Archive for September, 2009

Final Day

by on Sep.15, 2009, under Uncategorized

Ok, so the last day was an interesting one. The points were set up such that we had to win the last race. Only one 3 lap windward leeward race was scheduled. We started on the middle leeward end of the line with an aggressive push. With my line sights, we were on the line. I saw the X flag just getting ready. It was a clear start and we had great pace. The first cross with Alfa was in our favor and we tacked on them. This was a classic set up for a match race. We kept bouncing them up the whole beat and rounded ahead of them at the top. We held them off on the run and kept the lead for most of the second beat. But as we got near the top of the second beat, they were able to get a piece of us. Unfortunately we had given up the right and were forced into a dial down. We crossed behind them and they managed to get around the top mark just ahead of us. They put a little distance on us on the run when we were pinned on the outside of Rosebud. Then the third beat came and it was time to suffer. The sat on us the whole beat. The eased sheets, reached over our bow, everything they could do to push us back in the fleet. A harsh move but all fair in racing. So we did not win the race and we finished second in the owner driver class with Alfa taking the overall win. They sailed well and were a strong team. Good sportsmen’s as they are, they invited us for a snack and beer on Neville’s power boat after racing. It was very gracious of them and hopefully we will be able to race against them again, but with us winning next time! Next for me will be the TP 52 worlds where I will be sailing with the Cristabella.

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Quick update

by on Sep.13, 2009, under Uncategorized

I’m on my way home and will post more later. The last day was a windward leeward that resulted in match race between us and alpha. I can’t right much more right now because I’m typing this on the iPhone since my laptop got stolen out the hotel room last night.

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so so

by on Sep.11, 2009, under Uncategorized

We had 2 more windward leeward’s today. Our results were a little better but nothing spectacular. We felt like we sailed the boat well and had great boat handling but we just couldn’t seem to get ourselves in the right spot. Hap and I seem to be having good communication in the start and we usually do a decent job getting the boat to the line and on speed. The last start we were quite close to the line and being held up by Ran. They finally boreaway and we had to do a high build. We were on the line but not with great speed. Our boat handling has been crisp and solid. A few times some last minute changes are thrown at us and the team pulls it through and we get away with it. In the second race we were set up for a right hand drop and then do 2 quick gybes to get around the left hand gate. But just as we were hoisting the jib, the time on starbord grew so it became a left hand drop. The limiting factor here is connecting the string line. The string was already connected on the right side. The call came for a change, we disconnected it, brought it around, reconnected it and were able to string the kite down. It was a nice maneuver that happened calmly. We think tomorrow will only be 1 windward leeward race. Our goal is to have a good race and beat Alfa to win the owner driver division.

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no good

by on Sep.10, 2009, under Uncategorized

Yesterday’s racing was two windward leeward races. To be honest, we sailed like shit. We couldn’t seem to get ourselves in the right spot and we struggled to keep the boat on pace. It was light/moderate conditions with quite a bit of slop and waves. The only good news is that the leaders of the regatta (Luna Rossa) had a shocker also and had 2 lasts. So the scores have all closed in on each other. It was nice to do 2 windward/leeward races because for me it meant less sail changes and bit less of a work load. Today is a lay day but it seems like we will be sailing anyway to look at a few things. Tomorrow racing starts up again and it sounds like a windy forecast. That means a full on day on the bow again.

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Change coming up

by on Sep.08, 2009, under Uncategorized

Today was another long coastal race, 45 miles this time. It was a similar race course to yesterday but today had quite a few jib changes. We had an ok start but were not really up to speed. We were still able to pinch off Luna Rossa and we then cleared ourselves. At the top mark, we set the A3. As soon as she hit the lock at the top, the sock blew apart and the kite filled. Lucky that we had just gotten on the lock. The jib came down, packed it, and straight into getting the jib top ready. Once we neared the bottom, jib top up, tripped the A3 away and letter boxed it down below. Straight into the Genoa staysail was next for me. Ok, settle down a bit and now get ready for the next change. J3 up and do an outside hoist, inside drop on the JT. The new jib halyard got caught on a jib batten causing a few issues with the change and adding more time and frustration to us on the bow. Finally we get it cleared, and now the new sail is up. Getting the jib top down was a major and we were fighting lots of sail friction. It took 3 of us on the luff to get it started to come down. Did I say it’s blowing about 18-20 at this point? Now we are approaching our next mark and the breeze has picked up to over 20 and we need to do a tack change to the J 4. So, genoa staysail down, get the new jib on ready and start hoisting. Because of our jib tack system we basically only have one full load shackle for the tack. So we put the old jib on a jib Cunningham that works as a temporary one. This is the tackline for the kite clipped into the webbing on the jib. We pull some on so that I can unload the shackle. We get the new jib up, and then the webbing breaks and the shackle shoots off into the tack well. Pretty lucky I wasn’t in the way of that one! So this delays things a bit but thanks to a shackle that we will just call a “Doogie shackle” for now, it saves our ass and we do that tack change. Still a mission to get the jib down though. No we are going dead upwind. After this reach off to 90 TWA. Get the genoa staysail back up, change back to the jib top. This change finally goes smoothly. And breath for 2 minutes. Now time to set up the A3 again. A3 up, jib top down. Smooth. The bottom mark is coming up and so, J2 up, genoa staysail down, A 3 down. Reach into the finish.
So plenty of work today and I’m well tired. However, the foredeck team that backed me up today was awesome, Mickey, Rob Myles, Pirate Henderson and Tom Burnham in the pit. These had to pack countless sails down stairs, and when they were done, I would stick my head downstairs and call up for the next one. This is a team sport and we have a great team up there.

