Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Results are not up, but we did finish tied with Dew Drop Inn. DDI is in our class.

We added a new crew member, Todd. He bought Rick's 23' San Juan. We had 4 crew this evening. The added crew helped on setting the pole, but made the cockpit crowded during mark rounding and coming about. More on that later. I divided up the roles after asking the crew if they had preferences. Rick on the foredeck. Chuck as grinder. Todd as trailer. Myself on the helm. The race was C-2-C-2-C with a northwest wind that averaged 6-8 knots.

Rick used his phone blackberry for timing this evening and we had a much better start. We were no more than 20 seconds behind the horn. But Second Half was to our leeward and kept us from getting in the groove by keeping us luffing. We sailed this way for quite a while until Second Half pulled out in front of us by a half boat length and I could get the boat back into its groove. (Note to self, check rules to see if I had to luff or could have stay on the course in this situation.) We made time on the others and tacked for the concrete wall that marks a great place to tack to starboard for the windward mark, buoy 2. We rounded the mark and went into a port board reach that would lull into a beam reach. We headed directly to the leeward mark, C. After a quarter mile we put up the pole to starboard to widen the gap between the main and head sail. This seemed to help in speed. The wind would gust to broad reach and lull to a beam reach. We decided to stay on port tack after rounding the mark and go out to the middle of the river and take advantage of the midstream current. The wind was starting to die off a bit, but still very nice. Again we tacked to the concrete wall. Tacked again to the mark where we had our mishap.

Rounding the mark, I got the tiller fouled with line and could not turn. We added about 3 boat lengths downstream to the race while I freed the tiller and finally turned. We set the pole as we did the first downwind leg and headed directly for the mark. That's when Dew Drop Inn caught up to us and we finished in a dead heat.

I don't think setting the pole on the same side as the boom bought us anything. I am going to set the pole opposite side as the boom. It was close to the broad reach, but not quite.

The placement of the crew during rounding or other activity when there are 4 crew is important. The foredeck/main sheet trimer needs to be out of the cockpit and standing on the engine cover in the cabin. This allows enough room for the helmsman to cross between the winches and cabin and still gives him access to the mainsheet. The grinder and trailer or at the back of the cockpit. The grinder is at the leeward winch releasing the leeward sheet while the trailer is on the windward sheet at the start of the tack. The call for "Ready to come about" is given. The coming about is not started until the skipper hers everyones "Ready". "Helms alee" and the helmsman puts the helm to leeward. He moves over to the future windward side to be able to see the telltales. The grinder holds the gib sheet long enought to allow the sail to back wind a bit, then releases and guides the line. The trailer hauls in the line. Meanwhile the foredeck/main sheet man makes sure the main is in place. The helmsman is in the best position to lock the traveler. The grinder moves over with the winch and makes the final adjustments. Finally we are on the other tack.

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