Archive for August, 2009

by on Aug.16, 2009, under Uncategorized

try and figure this one out.  (photo Sean Trew)

try and figure this one out. (photo Sean Trew)

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Moth Worlds, Day 5

by on Aug.15, 2009, under Uncategorized

Moth Worlds, Day 5
Today was the final day of racing. I was pumped and ready to go. I started a bit more aggressively. However, I still had some disappointing finishes. I had some serious foil control problems that just got worse throughout the day. It started in the first race with the front foil ventilating. This causes the boat to pitch pole. Between races, I desperately tried to fix the problem and doing some on the water changes. The start of the second race was first a general recall. I was powering towards the pin at full pace, only to be over by about 1 second. Luckily, it was a general. Second start of the second race, I was solidly in the first row and was probably top 10 for most of the beat. But as the race went on, the ventilation got worse and worse. It got so bad, I must have crashed about 10 times on the run. I was just nursing the boat around the course to try and finish the race. I finished the race in my worst score yet. Oh well, regatta is over, and I finished 24th overall. I have a long list of homework for the boat. Lots of little systems to improve and work on. I also need to spend lots of time improving my tacks. Now I need to start looking into getting some better foils and maybe a different mast.
Thanks for following. My next event is the Maxi Worlds on the Bella Mente in Sardinia in September. Between now and then, I will get in some mountain biking with the Vanilla Gorilla and probably some more moth sailing.

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Moth Worlds, Day 4

by on Aug.14, 2009, under Uncategorized

Overall a tough day today. There were some big puffs and shifts. My scores were 29, 21, 25. Average really. The first race was a Z course, I was going ok until I capsized at the bottom mark going way too fast in a puff. On the bright side my starts are a little better. Speed was a little better but not consistent. I seem to go ok off the line then I lose it about 20-30 seconds afterwards. I capsized few times on the run which I usually don’t do. I seemed to have some ventilation issues also downwind. I struggled at the bottom mark approaches. Getting the line up just right and going from downwind to upwind is not that easy. Tomorrow is the last day and we have only 2 races. I’ll keep working on it.

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Moth Worlds Day 3

by on Aug.14, 2009, under Uncategorized

A bit of a tough day today all round. We were postponed a shore for 30 minutes as the wind had built to a strong 20-26 knots. At 11 AM the AP came down and off we went. The sail down to the start line was fun regularly hitting 24 knots on the GPS. I again struggled a bit in the start but was able to tack into clean air. I rounded the top mark tight with a group. Andy Mack and I were close on the run. We were both heading towards the Oregon shore. I wanted to gybe and I looked too leeward and he put his head in like he was going to gybe. I went for the gybe and once I popped my head out from under the boom, there was Andy, still going straight! I had to capsize to avoid hitting him. I’m happy to have avoided a disastrous collision, but very frustrated with myself for having capsized (my first one of this regatta). I got the boat up relatively quickly and pursued hard downwind to catch the group. I had a decent beat was back in the pack as I approached the top mark. I needed to do 2 more tacks to get up to the mark. Just as I was setting up to tack, I hit a light spot got tangled up in the mainsheet, hit a puff and then fell out of the boat. By now, I’m very angry with myself. I get right the boat and continue the race but score a 29. Oh well.
Second race start was OK. I seem to have found some technique to get on the line but still struggling with initial speed off the line. I had a good beat and rounded the top mark in 12th. I struggled to get in the groove downwind and finished 19th in the race.
Third race was a similar start with an OK beat. The first run was nice and windy and good fun racing. As I approached the leeward mark, Kevin Hall was to leeward of me. I asked him which mark he was going to and he said “Left” Both of us were on port and I wasn’t laying that mark and I told him I wanted the Right gate. At this point we did what can be best described as a ballet in 22 knots. He headed up into me as a puff came in and let me gybe to cross him and we each rounded a respective marks. This is something that has struck me in this class. People are polite and let you cross if you can. People are civil and willing to help each other out. No protest yet in the whole fleet! Dee, are you reading this? It’s really nice to be sailing with a such a group of sailors that have great seamanship!

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sailing gear courtesy of West Coast Sailing

by on Aug.13, 2009, under Uncategorized

photo by Sean Trew

photo by Sean Trew

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Moth Worlds, Day 2

by on Aug.12, 2009, under Uncategorized

Moth Worlds Day 2
Today started overcast and lighter air. 3 races were scheduled, back to back. Today was the first time I sailed the boat in under 15 knots since I have received it so I had to do a little set up work. Yesterday, most of my starts were closer to the boat and were not very successful. Today, I tried more for the middle of the line and had a bit more success. However, the top guys are able to get the boat going at full speed right off the line and there is an initial large loss there. Once clear, my speed is ok, but still not top 10. There is some work to do on set up and foils to get that extra edge. I have my work cut out for me in development. I’ve also been learning to learn to use the new V8 north sail. When, in the groove, the sail is fast but it takes some work to get set up right.
My finishes today were 20, 21, 19. I am in 19th overall. So I have been relatively consistent. It is hard to be consistent in the tacks also. When I was training, I worked on tacking when I was not ready. I’m happy I did that, but much more work needs to be done in this area. Once thing I am happy with is my downwind performance. I have been consistently passing boats on the run. I’m really comfortable gybing, and I have been gybing back and forth to get puffs and stay in them. I don’t think I have top 10 speed downwind, but it’s not too bad. With the new VRX, I feel really comfortable opening the throttle downwind and not having to back off. The boat is stable and responds well to waves.
Tomorrow is a reserve day so there will be no racing.