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Wet and Wild – Day 1

by on Sep.07, 2009, under Uncategorized

We had one 35 mile coastal race today in about 18-24 knots of breeze with a big sea. We had a good start in the middle leeward part of the line. The first part of the race was a 2 mile beat followed by a port rounding and about a 15 minute reach, then a bear away to a dead run. We set our A2 on the run and off the boat went. We kept the jib up for a few minutes to get the boat going. Then, jib down, gybe, and staysail up. The waves were getting short so there was plenty up green water coming over the bow. Coming into the bottom mark, the call came to swap jibs so up came the new and down went the old one. The bottom mark rounding went well with the string line taking down most of the kite. For the next hour or so, we reached and went upwind until we got to another set of rocks that we had to round to starbord. This was about 90-100 true wind angle. We went to an outboard sheet on the jib and hoisted the genoa staysail. This was out set up for about 20 minutes. The next maneuver was to go our A3. This is a hunk of sail so Mickey (the mid bow man) and I started working on it about 4 minutes from the set. I wasn’t confident in attaching the martin break as set because of the risk of an accidental trip. A3 up and we’re off again. Because the A3 is a sail to be used in higher angles, I usual set it with a drop sheet already run. Once the jib was down, I came back to the rail a bit. Now it was time to venture out to the bow sprit to connect the martin breaker. Once at the bow, I clipped in to my safety line because a large amount of water was coming over. I slid out and started connecting the martin breaker. Then I looked down and noticed that the water was only about 2 feet below and coming closer. The bow sprit was going under water and so was I! I stopped working on the martin breaker, held with both hands to the tackline and held my breath. Finally we popped out the other end, pretty happy I was still on the boat. This happened twice more before I made it back to the boat. We then letter boxed the kite and had a quick reach to the finish. Luna Rossa won the race I think and we were probably in second. But we beat the other owner drivers.
Tomorrow will be another coastal.

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by on Sep.06, 2009, under Uncategorized

Today was our last practice day before racing starts. He had some grand plans of doing a simulated race, getting to know some of the different areas and getting some more sails ready for tomorrow. It was blowing about 15 knots out of the north with some steep waves. We hoisted the main in the harbor, and once out hoisted the jib and went upwind. We hit a few good waves and things seemed to be OK. Pirate went downstairs to check a few things and then the call came. Sails down, back to the harbor, day over. So we have a bit of a structural issue. Our team of boat builders is now working on the boat for what will most likely be a long night for them to get everything sorted by tomorrow. The guys have to work in some cramped quarters, grinding and laying up carbon. It won’t be fun for them. But I have full confidence in our team in being able to get everything fixed so that we can get back out there tomorrow. We will leave the dock a little early so that we can furl some sails and make sure we are all ready.

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Porto Cervo

by on Sep.05, 2009, under Uncategorized

Port Cervo
I’ve been here for a few days now helping to get the Bella Mente ready for racing. We’ve been sailing for a few days to look at some sails and few little mods. I’m quite happy that a few of the items that I have put on the boat are working well. Francois (one of our best boat builders) and I have put together a wheel system to mouse a masthead halyard to the top. We hoist the halyard for the upwind part of the race, the mouse line is stored on a wheel downstairs. When we bring the halyard down, we just pull the mouse line and it automatically gets wound up downstairs on the wheel. It’s a nice little device. Our first 2 days of sailing were light and moderate but yesterday was 20-35 knots. We started by sailing some reaching angles with the jib top and staysail to get some data for Robert (our navigator and brother of gorge resident, the Hopper). We then changed to our new A3 which is very similar to what we have on the Magnitude. We tested the high angles with to get a feel for its limits. We were in a light spot and got hit by a massive puff which promptly knocked us over. We flopped over for a while and I ran forward ready to pull the martin breaker and the boat came back and off we went again. We then sailed a long beat home where we tested some wider angles with the jib and added a reef to get that system sorted. There are still some adjustments to make, but over all, it works.
Internet here is pain so please be patient for blog updates..

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