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Old 20-12-2011, 02:51   #241
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Excellent day out - 4 or 5 hours, 10-14 knots true, sunny and warm, flat water. Had a lovely reach for n hour and half on auto pilot at 8 and bit knots boat speed.
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Old 24-12-2011, 06:33   #242
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Lovely sail yesterday on Tampa bay with a friend and 8 knots. Doing again today with 80 degrees and 10 knots.
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Old 20-02-2012, 18:29   #243
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Singapore's Horseburgh Light Challenge Regatta (warning - whiney bitchy post to follow...)

So after two months of business trips to the US I was seriously looking forward to getting back and sailing in the Horseburgh Challenge. I was tactician, trimmer, teacher on a Sun Odyssey 36. Great boat, great skipper, 3 other crew but all a bit inexperienced. The Northeast Monsoon is supposed to blow a steady 15 knots this time of year and this is supposed to be a great deal of fun...

Day one was supposed to be a short passage from SAF yacht club changi on the east coast headed west down the coast and back. Sort of a shakedown passage but first let me bitch about handicaps. We were in PY with a handicap of 96. There was a benneteau First 40.7 in our class with a handicap of 80. So that's our first problem. He's only giving us 16 minutes? There was a Bavaria 37 with a handicap of 110 so we a are giving 14 minutes to a boat with a one foot longer loa but only getting 16 from a bonafide IRC A boat? Jeez. We are also giving an average of 20 minutes to various 28-30 foot Hunters and other cruising boats.

So the second day is the 65 mile race across the straits, up to the light and back. Day 3 is 3 windward lewards. The handicap system is that all boats will be adjusted based on the first passage race and the new handicap numbers applied to the first windward leward (race 3) thereafter the handicaps are adjusted for each windward leward result and applied to the next windward leward race.

Confused yet? So we carry a 96 on the first two passages, adjusted handicap on the first windward leward and then a new handicap for race 4 and 5 based on windward leward results.

The first passage race starts in about 2 knots of cross current. Wind is easterly so the course is set with a short southerly course (about 1/4 mile) then a right turn downwind for about 5 miles. Good idea to not have a downwind start.

The IRC class starts, py 5 minutes later. We start at the committee boat in about 6 knots of wind and get on the course. 7 of 11 py boats drift past the pin and cant get back. 20 minutes later the IRC boats haven't finished the dogleg and the race is abandoned.

They move the dogleg in and adjust the line to give folks a better chance and during the lull the wind fills in a bit. The restart is better and everyone gets across the line. We make the turn, spinnakers fly in various states and we do a 2 hour drift against a 2 knot current to the mark. Course is shortened at the downwind end. We are 5th on the water which is what we expected including beating the Bavaria but we give him a lot of time. There is an IOR one tonner also that is quite fast. We end up 4th on the water and 9th corrected in front of the Benne and the IOR boat also suffering from their handicaps. At least our handicap is competitive for race 3 where we will have a chance to make up ground.

The next day is a 7am start and an 18 hour time limit. There is absolutely zero wind and the race committe decides (correctly) to have the whole fleet motor across the strait to Indonesia (Nongsa) and start the race there at what was Mark 1. We get a start off at 920 on an ebb tide and 3 hours later the fleet is fairly scattered. The IRC guys disappear but we learn from their tactics. It is a long ~30 mile beat to the light. We end up very close to a Hunter 32 and the 37 Bavaria and end up with some tacking duels up on the Malaysia coast. We end up shaking the Hunter as he lost the plot but we are losing ground to the Bavaria and end up 1/4 mile back and downwind n the left side of the course. I decide to split and tack a long way upwind, cross channel where I see a thunderstorm developing. The Bavaria stays left. We tack just downwind of the thunderhead and end up reaching at 7 knots. The Bavaria is way left off the lay line, way downwind of the storm and with that one decision we beat the Bavaria to the mark by a mile, do our rounding and get about a mile downwind before the storm peters out and everyone starts drifting again.

We are 4th on the water in class at least a mile ahead. We are still against current and eventually see 1.8 knots on a heading of 270 but our gps course is 90! We are reversing! We later learn some guys at the mark anchored for an hour. Where we were however the wind is shifting and what started as about 7 knots easterely eventually becomes a 10 knot westerly. Oh, joy upwind both ways!

This is good news however as an easterly would have been good for all behind us. The wind slowly fills and our later gps track shows a starboard tack headed south that lifted all afternoon into a big curve strait at Mark one after only a short 1/2 mile tack to get to the right side. We finally get 5 knots boat speed and get 3 hours on one lifting tack. We are smoking everyone behind us.

