Friday, July 18, 2014

SYSCO Summer Series Race 5, July 17, 2014

Again this was a normal summer wind pattern. The wind was from the WNW along the river. Crew was Bill O. and Doug C. Our start was typical for this series. There were lots of boats at the start. Estrella Del Mar (EDM) was coming up leeward but overtaking on starboard tack. He tried to push us up and into the starting mark. I held my course and could argue that he was the overtaking boat and had to keep clear. Then right after the crossing the line, we over took River Weasel (RW) who was coming up leeward on starboard tack. We did a port tack to get clear of the group and get clear air. We encountered traffic with a boat on starboard coming down river. We had to tack to port before I had planned. We continued on starboard passing in front of EDM. We had gained a boat length or two by that time. We tacked to port to go to the mark. Again we encountered traffic. Another boat on starboard tack while we were on port. This time I started to pass astern, but Bill suggested we could make it in front. But by the time I took a look at the boat we were too close to pass astern or ahead so we did a quick 360 turn and maintained our position. We rounded the mark and set the whisker pole to port. We headed upstream to 14 staying in the middle where we found the wind to be best earlier in the evening. There ahead of us was RW. We were back about 5 boat lengths. We started to catch them. Then they would pull ahead. We would again approach them even getting our sail shadow on their stern. Again they pulled away. About 3/4ths the way to 14 EDM caught and passed us. We were able to stay with her to the mark and was able to cut inside her and the mark and gain a couple of boat lengths in front of her. We left the mark on starboard tack. After a while it was apparent we were not going to be able to make the finish on this tack. About half way to the finish EDM tacked to port and passed behind us. When we were able to make the finish on one tack we tried to go to port tack, but the sheet was trapped by the whisker pole. Bill had secured the pole to the starboard inner shroud above the starboard jib sheet. We had to wiggle a bit and Bill went forward to free the sheet. By the time we got straightened out, EDM had crossed in front of us and finished second. RW had done a great job and finished first. We finished third. The 360 turn is visible in the track as well as the wiggle near the finish.

Fourth Race SYSCO Summer Series 2014, July 10, 2014

Nice normal summer wind.  Crew was Bill S. and Doug C.  The course was S-2-14-F.  We had a normal start with an added advantage of Estrella Del Mar (EDM) being over early and thus having to restart giving us a nice lead.

We rounded Buoy 2 second right after La Dolce Vita (LDV) who had an excellent start.  We set the whisker pole this time and kept it up until 14.  We were able to catch LDV.  We tried to shadow her, but she kept moving to port to get out of our shadow.  She finally moved to port enough for us to break away.  Bill was watching the action behind us and noted that EDM was catching us.  She finally chose to shadow LDV who was shadowing Upstart.  The three of them slowed down and allowed us to further separate from them.

We rounded the leeward mark and I cause us to go straight to starboard tack instead of remaining on port tack and gaining some ground to go straight to the finish on one tack to starboard.  We had to tack to port to gain the finish line which we did and got the horn.  We had finished first.  This was the first time finishing first since the first race of the spring series.  We attributed it to Doug being our lucking charm.  This was the first race for him since his heart trouble.  Glad to have him back.

Here's the track:

SYSCO Dual Bridge Duel, June 21, 2014

The race is 12 miles long.  Start is on a line from Buoy 14 to the northeast corner of Rose City Yacht Club to either Buoy 3 back to Buoy 19 or vice versa, Buoy 19 to Buoy 3 and back to Buoy 14.  There was a 4 hour time limit.  Start was 2:00 PM.  First warning was 1:55.

Crew for this trip was Bill and my son Tony.  The wind was light and variable.  We had gusts of 8 to calm conditions.

We elected to head west.  Last year we headed east and caught a fishing boat and did not want to repeat that experience.  This year there were very few fishing boats our as this race is being held at a different time of year.

We did alright down to buoy 3.  Rounded the mark and set the whisker pole.  We elected to head straight up the middle as the wind was best there.  At least we tried .  There was another SJ28 racing today.  They elected to race in the spinnaker fleet.  It was fun gauging our speed against theirs.  We tried to stay in the wind and made it almost back to the starting line when the wind gave out.  We had to anchor twice for a few minutes each. The wind did come back but we had not gone past marker 16 when 6:00 PM came.  They race organizers set a 4 hour limit on the race.  We turned around then and headed back to the barbecue.

The barbecue was OK.  We did get food and one beer each before they ran out.

I really enjoyed having Tony aboard.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Second Race of the SYSCO Thursday Summer Series, June 19, 2014

What a race night.  Beautiful wind and lots of boats.  We had new crew this evening, Cliff and Ethel.  She was a coworker of Hannah's.  While Cliff worked until last Wednesday.  They were a game crew.  It was their first time on a "little" sail boat.  They had done a sail on the Zodiac in the Salish Sea, but never on a 28' sloop.

