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Old 15-08-2007, 20:42   #1
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I'm Going Racing

I have never had the motivation to be a sailboat racer but one of the members in our club is racing in the Western Straits Regatta and pinged me to join as crew. I am getting a little excited.

He is in the J24 class which has been renewed this year. I think there are 9 or 10 boats in this class.

10th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta 2007 - Asian Yachting Race Reports from Singapore

10th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta 2007 - Photos: Day One

The good news is that the boat is not in the top 5 so if I don't fall off the boat there may not be too much harm I can do.

Should be fun!
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Old 16-08-2007, 02:20   #2
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Good luck Dan!! Start getting into shape. Racing on a J24 requires agility and some strength and endurance. Always do what your skipper tells you to do even if it seems counterintuitive. Remember, they are in charge.
If you have a chance, read up on the racing rules because they are a bit different than ColRegs and its helpful to know what's going on.
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Old 16-08-2007, 09:03   #3
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Have a great time!!
Agreed, very "athletic" boat to race!!!
Tell us about all your "boat bites" when you get back!!
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Old 16-08-2007, 12:42   #4
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I just raced for the first time recently and absolutely loved it, hope you enjoy!
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Old 16-08-2007, 18:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn
Good luck Dan!! Start getting into shape.
Round is a shape- right? I've been following the regimen below to reach peak performance. Seriously - It should be an eye opener. I took a J24 course last year and the boat is lot's of fun. We are having a practice on Saturday so the roles and responsibilities will be clear. I've already told the skipper that even though I am an owner I will be in full "weak mind - strong back mode."

J24 racing diets:

Dr. Zaftig Report:

TAKE HIS ADVICE - HE KNOWS OF WHAT HE SPEAKS!

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it.. don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, What a Ride"

AND......

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION

Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
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Old 19-08-2007, 18:49   #6
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I have never actually sailed on a J24, but have raced plenty against them (on 6m Elliots). They look to be a fun boat to race, but will require plenty of tweaking and trimming to get them flying and, to use a much over-used expression in the racing world: "hike, bitches".
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Old 19-08-2007, 19:13   #7
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What a Rush!

What a cool weekend. We were all new crew and the owner is new to J24 class racing so we met on Saturday for a practice. Unfortunately the weather was bad so we just stayed tied up at the dock and ran procedures.

Sunday was race day. We had about 1 hour from skipper's meeting to start so we headed out and got about 1 hour practice as a team. We did a spinnaker set, 1 gybe and a douse before we had to line up.

Here is a picture of us in traffic near the start (Pemaquid) - Sail 4780 - with Jangan Main-Main right in front. This is about as close as we got to the "pack" all day. We were 2nd last overall and ended up 8th out of 10 in the J24 class thanks to one did not start and one (Hakuna Matata) got lost.

We started in good conditions but at the first mark the weather went absolute crap! We were in 4 foot seas with driving tropical rain for the next 3 hours with visibility down to about 8 boat lengths. This is when Hakuna Matata got lost. They drifted downwind on this reach and initially we started to follow but we figured it out, sailed by compass heading and found the mark while they ended up having to beat back up to it. During the storm we had to short sail to main only and having initially set the spinnaker we almost left it too late to douse - it was an exciting douse as the rain started to pelt us and the first squall came in. The reach was awesome in the storm with waves coming over the deck.

Our poor finish was a result primarily of tactics not boat speed. In the beggining we were faster than Hakuna Matata, Shengli and Quarterdeck on the same tack and were holding our own against the other J24s. For a while on the first leg we were in 5th. However we just got too far out in the channel and the incoming tide kicked our ass - we didn't notice all the boats were hugging the shore line (upwind left side)and eventually we found ourselves out on the right side (mid-channel) of the course all alone ;-( We ended up dead last at the first mark as we had to make a long tack to get to the left side of the course and dodge some freakin' barges.

After the second mark when Hakuna Matata got lost we were 20 minutes ahead of her with no one around us. We had a glimpse at Shengli on the last leg and while we made time on her for sure with spinnaker set, we couldn't close the gap on a dead run and finished about 8 minutes behind her.

One boat not in our class was demasted in the storms and we saw them headed back under tow.

Whoo hoo! I am still pumped - tired and sore but pumped!

Next Saturday will be two short course suasages so we should get a work out on sail handling.
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Old 19-08-2007, 20:16   #8
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Hi Dan,
Sounds like you had a great time. We used to race our boat hard before retiring her to cruising life. It was a lot of fun and built up a great camaraderie amongst the crews. It's also a great way to develop your boating skills. Keep it up.

Cheers
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Old 25-08-2007, 19:14   #9
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Another Day of Racing

We had great conditions for the last day of racing. Probably 10-15 knots all day. 2 windward leeward races back to back with leeward gates.

Our foredeck guy and our mastman bailed out and we were seriously short handed. We'd found a replacement mastman with no experience but our foredack guy bailed out on the morning of the race - brilliant!. However, we found a guy with some J24 experience on the dock looking for a boat to crew on so we went with 4. Unfortunately neither of the guys we aded were experienced enough to work the foredeck so I "volunteered."

