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Brier Patch 2 Recap (JAM)

Posted by AJ Miceli on May 20, 2010

It was another light air night, but the winds were fairly consistent SW 5-8 kts.  The course was a short W/L race from EYC to the new Mark B (one of the water intake buoys).  The A and B Fleets sailed a longer course to Mark N.  The race committee deserves credit for getting the night right.  The A and C Fleets finished together, as did the B and D Fleets.  That makes for a nice JAM night.

In any case, it was a downwind start.  Most of us came up to the pin end on starboard then flipped to port to cross.  There was a little shouting at the start but most boats were clear (I think it was Lady Jane and Dawn Treader that tussled a little).  We had a decent start and a mainly clear wind lane.

Once we got settled in we went wing-n-wing, deploying the brand spankin’ new whisker pole.  This, of course, is bothersome because Red Herring is really not designed to go dead down, but it’s really the only way that we can stay even marginally competitive.  In any case, the pole did its job.  We added about 0.2 kts to our downwind speed and we sailed fairly straight to the mark.  We were 2nd or 3rd around the leeward mark.

On the windward leg we traded tacks with Vamanos and Keya.  The three of us, plus Serendipity, took the shore route.  I still think that the most wind was in the middle of the course, but we did get lifted on the starboard tack when we came closest to the shore.  Dawn Treader stretched out on the fleet.  Serendipity came next.  Vamanos and Keya squeeked out ahead of us by a few seconds, and we held off Entson by a boat length.  So we finished fifth over the line and sixth on time.

It was a beautiful night for sailing.  The pole performed well.  We sailed well.  There was a typical beautiful Erie sunset and (heart-healthy) red wine and cheese at the dock.

Thanks to our fine light-air crew:  Judy (Queen of the Pole), Kim and Andy.

Posted in Hunter 27X, Lake Erie Sailing, Race Recaps, Results, sailboat race, Sailboat Racing, Uncategorized, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Two 3rds in Brier Patch 1 & 2

Posted by AJ Miceli on May 16, 2010

Two spinnaker races (with a bowsprit — see earlier post).  Typical Sunday morning light air Windward/Leeward races.

Race 1 was supposed to be two times around.  We started in 3-5 knot winds.  We didn’t have a terrible start, but Outlaw and News had better starts.  We sailed OK on the first upwind leg, but the wind died when we were about 5 boat lengths from the mark.  We struggled to round, then popped the chute and sailed from hole to hole to the leeward mark.  Then we rounded and sailed from hole to hole again.  The race committee shortened the race at the windward mark.  Everyone else (except Silver Wheel) finished while there was still a little air.  Finally, about halfway up the second windward leg, the thermal wind started to fill in and we were finally sailing by the time we finished.  Then the RC called the race and assigned Silver Wheel a time.

For the second race, there were fewer holes, and the wind speed was fairly steady at 6 kts, but the direction was pretty shifty.  We thought we had a pretty good start, but once again got caught behind News and to leeward of Outlaw.  On the upwind leg everyone tacked more than usual for big boats, just to follow the shifts.  The winds were, of course, fluky at the windward mark.  We had to pinch a little to get around because of a header at the mark.  We got the chute up and sailed into a couple fluky holes (everyone did too) before we could get away from the shore effect.  Then the rest of the leg was basically a reach as the wind shifted to an onshore.  If the race were a little longer we could have made up some time on Outlaw.  In any case, we beat Silver Wheel by a lot and corrected over Coltrek in the A Fleet.

All-in-all, not a bad day of sailing.  And it was nice to sail with a sprit again.

Thanks to Judy, Kim, Steve, Andy and Shawn.

Posted in 27X, Hunter 27X, Race Recaps, Results, sailboat race, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2nd Place in Doublehanded Class in Transerie Race

Posted by AJ Miceli on August 23, 2009

Well, we made it.  We finished in a little over 28 hours and got 2nd place in the doublehanded class.  With everything going on it’ll be a while before I post the whole story of the delivery and the race.  We had wind almost the whole way, sometimes gusting to 25-35.  There were storms and there were waterspouts (see the picture below of one of three water spouts that formed about two miles ahead of us on Saturday morning).   The carbon fiber bowsprit snapped off at midnight on the first night.  No one was hurt, and we finished and got a cool flag (see below).

More to come.

Posted in 27X, Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Lake Erie Sailing, Results, sailboat race, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Urbaniak #1 Race Results and Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 22, 2009

Results:  4th Place

Recap:  It was beautiful day for a Father’s Day race.  Blue skies, winds WNW at 10 knots and steady.   7 boats came out in our fleet.  The course was W-R14 two times around.

