Friday, April 27, 2012

SYSCO Spring Series, Thursdays, Fleet 6 (B)

The winds were 10 knots from the Southwest. We started on the fifth race. The course was 14-T-14-T-14. This allowed the race committee to shorten the race to 14-T-14. Our fleet is 8 boats:

  1. Trigger, skippered by Jerry Armstron, Ericson 23 Mk I
  2. KA-SL, Gary Whitney, Catalina 28
  3. Capella, Phil Johnson, Catalina 25
  4. Solla Sollew, Mary Hartel, Ericson Mk I
  5. Aventura, Ken Stephens, San Juan 28
  6. La Dolce Vita, Scott Stevenson, Hunter 30
  7. Estrella Del Mar, Michael Nance, Cal 2-29
  8. Aljibe, Jim Foster, US Yatch 27

We had an average start. We ran the mark before the race to figure out the timing, but when we set up for the race, I ended up missing a tack, coming about and had to do a 360 which made is a little later than we planned. But at least we did not go over early. We had planned to take the port tack down river by the mark, 14. We ended up too much out in the channel and had to turn to starboard tack to cross the start. We then tacked to port back down river and got out into the channel. We stayed on that tack until the mark was just forward of the beam and then tacked to starboard. This gave us the right of way to the mark. We made sure we did not tack early and have to do a couple of quick tacks. Some time running down stream we noticed the jib had wrinkles and went to trim the halyard. This is where we (I) screwed up. Instead of locking the main halyard and taking it off the winch on top of the cabin, we ran the jib halyard to the starboard jib winch. We tightened the halyard only to discover it overran itself and tied a knot. We were coming up to the windward mark at this time and chose to wait until we rounded the mark to free the halyard and winch since we did not really need the winch due to the point of sail we were going to take. We rounded the windward mark first. Then I gave the helm to Bill O. and started working with Chuck to free the jib halyard. We ran the line to the port cabin top winch and started with brut force to free the line. It worked, but Chuck pointed out that the port cabin winch was now loose on the cabin top. I noticed later that there were now spider cracks in the cabin. This looks like it might be a major repair. It flashed on me today that we could have locked the main halyard and taken it off the starboard cabin top winch and used that to trim the jib halyard. That's what is is laid out to do. duh. We decided not to set the whisker pole and just run with a broad reach. Meanwhile Estrella had set her pole and took off. You can see the general slowness in the first part of the downwind leg. Results are not up, yet. Will post when they are up.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Race Committee Duties for April 24, 2012
Aventura did race committee duties for the Tuesday races. Collecting enough people to do the work was almost easier than getting a crew for racing. Mike N., Jerry A., Bill S., Warren D., Scott S. and Bill O. all volunteered. We had one crew member who volunteered but did not make it in time to get on the boat, Chuck H. The above is the track for the evening. I have been trying to get a track for over a year using my netbook and OpenCPN. I finally got one. I shall be adding them to these posts for this season.

We were told to go to the North River Mark, "N". We made it on station a little after 6:00 PM. We tried to raise Poncho, but were not able to. We spotted them trying to place the Upper River Mark, "U". It would not set because of the high water and current. They did set X and A marks. They then requestd us to move to 14 because the wind was light and shifting between south and east. That is the loop track above. We no sooner got to 14 than Poncho told us to go back to N. We anchored 100 yards off the Washington shore at 45 degrees 36 minutes N and 122 degrees 36 minutes W. The starting mark was placed 400 feet WSW of us.

Rich J. runs the races. He organized the flag operators, the spotters, and the recorders. We had two people on the bow as the mark was up river from us spotting the starts and signalling any boats that started early. Rich ran "Auto" which keeps the timing for the races and flags. It's an ordered chaos running the races. Two people run the flags up and down. They alternate the fleet flags with the preporatory flag. Two are recorders. One spots the boats the other writes the times down.

Rich ended up shortening all fleets except the A fleet races. As with the fickleness of the winds early in the evening did not give us much time for the race. We did not start the first race until 7:20 PM, which gave us only one hour before sundown. Originally the racers were sent for two laps either around X or A and back around N. This allowed us to shorten the race at N or just one lap.

Neat experience doing the Race Committee. I look forward to doing it again. Next time I will engage the engine when Jerry is pulling up the anchor.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Practice 4/12/2012 This is just a post on practicing. We, Bill O. and I broke in a new crew, Bill S., member this Thursday. The weather was great for practicing, calm to 8 knots. We got underway about 5:45 and sailed to 6:45. This was enough time to give Bill S. a flavor of tacking the boat. Bill O. took to running the cockpit while I, at the helm, tried to stay off the sheets. I even succeeded once or twice. Nice sail up to 14 and back. There were only a few other boats out as it was threatening to rain. We spotted a rain cloud heading toward us about 20 to 7 so we headed in. It started sprinkling on us when we got back to the slip. We tentatively scheduled training on the 19th, but we were rained out. Just did not want to go out there and get wet unless it is an actual race day.