Archive for May, 2010

First to Finish

by on May.29, 2010, under Uncategorized

We finished right around noon today in Stamford. We were first to finish after 19 hours beating the 20 foot longer Rambler. The start was in a light air with an angle of 130 with the Code 0. We had a good start in the upper middle part of the line. Unfurled the code 0 righter after the gun and settled in. I looked back and noticed a few teams having Code 0 issues with the top unfurling before the bottom. This is a common problem but not very easy to remedy. My friends over on the Natalie J seemed to have a bit on. Bit rest not for us! Suddenly we heard a bang and the Code 0 started flapping. A spectra loop where the sheets were tied onto broke. The team jumped into action and simultaneously hoisted the Genoa Staysail (which we were in the process of preparing), hooked up the jib and hoisted that, and then furled the 0 and eased it down enough so that we could get the sheet back on. We soon had the 0 back up and working. We held this setup for a while and then changed to the A3 which has proven to be a very versatile sail for us. Rambler was ahead of us with their Frac 0 sailing a bit higher of an angle. The A3 allowed us to sail a bit lower and straight for the mark. As we neared the end of Long Island, we peeled to the A1, prepared a jib, then back to the Code 0, the A3 again all the way to Block Island. After that was basically a long beat home. We sailed around Block Island and worked our way to the Gut. The breeze shut down for us with adverse current so there was some work going on there between a few different sails. As the sun rose, and the breeze picked up we could see Rambler abeam and to leeward of us. We held them off for the rest of the sail back and beat them over the line by about 6 minutes. Not bad.
It was good to get the boat racing as we were able to get a good work list of issues we have yet to resolve for the Bermuda Race.
Tomorrow I head off to France where I will be sailing with Groovederci preparing for the Tour de France a la Voile.

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Getting ready for the Block Island race

by on May.27, 2010, under Uncategorized

I am back in Newport sailing on the Bella Mente. We are getting ready to race the Block Island Race. We will start at 3:30 pm on Friday in Stamford, race out the sound, around Block Island and then back to Stamford. The forecast is for light air and adverse current so this could be a long drawn out race. I am sure there will be plenty of fire drills as we try to round some areas of the course and deal with local effects. It just wouldn’t be a normal Bella Mente race without some fire drills. The boat has again been modified for this season and the last 10 days have been a flurry of full on work trying to get the boat ready. Almost all of or strops have been replaced and most of the line is new. We have worked hard to get the boat to become more reliable. Since pulling out of the Middle Sea Race, we have taken a long hard look at the boat and worked hard to make it more reliable in the big breezes. We want to be fully confident in our gear as the conditions pick up so that we can send the boat. That means yet more work on the structure, differentiating more gear between offshore and inshore. (upsizing our offshore gear) We are using this race as a warm up for the Bermuda Race so I’m sure we will have another long work list after this is done.

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