Monday, August 26, 2013

Great writeup from the race from Norcalsailing


Sherry ("Spidey") Smith leans forward on the bow as Motorcycle Irene catches a wave.©2013
and a tip to go downwind fast

Elise has a new pole

Elise's new pole straight out of the shop!

The previous one was destroyed by the demon of the North tower.

Photo courtesy of Serge, Elise's bosun.

Some awesome photos from the Nationals

was a weekend of very right racing - where boats arrived within seconds of each others. Some out of towners and new arrivals or new drivers like on Opa! also proved to be great sailors which is great. 15 boats on the start line is very respectable. Finishes in each race except for the top spots were fiercely fought over and made for very exciting races and often the last leg would decide the outcome of the race.

Elise had overall good upwind speed the entire weekend, passing boats upwind and on the first upwind right behind and pacing the leaders (see photo below) - really poor downwind speed (we fiddled a bit with weight management and that made a difference) and wondered about rig tuning (rake) issues. We had constantly slow hoists which also made us lost a couple of places on a few occasions. We also had bad spinnaker hour glass and a line stuck under the lifeline in heavy air and we chose to lower the spinnaker to fix that. It was the third race of the second day and we were tired so decision was made not to reset. Day has to remain fun for everyone :) Finally, I took the leeward mark rounding too wider on a few occasions which allowed boats to get on the inside and beat us after the rounding. It was so close, that it cost us boats there too.

If we fixed all the above, we probably could go up 3 places in the fleet.

Note that the other three boats had a lot of twist in their main but by then, wind speed had increased to the point that lowering the traveler worked better on boat speed - even if the main wasn't used as much. Strange - 20 knots seem to be that limit. would love to understand that. Was really just a 'feel' setting.

We had a slow downwind speed where we lost all the ground we made up upwind in a lot of races.

An aggressive fleet on the start line - we had one general recall

Tight fleet

Whoever says sailing in't a sport needs to talk to me and take a look at these photos ;-)

Great shot of Motorcycle Irene - top boat in the fleet.

01 - Racing
Sail #Boat NameSkipperPlacePoints1  2  3  4  5  6  7  
28137MOTORCYCLE IRENEWill Paxton Zack Anderson182  1  1  1  1  1  1  
1GET HAPPY!!Brendan Busch2183  2  2  2  4  3  2  
11WILE E COYOTEDan Pruzan3221  4  4  3  3  4  3  
41MAGIC BUSPaul Deeds4316  5  3  4  2  5  6  
18364PEACHESJohn Rivlin5365  7  5  5  8  2  4  
28050EL RATONRay Lotto6564  8  10  16  7  6  5  
18070OPA!Peggy Lidster75615  6  8  7  6  7  7  
18353TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRDMatt Krogstad8578  3  9  14  5  8  10  
85SUMMER PALACEWolfgang Stehr96512  9  6  10  11  9  8  
40316MONSTER EXPRESSTed Lohr10687  13  11  6  9  11  11  
101ELISENathalie Criou11709  11  7  14  10  10  9  
28059MOONLIGHTJim Gibbs128210  12  12  9  14  12  13  
113LIBRASergey Lubarsky138313  10  13  8  13  14  12  
28031TAKE FIVEDonald Carroll149011  14  14  11  12  13  15  
91MAKE ME SMILENeal Holmlund1510414  15  15  16  15  15  14

Overall results: without retiring, looks like we would have been tied for points w/ Summer Palace and would have ended in 10th place.

We had a little disagreement with Opa! on the last windward rounding (we are starboard boat and Opa! crosses in front of us. As starboard boat and without any collision threat, we keep our course. Opa! tacks just windward of us - a tactical move called lee bowing as you basically take the wind off the boats below you and it allows you to step forward. Usually you do this with enough room to give you space to come down a bit which is the boat equivalent of stepping on the gas - and you need space because you can't do this by forcing the boat below you down as they are the leeward boat and have rights over you. If you force that boat to change their course, it is a foul. Most of the time, this maneuvre is perfectly legal and you can take over the boat just because you steal their wind not because you make them move the tiller.