Foredeck is a work out. Lot's of setting the pole, raising the spinnaker, dousing the genoa, gybing the pole, stowing the pole, raising the genoa and dousing the spinnaker. I am absolutely exhausted but that which doesn't kill you just reminds you about **** you shouldn't be doing - LOL.

Once again we did a pretty god job of sail handling but our course management is pretty bad. I guess each race was about 8 miles, 6 legs of just over a mile.

The owner is very focused on tuning the boat exactly right but on these short races we were getting beat by 20+ minutes. It's not tuning. I think we are making too many turns i.e. driving around the course too much. He's convinced that a very broad reach is faster than a dead run downwind and it is true the boat sails slightly faster but the shortest distance between two points is still a straight line. You also lose boat speed with each gybe - but hey it's not my boat - I'm competent cargo and he's paying the entrance fees - LOL

We missed the lay line at least twice and had to make late tacks to get to the top mark. This is a matter of not allowing for downwind drift while close hauled. That has to absolutely kill your time as well as creating havok on your spinnaker raising timing.

We also got squeezed out of the port side leeward mark while overlapped. This is basically not knowing the rules. We clearly had right of way and the outside boat was required to make room but I was busy dousing spinnakers and stowing poles so keeping track of the rules wasn't my job. So instead of a nice gybe around the lower mark we made a 360 and then took the turn.

Well for our first outing we had a lot of fun, learned about fickle crews not showing up, learned a bit about the race rules, and ended up 8th overall in a class of 10 boats. Definitely not last with plenty of room to improve.

As I said I am very stiff and sore having used muscles I forgot I had. Racing is a good discipline. Sailing is easy, sailing where you want to go, sailing fast to get there and having exact same boats to compare yourself to is humbling and enlightening. I have to believe it makes one a better sailor.

Today seems like a good day to go out to my boat, grab a cold beer out of my newly installed fridge, put on some tunes on the ipod and sleep below decks under my newly installed fans.
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Old 25-08-2007, 19:55   #10
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That's racing!!!
With a regular crew and take some licks from the start, one design only gets better!
Great workout indeed. Glad your crew and boat were all safe in those conditions, it's not hard for either to get "boat bites"
I'm missing racing on Team Blew Bayou we have our final race next Friday and the boat is for sale due to a divorce of the Owners.
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Old 26-08-2007, 19:49   #11
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That looks like lot's of fun. Not to mention lot's of drinkin'

Too bad about the divorce.

Sunday worked out perfect - Reach to reach on Relax Lah! recuperating. Ended up rafting up with some friends and watcing the sun go down.

Bliss...
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Old 26-08-2007, 20:06   #12
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Glad you enjoyed the experience.

FWIW, running dead downwind is not necessarily faster than broad reaching with lots of gybes... it depends on the boat and the conditions. In some situations, particularly in light conditions, you will crawl going dead downwind and by reaching slightly you generate more apparent breeze and should actally get better VMG (velocity made good, or velocity towards the mark) by using this technique. Like I say, when this is the case depends on both the boat and the conditions. If you want a rule of thumb as to whether it is going to be quicker (particularly in a 1 design fleet), look at the boats at the front - if they are running dead downwind, you probably should, if they are "heating it up" and gybing, that is probably quicker (of course, in some cases, the benefit is sufficiently marginal that if you aren't slick through the gybes, all the benefit you gained can be lost and then some if you gybe poorly.

The point is, you can learn a lot by watching your opposition, especially those at the pointy end of the fleet.

But you have, it seems, already worked out the most important rule: Even though it is a race, the point is still to have fun!
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Old 26-08-2007, 20:07   #13
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Glad you enjoyed the experience.

FWIW, running dead downwind is not necessarily faster than broad reaching with lots of gybes... it depends on the boat and the conditions. In some situations, particularly in light conditions, you will crawl going dead downwind and by reaching slightly you generate more apparent breeze and should actally get better VMG (velocity made good, or velocity towards the mark) by using this technique. Like I say, when this is the case depends on both the boat and the conditions. If you want a rule of thumb as to whether it is going to be quicker (particularly in a 1 design fleet), look at the boats at the front - if they are running dead downwind, you probably should, if they are "heating it up" and gybing, that is probably quicker (of course, in some cases, the benefit is sufficiently marginal that if you aren't slick through the gybes, all the benefit you gained can be lost and then some if you gybe poorly.

The point is, you can learn a lot by watching your opposition, especially those at the pointy end of the fleet.

But you have, it seems, already worked out the most important rule: Even though it is a race, the point is still to have fun!
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Old 27-08-2007, 02:53   #14
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As a confimed looser...

I am hopeless at racing, but the one tip I gained is that knowing the local currents and tides can be decisive.

Takes courage to go to the wrong side of the bay though!
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Old 27-08-2007, 19:22   #15
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Yeah we did that. At one point we we all out the way out on the end on our lonesome again. I told the Skipper we had to be either the smartest guys in the race or the dumbest - LOL.

Sunday I had lunch with one of the "successful" tacticians on one of the big boats. Good conversation. Bottom line is don't get hung out on the end. Stay in the diamond and follow the faster boats until you know what you are doing.

Simple, eh?
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