The afternoon when we got to the boat, there was no wind to speak of.  By the time the race started we had 8 knots.  We got out of the marina about 5:15 and set sails almost immediately.  We had to sail by the committee boat twice because our course was not on the board the first time.  The course was Start-2-14-2-C-Finish. A long course for us, but doable.

About ten minutes before our start, I noticed that the main sheet was being held to the boom by a accidental line.  The cleat on the boom had fallen off.  She's an old boat.  Things like this happen.  I took a short line and tied the sheet's shackle to the main sail around the boom.  I will  have to put in helicoils and new machine screws.  The temporary repair was done before the 4 minute warning.

We were second around the first windward mark and caught up to the first boat, Estrella Del Mar.  We passed her for a time, but eventually he passed us.  We were trying to get to shallower waters, but they did not help and we gradually lost time.   We put up the whisker pole right after the mark and kept it up until before the 14.  We lost about 4 boat lengths in taking down the pole.  I put the pole on the deck and clipped it to a halyard at the base of the mast.

We round 14 and went to port close hauled.  Went over to the Washington side and then tacked to starboard close hauled.  We were making good time but not as good as Estrella.  We were getting close to mark 3 when two J24's passed behind use after rounding their mark. I heard one of the skippers of one of those boats yell something.  About that time a J24 appeared really close to us in front of us on starboard tack.  We hit them abaft the beam in their cockpit area.  Aventura rode up their side bending two stanchions.  A phone call to the owner of the other boat revealed he had an injury to his knee and the traveler on the boat.  They were pretty shaken by the collision.  I made sure they were OK and continued racing.   The anchor was out of place but still with the boat and the whisker pole was bent.  We both were not looking behind our head sails.  We both were surprised.

The race was shortened to Buoy 2 and we placed second.  Furled our sails and went back to the marina.  Cliff is a machinist and took a look at the pole.  I got him a few tools and he was able to affect a repair.  The pole is now a little shorter but long enough to do the job.

I placed an insurance claim on the incident, since the other boat owner said he was going to place a claim.

Friday, June 13, 2014

First Race of SYSCO Summer Series 2014, June 12, 2014

This was a different course from any previous courses we have done. The course was for a west wind and was 14-R-14-R-14. Nice race layout for the wind. We decided to do a port tack to the mark. We got a good start. We were third across the line. Bill Ormond came as crew, but I put him on the tiller this race. It turned out to be a nice change. I got to work hard on the sails and Bill took it easy on the tiller. Shortly after the start, about 2 minutes and 1 second after. Somehow the jib sheet hooked the whisker pole and tossed it into the water. Bill looked at the race and then looked at the pole and then looked at me and asked shall we get the pole? I said yes and Bill pulled a neat figure eight under sail to pick it up. I tried to reach down and pick it up, but could not reach the water without risking going overboard. Bill went into another figure eight under sail while I pulled out the boat hook. This time I was able to snag the pole and bring it aboard. The track is below. This maneuver cost us about 2 minutes, which is not bad.

We were last around the first windward mark.  We caught up and passed two boats by the leeward mark.  That left three boats ahead of us.  Goose had dropped out because of a broken steering cable.  We rounded the second windward mark still in forth place.  Estella Del Mar, La Dolce Vita, and River Weasel were ahead of us.  We caught up and passed River Weasel because he decided to jibe halfway to the finish.  We stayed on our starboard wing on wing with the pole out to starboard.  We think we finished third. Results are still not posted.

The track of the race is below:

Sunday, June 08, 2014

5th Race SYSCO Spring Series 2014, June 5th

A mediocre start for this B-2-C-B race.  Winds were out of the north north west. A typical, for this year, wind condition.  Since Rich Jones was off sailing, the RC setup the course.  They made it easy on them by setting only two marks, C and the start-finish mark.  We were in the middle of the fleet and then tacked to port for clear air and more down river current.

Then the first of two interesting events happened.  We were on port tack and I reached to turn off the cell phone's klaxon.  It does that after timing the start.  I am pleased how we can use it for timing our starts.  The only problem I have with it is the loud klaxon after zero.  I reached for the phone and got us in irons.  If you look at the track you will see a kink in it just after the start.  That is my turning off the noise and having to do a 360 to get back on port tack.  We rounded the mark after River Weasel and set up for port broad reach. This sail set allowed us to meander over to the shallower waters and stay in clear air.  It did not allow us to catch or pass anyone but trigger and the two Capri 22's.  River Weasel went over to the Oregon side and sailed up that way.  Scape went over with him and stayed ahead of us.  We caught up the Scape at the leeward mark and rounded just after him.  We stayed on port tack until we could make the committee boat end of the start-finish line. Scape tacked early and we were able to tack above him and make up distance until we were overlapped.  We were making the committee boat, but he wasn't.  They tried to tack but our position prevented it.  The crew made Scape very aware of our presence when they tried to tack.  They were surprise to say the least.  They returned to starboard tack and then tacked behind us.  By that time we were over the finish line ahead of them.  River Weasel and LDV were ahead of us.

