Monday, October 29, 2012

Great Pumpkin - evening delivery

Gorgeous evening - windy, so main sail + engine got us going at 6 knots. Was a fast delivery.

It was a warm and beautiful night and the fog disappeared right before us. We opted for Racoon Straits for a moer comfortable Ride. 

Gummy sharks, beer, wine, etc...we had everything we needed :)

Getting ready to head out for delivery.

Hey Serge, aren't you missing something?


That's more like it.







And with the lights on!
and away from the moon.
What a treat!

Great Pumpkin Sunday

They postponed the start by two hours. We spent that time very productively, getting a pumpkin from the course.

When we started, we had winds between 15 to 20/21 knots with an average of 17 up to Alcatraz. In order to minimize the time we would spend in adverse current, we went around Alcatraz first, and Angel second. 

(at the Great Pumpkin, you can choose which way you go around the course)

We did manage good upwind speed despite a very light rail as we were short one person. We had through the water speed between 6.6 and 7 knots all the way to Alcatraz, with gradual depowering of first the main and then the genoa. 

We didn't start in first position, but we tacked early to get clean air and immediately tacked back to be on layline to Alcatraz. We picked up Dianne on sheer boat speed, we picked up Libra both to leeward of us on boat speed.

We were ahead of the Expresses at Alcatraz but got sucked up in the Alcatraz hole, had to turn around to face the tide, get out into the breeze and took a long hitch around the island. We lost loads of room then. We saw Dianne, Eagle, libra, etc...zoom right by us. 

We caught up with Expressway (the Express ahead of the group) in Racoon Straits, made a good right current call, got killed trying to go across to the finish line and ended up in dead air. The boats to our right also ended up in dead air...

We realized on the late (yes, we should have read the SIs) that there was a mark upwind of us we should have rounded as we were about to we went around that mark and they called off the race as we were 3 boat lengths away from the finish!!!

Very frustrating in light air, but we managed to keep the kite full somehow in 2 knots of breeze AND gybe it full.

Folks who went a little further right after Racoon Straits seems to have finished 

Great gybes - two new team members: Charlie (trim and tactics) and Gabe (Mike's friend)

taking the pumpkins out to the course
We were devils this year. When I got back to the Club in the city, a lady told me 'you've got horns; I had totally forgotten about those.
Trading treats for various services...tow, pumpkins, etc...
We pushed off a boat drifting onto us.

Charlie took a swim...actually, really hot day, so not a problem at all...

Packing frog...on deck. Hot day!

Saturday Great Pumpkin

Three Races. 4th overall, after El Raton, Wile E Coyote and Dianne.
  • First race - wind speed 8 to 12
  • Second race - wind speed 12 to 15 with three times very weird lulls with wind speed dropping from 14 knots to 8 within seconds!
  • Third race - wind speed 15 gusting 17. We changed headsail down to a #3 jib.
First start sucked but we caught up and were 2nd all the way up until the last upwind right behind El Raton. Good boat speed, good point and good team work.

Nat made a mistake letting Expressway inside at the leeward mark (they had no rights. they had not established any overlap) which cost us one place on the last upwind leg and Wile E Coyote just came from nowhere, from the other side of the course and just blasted right by us. They had awesome current calls. Hats off, nothing we could have done differently given our position in the race by that time.

Nat and Nathan shared foredeck duties (Nat did the last race and Nathan the first two) and managed two Mexican and a regular windward douse - probably not as fast as Scott would have done it, but not slow either. 

We had one new person (Charlie) who did an awesome job picking up jib and spinnaker trim and Mike adapted really well to pit/mast work with a short-handed crew configuration. 

Our tacks were REALLY good - with both the genoa and the jib, we didn't lose boat speed, came out of the tacks fast and had some really good rhythm.

One other bad tactical call got us to pick the wrong side of the course currentwise - however, overall good layline calls too (except for one which was really tough to call given the current at the windward mark)

Good starts the other races - and the last race, we fnished within one boat length of the two boats ahead of us so overall good sailing, and we could learn to pick out currents even better. I think that boat handling wise, we have improved much, keeping up with the group of leaders in these conditions.

Still some more work required in very light air and very heavy air (less than 5 knots and above 25). We can improve on the tactical side of things.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boat Work Quick Update

  • Broken and corroded hanks replaced on racing jibs
  • New twing line and block replaced (right side)

Elise is so famous, she gets her portrait

Well - it was one of my wonderful AirBnB guest who painted this in lieu of payment :)

Serge did the framing :) 

Monday, October 22, 2012


I am still cycling to rev up my metabolism in prep for some more offshore sailing. I rode 81 miles this week (rode on Sunday) - week before I only rode during the week as I was sailing both days over the weekend, so I rode only 65 miles that week including one hill training session, sprinting up hills for 30 minutes.

However, every day, I have a fairly steep hill to get home, so even though I only do 6 or 7 miles of commuting ride per day, the return trip certainly has me sweat a bit!


Great Photo

By Erik (


Race Committee Work on Saturday

I helped out with a dinghy race on Saturday. We were on the course that did lasers, kite surfers and windsurfers. I had never seen races with kite surfers. Pretty fun!

Calm foggy glassy morning ended up a great day
Beautiful and colorful!
Laser upwind. I so wanted to be out there! So much fun!
We had a very similar RIB
Upwind leg
Windsurfers getting ready for the start
There were a lot of crashes on the kite surfing category. One of the winner actually crashed as he crossed the finish line right as the bullet was fired. We joked 'they got him' ;-)
The windsurfers on their first upwind leg