Crew: Glen, Brian P., Nick, Xa, Chuck O'Malley and Tim
Competitors: 550, 247, 484
It was a momentus night in many ways tonight:
- 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.)
- It was our first race of 2006.
- 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.)
- It was our first race with THE ROCKET.
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 http://www.ussailing.org/rules/.
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...