We placed second this Series.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

SYSCO Spring Thursday Series, 2014, Race 4

This was a memorable race.  Only one courageous crew showed  up for this one.  Doug did his best.  We did place second after running into trouble at the first windward mark.  More on that later.  The course was B-2-R-2-R-B.  Nice windy night with an average wind of 9 knots dying to 5 knots late in the race.

We had a good start.  We crossed the line 20 seconds after the horn on starboard tack.  The marker was far enough out in the channel for us not to do a quick port tack.  We staid on the port tack for quite a while.  In fact we staid on the tack too long.  When we finally did go to port tack the mark was dead ahead.  La Dolce Vita (LDV) made it to the mark about 5 boat lengths in front of us and rounded the mark.  The had the usual delay of getting to downward sail set and sat at the mark blocking our course.  They set their boom to starboard, so we were on the same tack.  They were making a little speed so I chose to go behind them.  We were abreast of River Weasel who also chose to go behind LDV.   But they had not cleared the buoy enough to give me room to round the mark.  I had to turn down river and pass the mark to starboard.  We turned around to a broad reach and headed up river to round the mark.  At this time two other boats, Bright Angel and  Scape, rounded the mark and had us boxed in.  We had to slow down while they sailed ahead.  Check the rough plot of the windward mark below:

This maneuver cost us over 2 1/2 minutes.  We came out of the mark in last place.

We caught up and passed 4 boats in this next leg and rounded the Ryan Point Mark.  We stayed away from the point on the downwind leg, because earlier we discovered both a current and wind disadvantage there.  By the time we rounded the mark we were in third place.

We did starboard tack down river and rounded mark 2 behind River Weasel.  We dueled River Weasel until after Ryan Point, he decided to get better air and peeled off to the middle of the river.  Meanwhile we stayed plugging along with the little wind beyond Ryan Point until the wind picked up.  We rounded the mark in second place and did starboard tack to the finish.

A note about the poor detail in the tracks. I finally reread the manual on OpenCPN and discovered the setting I thought managed track density was not the one I wanted. I have now set the track density to "high".  The tracks should improve in the following races.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring Series, 2nd Race, 2014

This race was great for us.  The winds were 6-8 knots out of the southwest.  Starting line was setup pretty close to the Liberty Ship Ramps near Ryan Point.  This did not allow much room behind the starting line.  The course for the sixth pennant fleet was R-C-14-Cs-R.  This was a really nice course that was a change from the windward/leeward courses.

The starting line was laid out downstream from the committee boat(CB).  We got to the committee boat just as they put up the "come within hail" flag.  We had time to run the course before our estimated 6:50 PM start.

I mistook the "B" mark for the "C".   So we lined up on the mark from the starting line and sailed to the "B" mark instead and noted the wind veering due to the trees at the east end of Tomahawk Island.  Then we noticed the mark in front of McCuddy's marina.  It was then we checked the course map and discovered
my mistake.  So we sailed to that mark and headed for 14 noting the wind.  About that time the races started.  We headed over to the CB to get a good time check.  We hung around upstream from the CB until four minutes to our start.  We watched the 5th fleet start an noted what they did.

Our strategy was to start on starboard tack near the CB.  But there was little maneuvering room behind the line for 8 boats.  We managed to get a good start crossing the line about ten seconds after the flag drop.  We were in the lead and had clean air.  About half way to the first mark we were two boat lengths in from of second.  The wind shifted slightly and we adjusted our sails and took off.  By the time we were at the mark we were four boat lengths in front of second place.  We rounded the mark and did not set the whisker pole like some boats.  I did not want to because the wind was right at the starboard stern quarter that is perfect for Aventura.  When the wind would build we would pick up speed.  When it died, we would get to almost a beam reach because of the change in apparent wind.  By the time we rounded 14 we were about 8 boat lengths in front of second place.  We stayed on port tack after 14 until we could make the mark on starboard.  We tacked a little soon but with the help of the current, we made the starboard rounding of the mark just fine.  Since we were sailing in clear air, we were about 14 boat lengths in from of second place by then.  We round the mark on starboard tack and stayed their going to starboard broad reach.  Again the wind favored us and we headed straight to the CB.  The rest of the fleet was just rounding "C" mark.

One thing that helped a lot on the race was the cleaning of the boat bottom with the brush at the dock.  The one problem of the night was the malfunction of the knot meter.  Aventura has always had difficulties with any knot meters.  I end of calling them the "not knot meters".

Below is the race track.  Again the track is every 15 seconds.  I thought since I had set it before to every second that the setting would stick.  Obviously it didn't.  Another detail to pay attention to when making these tracks.  This track shows us cutting the corner at 14.  I can tell you we did not.  It is just the sampling interval was too large to show our rounding.