Archive for March, 2011

back in

by on Mar.21, 2011, under Uncategorized

Just a quick overview. We were sailing well and the race was going according to plan. Ian Moore was happy with our positioning and the team was working well. Most of the systems were working well and we have some good ideas as to how to refine them.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, we were sailing upwind, on port tack in about 18-20 knots of wind. Conditions were lumpy but we had seen some rougher seas earlier. We came off one wave too many and the mast came crashing down. I looked up just as it collapsed. All our hearts sank when that happened. We did a quick check to make sure everyone was ok and then set forward to start assessing and cleaning the mess. The rig fell to leeward and broke in several pieces on the way down. It all quickly went between the keel and rudder and was banging on the hull. We made the decision to cut the mast away and limit damage to the boat. John Von grabbed the grinder and made quick work of all the rigging. Last to go was the headstay, and it then all sank pretty quickly. We set about setting up a jury rig to help us get to Ensenada where we picked up more fuel and continued onto Mission Bay.

So now we will sit down and make a decision as to the next step to be able to sail Transpac. The next couple of days will be key for us into getting onto the right path.

Many people are asking us what broke. It is very difficult to tell, but at this point, it is either a spreader failure or spreader root failure. That seems to be where most people saw the rig go.

Stay tuned for more!


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Starting tomorrow

by on Mar.18, 2011, under Uncategorized

It’s 10:40 at night, and I just finished packing my gear and getting sorted. We had another long and busy day. We met up at 9 am to work on the boat until about 1.  At 1 we went sailing for a few hours to look at some more sails and a few small details. It all went well but as soon as we hit the dock, it was time to load the boat with food, sails, spares… There was quite a large list of “todo’s” in order to get the boat ready for some offshore sailing. There is quite a lot left to do before Transpac, but we felt that we have done the best we can to get the boat ready for this event.

For a quick overview, 7 weeks ago, the boat arrived into Palm Beach from Key West Race Week. From that point on, the boat was lengthened 5 feet,  2 bigger kites and 1 new Fractional 0 were built, mast rake was changed enough so that we had to redesign some parts and get them built, installed, and tested, mast tuned to the new rake, new kite sheets built, countless strops, slices, reinforced boom and all locking reefs, changes on the underwater appendages, kelp cutters installed, water maker intake rebuilt, endoscope system installed, stacking system sorted… The list goes on and needless to say the team has been busy.

We are all anxious to get started on the race so that we can focus on racing and learning the boat for Transpac. The start is tomorrow at noon. There will be tracker so you should be able to follow at

The are some different forecast with one being a quick race and the other being a slow one. So we will see but either way, we will be working hard to pass the boats that started today. Time for me to get some rest.



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Practice before Cabo

by on Mar.17, 2011, under Uncategorized

Today was a good day of looking at sails and sorting out some details in boat systems.  We were off the dock around 11 am. I struggled a little to get our new big head main on, but after a few different techniques, we finally found a solution to getting it plugged in. Basically, the main is so big at the head, that the weight and angle of the battens make it very awkward to plug into the headboard car and top batten car. Once the main went up, we looked at our new Fractional 0. This sail is to replace our very successful Fro. This new sail is designed to take advantage of the rating rule for Transpac and make sure we have a good sail for the first part of the race. We also looked at our very large new kites that are bigger and try to take advantage of our longer stern. We came in around 3:30 and then went right into boat work mode. We had a small repair to perform on the headfoil, tighten our bobstay lashing, work on water maker and water storage systems…

Ryan (Super Nipper) has been a huge help to our team. He is constantly working on the boat and taking on an ever growing list of jobs. Guys like him are key to a team to keep getting projects done when the sailors leave the boat.

I also noticed some impressive sail making skills today. Yesterday, part of the main was hitting the lock and forcing the lock to open. So part of the main had to be cut away to solve this issue. Blue (Tomac – those of you who have seen Old School should understand the reference) took a battery operate jig saw, and without tracing or measuring, and ignoring all OSHA rules, held the head of the main in hand, and cut the offending piece of cloth. Pure Skill!

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Long Day

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Uncategorized

We’ve had a long 2 days. We launched the boat yesterday at 6 am, measured the boat, then worked on it all day. At 6 pm, we headed back to the crew house for a quick bite to eat, a shower, and then back to the boat for a night delivery up to Long Beach. The delivery was uneventful but it was still a long night. We arrived in Long Beach at 7:30, docked the boat, and headed off for breakfast. After that, we headed back to the boat and kept working on it before sailing for a couple of hours in the afternoon. We returned back to the harbor and left the boat at 6 pm. So we were a little knackered.

Good news is we got our new BIG head main up. The top of the head is about 10 ft across. It has definitely powered the boat up. The sail was mainly to check on some mods we had done and make sure everything was safe. Tomorrow is a full crew practice with everyone showing up tonight.

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