Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Desert Classic conclusion

You’ve heard it before: On average, it’s perfect

Not much to say about Sunday, the second day of the Desert Classic Regatta. While Saturday was characterized by extremely light winds, Sunday started out breezy, escalated to blustery, and then went on to howling. We got two races off before conditions deteriorated to the point that it got dangerous – and the race committee boat, which had to stick around to see that everybody got off the course safely, got caught in conditions that led to a broken tiller and a really challenging voyage back to the boat ramp.

Pat, Penzance, and I all picked up our share of bruises, and I’m feeling a lot of aches and pains, especially in my legs, from all of the exertions involved in keeping a racing boat going in stiff conditions. We chose not to attempt to fly the spinnaker; that was probably a good choice for us, since far more experienced sailors were having major problems downwind in those conditions. We had our share of equipment failures, most significantly a broken boom vang, and flying the chute would have complicated that problem.

Upwind, our performance could have been better. Pat was concentrating on depowering during the gusts, and he wasn’t all that quick about sheeting in or pulling the traveler up or letting off the backstay once the gust was over. He has trouble getting rid of old data that’s no longer relevant; I no longer have problems with occasionally dipping the chainplates in the water, and I certainly don’t want all weather helm eliminated. I need to learn that when the helm starts feeling mushy, I should tell him, “Give me POWER!”

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Blogger Fred said...

>>He has trouble getting rid of old data that’s no longer relevant;<<
Uhh, that´s an interesting comment. Especially when racing sailboats. All my old "books" noting the trim datas are redundent. No use with new techniques. Only the data about the locations is still valid but also here the weather and subsequent tides are often not doing what they are supposed to do.
smooth sailing.

Wed Sep 26, 05:49:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

What has changed is not the boat but the skipper. When we first got the boat and I was still a beginner, I would have Pat depower more to keep the boat more controllable. As my comfort zone has increased, so the need to depower has decreased.

Wed Sep 26, 11:28:00 PM MDT  

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