The line was reasonably perpendicular.  I think the boat end may have been slightly favored, but we started nearer the pin end.  I thought there was going to be some clear air, but by the time we got there we were in a little bit of troubled air.  So, we could have had a better start.  Most tacked to port soon after crossing the line.  We traveled longer on starboard as the air was clear.  After Venture tacked away, Steve glanced at the GPS and discovered that we were on port layline!  It’s a good thing he saw that, otherwise we would have WAY overstood.  We tacked right away and headed for the mark.  Sure enough, we were close to the mark when we arrived.  That meant that we didn’t have much time on starboard to setup for the spinnaker set.

After rounding we took a little time to get the chute up (Kim was new to the foredeck) and under control, even though the air was relatively light.   The downwind leg went OK.  The gybes were a little sloppy but we did OK.  Of course, News and Outlaw were way ahead of us, and Venture was a couple minutes ahead.  We came together at the leeward mark with Loggerhead and Lady Jane.  We were on starboard, so we were positioned well.  After rounding we did a windward takedown and sailed away.  We were pointing a little higher than the other two, so they had so sail our bad air for a while.

We had a good upwind leg.  We were sailing faster and higher than Lady Jane and Silver Wheel, and we were staying fairly even with Loggerhead (not bad, since they’re a J-boat).  This time, of course, we didn’t go all the way out to the port layline, so we had a little more time to setup for the spinnaker set.

After rounding we had a small glitch in some tangled lines, but the chute went up reasonably well.  Once again we tacked downwind.   Unfortunately the winds started going light on the downwind leg, so News, Outlaw and Venture increased their leads.   We held our lead, and maybe even increased a little, on Lady Jane and Silver Wheel.  Loggerhead didn’t fly their chute on the second time around, so they fell behind.  One of the gybes (right by the committee boat, of course) didn’t go well — chute wrapped on the forestay — but it didn’t hurt us too badly.

We rounded R-14 alone and in clear air and sailed for the line.  We finished ahead of Loggerhead, Lady Jane and Silver Wheel.  All-in-all a very nice sail.

Thanks to our light air crew:  Steve, Andy, Kim

See you Wednesday.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Race Recaps, Results, sailboat race, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hilbrich Electric Race 1 Results and Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 11, 2009

Results:  11th

Recap: Ask me how much I like long windward-leeward JAM races in light to dying air.  The wind at the start was E @ 9kts, predicted to die by 8PM.  The course was R-14 and back to M for the finish (3.86 nm).   11 boats in our fleet on the line.  We had a bad start in bad air near the back of the fleet.  The only good thing about that is that you get to tack away to port and clear your air right away, so we did.  We sailed that tack in toward shore and then tacked over in clear air for the long starboard tack.  That actually helped — we were lifted on that tack.  When we rejoined the fleet we had moved into 4th place or so.  We always gauge by where we end up in relation to Serendipity.  When we crossed tacks with Serendipity about 2/3 of the way up the course we felt pretty good about the time we had made up.

Then things went wrong.   The wind dropped precipitously and our boat speed went from 3’s and 4’s to 1’s and 2’s.   A couple crew members think we picked up some seaweed (there were some patches of seaweed left from the afternoon, and our manual speedo stopped reading numbers and went to — while the GPS showed 1.8 knots over ground).  Still we seemed much slower than others, and the others caught up and passed us.  To be honest, I don’t know if it was seaweed, or just that their 155’s were a bigger help in 2-3 knots of air.  We tacked over to port with about a tenth of a mile to go to the mark, and the wind came back up (to 5’s and 6’s) and backed a little which actually lifted us to the port layline sailing back in the 3’s and 4’s.  By then were back to the bottom third in rank.  We came together at the mark on port with Rakish and Serendipity on starboard.  Rakish was ahead and we were able to tack onto starboard about a boat-length and a half in front of Serendipity.  They probably weren’t happy about that, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t foul them (even under the new rule 18.3 “Tacking When Approaching A Mark”).

After rounding the wind went light again.   All the other boats went wing-n-wing and sailed away from us.  We did what we could, sailing the angles in 2-3 knots of wind.  We struggled for about 20 minutes and then the breeze started freshening.   We started sailing faster on port gybe away from the mark.   A minute or so after we gybed to starboard we found ourselves on a beam reach with the wind from the north.  The boats ahead of also dropped their wing-n-wing and were reaching.  The wind built back to about 8, but by then it was too late for us.  Even boats that we normally beat easily like Endurance were ahead of us reaching well.  We finished last in the fleet.  DFL.

On the way back to the marina the air was very chilly, but the sunset was beautiful.

Thanks to our crew:  Judy, Andy, Steve and Ken.

We’ll be short-handed on Sunday for two JAM races.  See you then.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Lake Erie Sailing, Race Recaps, Racing Rules of Sailing, Results, sailboat race, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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