Unfortunately, Opa! tacked very close to Elise with a clean tack. Out of the tack though, Elise had progressed further forward and there was an overlap - some leebow maneuvres start with no overlap with the windward boat then accelerating over the leeward boat - Opa! driver seems to not recollect that, every crew member on Elise remembered that because they had to bring in their feet as they worried about them being crushed. Established on the other tack, Opa! came down forcing Elise to change course to avoid having his crew feet crushed (the crew did bring their feet back on board too!) 

The driver on Opa! indicatd that it was a normal move because out of a tack in heavy air the boat loses so much speed that it has to come down to accelerate again - and they just couldn't come up when Elise asked them to. The driver said that 'they did everything in their power to give us room and the fact that they couldn't is therefore Elise's problem.

Coming down made us miss the mark which forced us to do a penalty circle and lose precious time as well as take us off course a we had to go on the side of the course to do that not to be a danger to other boats. Our view is that Opa! would have done everything in their power to avoid coming down on Elise if knowing that they would have to come down after the tack to accelerate, they had tacked further away from Elise to windward as to allow for this re-acceleration. 

Opa! did not have the option to crash tack and their stern was so close to Elise that the boat would have collided with Elise had it done a sharp turn, it was really that close. This is another way that the windward boat would avoid fouling the leeward boat if indeed they cannot stay high enough to stay out of their way.

An interesting comment was 'I thought you were making it' coming from Opa! after rounding the mark which would seem to indicate that the driver did not plan to make Elise miss the mark, or come down but just wanted to accelerate ahead of Elise at the rounding (a successful leebow maneuvre) - but having one boat pass you because of great maneuvring Vs 3 because you now have a penalty you wouldn't have had had you been able to stay on layline is a different matter :)

We will stay with different opinions! It doesn't really matter, just that fairplay is an important part of the sport and that it is important for our team to debrief on a situation.

Another really tight mark rounding where the smallest mistake make you lose a couple of seconds and a couple of spots.

the leaders of the race

Elise at a leeward mark rounding

National Day 3 race 3

Nat back to driving and Nathan back to foredeck (Nat was getting tired and needed food, the last douse was very lousy although the hoists were faster)

Very nice early hoist at the windward mark - right at the mark and even before the offset. We were constantly late hoisting which definitely cost us the seconds that we lost to the leaders.

Photo from:

A little tough to get back in the groove because there were no two other 'warm up races' so in hindsight this may not have been a great move - at the windward mark alongside Magic Bus but a little slow hoisting. Still good general upwind speed although pointing wasn't as good initially - main needed some adjustment to get back into the groove.

01 - RacingOne Design
Start: 08/25/13 at 13:43:00Fleet:  15
Course: 2   Distance: 5.00Started:  15Finished:  15
Sail #Boat NamePointsSkipperRatingFinish TimeCorrected Finish TimeClubMakeComments
28137  MOTORCYCLE IRENE  1  Will Paxton Zack Anderson    14:36:30    14:36:30  ryc  Express 27  
1  GET HAPPY!!  2  Brendan Busch    14:36:31    14:36:31  stfyc  Express 27  
11  WILE E COYOTE  3  Dan Pruzan    14:36:32    14:36:32  encinal  Express 27  
18364  PEACHES  4  John Rivlin    14:36:33    14:36:33    Express 27  
28050  EL RATON  5  Ray Lotto    14:36:34    14:36:34  st franc  Express 27  
41  MAGIC BUS  6  Paul Deeds    14:36:35    14:36:35    Express 27  
18070  OPA!  7  Peggy Lidster    14:36:36    14:36:36  st franc  Express 27  
85  SUMMER PALACE  8  Wolfgang Stehr    14:36:37    14:36:37  ryc  Express 27  
101  ELISE  9  Nathalie Criou    14:36:38    14:36:38  ryc  Express 27  
18353  TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD  10  Matt Krogstad    14:36:39    14:36:39    Express 27  
40316  MONSTER EXPRESS  11  Ted Lohr    14:36:40    14:36:40  hood riv  Express 27  
113  LIBRA  12  Sergey Lubarsky    14:36:41    14:36:41    Express 27  
28059  MOONLIGHT  13  Jim Gibbs    14:36:42    14:36:42  corinthi  Express 27  
91  MAKE ME SMILE  14  Neal Holmlund    14:36:43    14:36:43  ryc  Express 27  
28031  TAKE FIVE  15  Donald Carroll    14:36:44    14:36:44  sss  Express 27