Monday, October 31, 2011

Great Pumpkin Sunday results

Elise did not pick up any pumpkin along the course but did have pumpkin pie at the dock after the race.

First Tactical Call:

This was not an easy call - light air at the start, no visible fill yet, forecast 5 wind and medium flood current. The Straits would have provided some current relief by Angel Island but was it necessary?
Or go out in big current having to cross the deep water channel and risk ending up in Berkeley? ;-)

We opted for around Alcatraz as it looked that it was starting to slowly fill up on the Bay - also because if it was to fill up, the Bay side would most likely receive the wind first as usually it comes from the gate, not San Pablo bay thus giving an edge to the boats who would have picked that route.

First leg to Alcatraz:
We stayed as high as we could given the flood current that was pushing us toward Berkeley. The wind picked up quite a bit with some gusts at 15 knots, so we had to depower a lot particularly with only 4 people on the boat (which helped us in the light air part of the race later)

We were also looking on the water and avoiding the extended 'no wind lanes' we would see in front of us and we made sure to stay well clear of the lee of Angel Island with no wind at all given that the wind was still blowing NW at that time.

Adjusting the leech line tension and the car helped with the jib shape and got us to point really well.

Good boat speed

We then short tacked up the Alcatraz cone to stay out of the flood - we also hqd a little less wind there which was actually good given our sail choice

Leg 2. to Angel Island: we reached pretty high given the flood current and had to play games with a couple of boats that were trying to cover us. We hoisted the spinnaker as soon as possible and as we started to get to the island and could fall off because the current became lighter

Leg 3: The Straits
Rounding the island, it became clear that there was a lot of confused waters and no wind right by the island so we gave it a really wide berth and sailed deep to the left side of the Strait. We had some really nice flood current pushing us out of the Strait and we picked up oodles of boats there.

Nice and smooth weight management as the wind was very irregular during that leg. Really nice team work.

We got blanketed a few times by huge spinnakers from 40 footer sailing behind us and it was really hard to avoid that because there were too many boats gybing back and forth with asymmetrical spinnakers.

Last Leg: to the Finish
We lost a few boats by not heating up fast enough on the last leg, trying too hard to shorten the distance and lost a few positions there.


We removed the twings to lighten up the sheets, actively trimmed the pole, hardly moved the tiller and pick a shortest VMG route to the line given that there was current. It was ebbing and flooding depending on where you were. Right at the changing of current making it a bit hard to make calls.

Great boat speed and active trimming. We also trimmed the main a lot during that super light air sailing. Boats that were rating much lower than us and could also have waterlined us were not managing to pass us, so we did very well sailing the boat fast during that time.

The 'Finish' dance cost us 12 boats - we gybed too early into the line and ended up touching the committee boat bow right on the line and we had to do our penalty turns and go around the committee boat to finish again...all this in super super light air and blanketed by a hundred spinnakers from super big boats...

We would not have gained another position in class though had this not happened.

Overall a great race that saw some really good team work, good tactical calls except for the last leg where we could have picked up more boats and the finish line ;-) Great sailing in super light and nearly dead air, with strong current plays and a little bit of sailing at the top end of the genoa with a light rail. So great conditions to practice loads of trimming in all sorts of sailing angles from a close beat to broad reaching.

Photos from Great Pumpkin 2011 - Saturday

Photos courtesy of Nat's camera

On the way to the race course, we had a bunch of sea lions



Sea Lions getting a tan



Post-Race Relaxation
Getting the device ready for transportation
Let's go!!
Elise's homemade jacuzzi
The Ghost - the Great Pumpkin tactician on Elise
Hanging out
The tactical team on Saturday: Nat and the Ghost

Great Pumpkin 2011 Results

Available on the E27 website:


PosBoatTotalRace 1Race 2
1 El Raton 3 1 2
2 Xena 5 2 3
3 Great White 11 3 8
4 Elise 13 8 5
5 Take Five 14 5 9
6 Dianne 16 4 12
7 Light'n Up 16 6 10
8 Luffing Out Loud 17 10 7
9 Wile E Coyote 17 16 1
10 Summer Palace 20 9 11
11 Witchy Woman 20 16 4
12 Opa! 21 7 14
13 Archimedes 22 16 6
14 Risk 26 11 15
15 Libra 29 16 13


PosBoatTotalRace 1
1 Wile E Coyote 1 1
2 Xena 2 2
3 Elise 3 3
4 Witchy Woman 4 4
5 Luffing Out Loud 5 5
6 Risk 6 6
7 Libra 7 7
8 Summer Palace 8 8
9 Dianne 9 9
10 El Raton 10 10
11 Light'n Up 11 11
12 Big Bang Theory 12 12
13 Opa! 13 13
14 Great White 14 14
15 Bobs 15 15

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Old Long Pac Photos from 2011 Race - on the way to the start line

Photos courtesy of Nathan

We had decided to leave the engine mounted as it would be hard for me to deploy 80 pound of engine in any kind of seaway on my own. Yet, it I had to use my engine for extended periods of time, in light air and fog for instance, this would be the most reliable engine. We motored to the Farallones and back (eg 50 miles) on just on tank of gas.
Wow, cool effect. I was going that fast huh?

Old Long Pac Photos from 2011 Race - Prep morning of

All courtesy of Nathan

 Bringing last food items... and sleep walking apparently
Serge getting the engine ready
Lucie came to say goodbye and good luck
She had brought ginger cookies!!! I ate all of them!!! They were delicious.
 A very happy Nat with very yummy cookies
Inspecting the 'tent'
Getting ready to raise the sails
Main is up!
 Ready to go!