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Moth Worlds Day 1

by on Aug.11, 2009, under Uncategorized

Moth Worlds Day 1

Yesterday I flew home from Palma. I landed at noon in PDX, picked up the car in parking, drove straight to Cascade Locks, stickered the boat, rigged and made it out for the second practice race. I tuned a little bit afterwards with Adam Lowry. Speed seemed ok all round so I went in and made sure the boat was ready.
We had 4 races today, all in about 12-18 knots. The first session of racing I got 19, 19, out of about 50 boats. Not great but satisfied. The start lines are a challenge. Very crowded, small line, and a very competitive fleet make starting very difficult. We then went in for lunch and came back out for 2 more races. These beats are long and tough for those of us who don’t really like hiking. Fitness for these boats is a challenge! Second session, I scored a 22, 24. I got stuck in irons in a tack and got in a bit of a tangle up at the start. Oh well, keep trying tomorrow.
The fleet is unbelievably high caliber. Everyone seems to get along and the sailing venue is great. Flat water, good wind, and warm temperatures make for a comfortable setting. The beach is crowded with moths. The nice thing about these boats is that even if the beach is blocked with a line of boats, just find a friend and lift the boat over and in the water you go!

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Day 6

by on Aug.08, 2009, under Uncategorized

Day 6
Today was the last day of sailing. We waited a bit for the breeze to fill in and settle and then we had 2 races.
We had one little crew shuffle since our Pit assist and general guy that looks after me, Pirate Henderson, had to fly out today to get to England for the Fastnet. So Tony Reaper changed his role a little on the boat to help out in the pit. It’s a testament to this team that when we have to change a guy here or there, we work hard to fill the spot and not let it get in the way of any boat handling.
First race, we were a little scratchy on the start but still managed to get ourselves up to the line and clean air on time. Our goal for the day was to not let Container gain any points on us. Our fight was for second place. On the first beat Container, Alegre, and ourselves were bouncing each other around. On one tack, Container tacked a little to close to Alegre and had to spin a 360 penalty turn. For the rest of the race we kept a rather loose cover and finished probably second or third but beating Container.
Second race we got away cleanly off the line with Hap doing a nice job and following the intensity of my hand signs. We were close to Alfa at the top but they gained on us on the run. We some last minute mind changing at the bottom (standard for us) but had a really nice bottom mark rounding with the kite getting nicely in the boat. Alfa struggled a bit more to the kite down. So we closed a bit and the on the last run, we closed even more. On corrected, they either beat us by 1 second or we beat them by 1 second. So a first or second.
Now I’m off to the airport to fly to Madrid, spend the night and then off to Portland, via Amsterdam tomorrow.
Moths, here I come!

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Day 5

by on Aug.07, 2009, under Uncategorized

Day 5
Today was a good day. First race had us right on the line again after giving some oral encouragement to a windward boat to get out of our way. We rounded the weather mark right behind Alfa and both boats had good sets. The bowman on Alfa, Cat Flap, sailed with me on Areva. So it is good fun to race against him and compare notes at the end of the day. It’s interesting to see how similar we have set up the boats on the bow to fit our styles. Bubs and Billy are also on that boat so it’s always fun to try and out sail them as they are good friends. By the bottom mark, we caught up to them, had a good leeward mark rounding and rounded just ahead of them. We increased our lead on the beat and now had to fight them off downwind. On the last gybe into the finish they rolled us after our gybe. So they barely beat us boat for boat but we beat them on corrected and won the race.
Second race we again had a good start but were a little lucky. We got hooked to leeward and were not able to escape low as there were a few boats there. With very little distance left to the start line we tacked at about 50 seconds to go. We were lucky that there was a gap the windward. We tacked back at 24 seconds and started going for the line. We got there just in time and had a good start. Oof, that was close.
We rounded the first mark in the lead and never relinquished it for the whole race. We also won that race. Our boat handling has been pretty solid up till now which is nice. The crew is working well together and most us now have a good feel how to work with each other.
One more day tomorrow, then airplane home to see Christin, parents, and race the moth in the worlds!

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Coastal Race

by on Aug.06, 2009, under Uncategorized

Day 4
Today’s race was a coastal race of about 30 miles. It consisted mostly of an exaggerated windward leeward X4 with a scoring gate half way through. We again had a good start with good communication between Hap (the owner and driver), Robert Hopkins (the navigator and brother of the Hopper), and myself. First beat was about 2 miles where we rounded to port and had a standard run. Second beat was longer and we had a starbord rounding at the top. Our kite ended up coming down on the right side so it meant that no gear had to be rerun which makes things easier on me. Next run was a longer one. About 10 minutes from the bottom, we peeled from the A1.5 to the A2. The peel went relatively smoothly although the halyard ended up over the leach of the main and over the big head. I’ve never seen it that bad before. Oh well. We rounded the leeward mark and had another beat to a different mark. At the top was a scoring gate which counted as a race. Turns out we tied with Alfa on that one. We then had a second windward leeward with 20 minute legs. We changed jibs here and there on the run but nothing extreme. The last run in we made up a little time on Alfa, so we think we beat them. I haven’t seen the results yet for the second half. Tomorrow is back to windward leeward’s.

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