Wednesday, April 26, 2006

WNR - Series I - Race 2

(We missed the first race since I was traveling.)

Crew: Glen, Brian P., Nick, Xa, Chuck O'Malley and Tim
Competitors: 550, 247, 484

It was a momentus night in many ways tonight:
  1. It was Nick's first race (Nick works with Glen and came out for a Canadian Race last season, but it was cancelled due to too much wind.)
  2. It was our first race of 2006.
  3. It was the first time we had Chuck O'Malley of Doyle Sailmakers on board coaching us. (Chuck has made a jib and spinnaker for us.)
  4. It was our first race with THE ROCKET.
The prediction was for a dying wind, but once again the weatherman was wrong. We had a nice steady 10-12 kts. for the whole race.

We had a tight start, with Harry barging like a crazy man (along with a bunch of boats in other classes). Nick had asked before the race if there were many collisions in these big boats. We said, "no". We came very close to having to eat our words. We, however, squeaked by and ended up right at the boat on the line with enough speed. We started in first and never looked back.

The upwind leg was a straight shot, and on the reach to the next mark, we made out well with the Cals. Chuck had us keep high to force a PHRF class that started late from rolling us.

At that mark we had to give a Cal room. This lead to an excellent discussion about Rule 18: ROUNDING AND PASSING MARKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS on the way home, repleat with great use of the model boats that my son, David, and I built over the winter. BTW: I highly recommend you check out the rules. They're free to download and are found at

The next leg, we made a couple of tacks, then set the spinnaker...I mean THE ROCKET. It was a sight to behold! It looks awesome!

Xa did great job taking us downwind, and we even did a windward douse per Chuck's direction. The crew was pretty enthusiastic, but I really need to get Xa's thoughts on it. It's nice because the chute goes straight into the forward hatch and therefore there are fewer people back in the cockpit area causing trouble.

Tacking into the harbor as the wind lightened up, we maintained our lead and watched as Towney and T.C. dueled it out behind us. Unfortunately, though we got 1st, the gun wasn't functioning so we only got the horn. That's okay because we started the season with a BANG!

A couple thoughts from our coaching with Chuck. (Crew--please leave comments!!!)
  • Glen is going to be focused on strategy this year. I really liked Chuck's steady stream of guidance in short clear terms. It was really helpful.
  • Backstay tension is important especially in heavy air. Chuck saw headstay sag during our upwind sailing, which leads to overpowering and poor pointing.
  • Bring the traveller up in lighter air, down in heavier air.
  • Tighten the main shrouds 2 turns to help tighten the rig.
  • Consider the windward chute take down.
  • There's more I know I'm forgetting...
Great job everyone!


Thursday, April 13, 2006

And the Winner Is...

What a great showing of artistic talent! Thank you everyone that sent in designs. I have to admit that this Brian Palmer design was very tempting.

Something about a picture of me the size of a barn seems very threatening, if not completely distracting. I just find it hard to believe that C.B. or anyone else would be able to concentrate with Scott flying the "Tim Chute", bearing down on them.

Andréa, however, brought me back to earth. As much as she would enjoy a picture of me the size of a barn floating around the Bay, she said it just wouldn't be right. So...

I took ideas from each of you to come up with the design below and I'm shipping it off to Chuck O'Malley at Doyle today.

I call it "LinGin: The Rocket". I didn't want people to say, "here comes the Effiel Tower", and while, "look at Darth Vader" sounds kinda cool, I thought, "LOOK OUT! Here comes THE ROCKET!" was best. What do you think? Does it look fast? (Lie if you can't say something positive.)

Also, get this, Chuck said he plans to have the sail ready for the 2nd WNR and he'll be along for the ride to coach us on it and the jib. So mark your calendars for April 26th, and be prepared to go fast!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dedication to Winning

Well Crew, I have a surprise for you. Perhaps foolishly, I have decided to invest in a new spinnaker. Last season, I truly felt that we lost out to C.B. a number of times due to our spinnaker. I felt we did a great job trimming, and more than once--on very long legs--we could not hold with Infinity. I recall we all discussed the fact that C.B.'s design is one with big "shoulders"; better for "deeper" downwind legs. So, I have decided to take the plunge.

I need some quick help. We need a color design by tomorrow! I'm posting some designs I've done today and the blank. Grab the blank, throw it in paint (or a similar app) and show us what you like. Or just chose one of mine. I think I'd like to stick with blue and orange, but I'm not 100% stuck on it. Also, I'd prefer lighter to darker colors.