected. The chute flew nicely and we were in clean air on the downwind leg. The downwind team worked well together to focus on speed and we made time on the other J. The other J Gybed over at mid course. Crew discussions after the race determined that it was to avoid the hole. We held our course and managed to gain a little as the wind started to pick up a bit.

We had to point high to make the finish line but we managed to cross just as we were starting to get shadowed by the rest of the fleet.

Overall an excellent race! Congrats crew. Job well done.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Summer Series 2006 Race 3 preparation Stage 1

Winds will be somewhat steady at 8-10 knots. A nice breeze. Could see an oscillating breeze from E to ESE. The sailflow forecast shows the wind over the race time consistently veering to ESE. Course predictions are 2:1:2:1. The committee may however set a 2:3:1:2:1 course as so far is their custom with winds like these.

Starting work on re-rigging the deck hardware to move more controls to the mast area. will be putting in a cam cleat or two today. Moving the topping lift control, and cunningham up. will save the main and jib re-rigging for when we are in Kingston for CORK.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't Be Afraid to Let it Out

Over the last two seasons many people have either been introduced or rotated into the position of trimmer. There is one common thread that I see happening over and over again when a novice first starts to trim the spinnaker. The natural tendency is to sheet in when instead they should be letting out. I consistency see the spinnaker foot cramped up around the headstay. The spinnaker has some shape but overall is not flying properly. It is being choked.

Let the Spinnaker fly well in front of the boat. Remember that the spinnaker needs to be deep and full to power up. The adage applies to as well upwind as in downwind....When in doubt let it out.

Some of the speed issues we encounter on the downwind legs are caused by altering course to try and keep the spinnaker full. If the spinnaker collapses too much the helm has to correct fall off to keep it full until it is under control again. Watching ad playing the curl of the luff edge is crucial in keeping the spinnaker powered up and full.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Battered, Bruised...But Not Always Beaten

Port Credit Yacht Club hosted it's Open regatta this weekend. J-24 world qualifier. I took Friday off and delivered the boat to P.C.Y.C. with a crew member. I knew the winds would be light and figured it might be a long haul. Turns out other than a small puff or two the lake was flat. The entire trip took about 6 hours in some inclimate weather.

Saturday was beautiful weather. Once the wind decided on it's course it came up nicely and filled in the entire sight line. Heavy gusts at times. We did 4 races on Saturday. Start timing was excellent. We were on the money every time. Made my job easier. There were a couple general recalls which gave us a chance to set up again.

We had our usual issues with spinnaker and mark roundings. The crew is getting better at communication and getting their head in the race a little more. I am able to concentrate on boat speed and pointing a little more. Good tactics all weekend.

The best part of the weekend was finding that other boat that had the same issues we did and be able to race competitively against them. It makes racing fun for a new crew. There is a good sense of accomplishment.

Overall an excellent weekend. Some blood, lots of bruises, sore muscles and sun exposure but overall an excellent regatta. My thanks to the crew for a fantastic effort!