We are expecting the course to be shortened at Mark 1 but reaching there in the dark, there is no committee boat to be found. There is lots of radio chatter about guys with no fuel (why would they need it?) dead batteries and no nav lights and one retirement. The is a safety boat there that causes us some confusion in the dark especially with our "mindset" for a short course but the boat was there to give some folks fuel and batteries! We clear our heads, round mark 1 at about 8pm and head across the busiest shipping channel in the world at night in 10 knots of wind. The good news is it is a reach and we keep a steady 4.5-5knots. We are cross current but it is a light lift to the finish. We end up dodging 10-12 ships in the night -a bit unnerving. Hard to pick up the eastbound ships as we are looking right at the city of Singapore as a backdrop and there is lots of light clutter.

We end up finishing at 1043. About 13:23 elapsed time. A long day but we feel we did really well. The high handicappers start coming in way closer than we expected them too and there is grumbling about who used motors and when. Grrr... The closest boat on the water is a hunter 28 only 1:20 behind us. We think this is impossible but what the hell. The committee pulls everyone's gps tracks but we feel nothing will come of it.

We end up 4th on the water, but on handicap end up 6th.

Day 3. Race 3. Here is where we need to shine with our "new" handicap. Because everyone bunched up on day one the max we give is like 7 minutes.

Race 3 starts with a northwest course. Into the easterly current of about 2 knots. We make a late start with minimal sog just below the committee boat. We pass 4 boats and stay on starboard tack a long time. We make one short tack to clear the committee boat just in case the wind dies. We did not want to get set back across the start line. We get back on starboard and get lifted all the way to the top mark. But the wind is really shifting and as we approach the top mark, race abandoned. We all return to the marina.

2 hours later the wind is southeast - a complete 180! The restart of race 3 has us at the committee boat on starboard. We are late again but it works out great. All the early boats stayed on starboard too long, have tacked and are now clawing back up current on port. We are coming through them on starboard and make 3 boats duck us. We end up 4th on water at our first tack. However we are left of course and I really knew we had to stay right but I ma a bad decision to chase down one last port tacker.

The wind dies and everyone on the left side is reaching straight up current to hold position against the current. We end up above the mark down current but the only choice is to keep reaching above it and storm storm down on it from above. We finally get enough height, gybe and barrel down on the mark. We come close on port, button hook (actually steering through 720 degrees) with our momentum and have finally rounded. Get the spinnaker up and are almost reaching to stay left. Finally get a line on the bottom mark but by now the course is completely biased. The wind shifted westerly and we ended up gybing the bottom mark and reaching under spinnaker back up the course!

Just before we had to tack back to the top mark, we doused and by the time we got the boat squared away we timed out. 3 boats were right of the course when the wind died. The benne, the IOR and one other fairly fast boat. Only these 3 boats finished. Race 4 and 5 abandoned!

So. Had a 9 a 6 and a 12. Only 3 of 5 races completed and we only finished 2 of them. We end up 8th overall. Very frustrating for the crew. We had to take solace in our on water finishes in the first two races (4 and 4) which I think was a good indication of where the handicaps should have been. We had a couple of very nice tactical moves in the long race and we smoked everyone we were supposed to smoke as long as the wind held up in the only windward leward race.

The wind gods were not kind this weekend.
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Old 26-02-2012, 15:07   #244
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Much better this weekend. After 2 1/2 months away from the boat she was a mess. Saturday Borrowed a scuba tank. Scrubbed topsides, soaked and cleaned all sheets and halyards. Rerouted fuel line for motor, fixed tiller bracket. A couple of other odd jobs completed but never enough time to do them all. Ended the day scrubbing the bottom for an hour. 10 hours of maintenance.

Sunday went sailing on a friends boat. Had a nice 12-18 knots all day. It was our weekend "sunday" series. Spinnakers encouraged as opposed to our Saturday twilight series which is white sail only. Because of tidal currents we had a downwind start. 5 of 8 boats looked ready to start under spinnaker but as it turned out only two of us gave it a shot. I planned to be late on purpose but ended up about 2 minutes late - a bit too late but I didn't want to have to restart under any circumstance so it was just ok. Under spinnaker was the right call and we caught all but 3 boats within a mile.

Another mile and we had broken into 2 groups of 4. We made a 40 degree turn to starboard at the first mark. Did a fairly slow douse but soon were broad reaching at 6 knots. The wind then got variable for about 20 minutes and we were able to take advantage of the acelleration opportunities with quick trim and rolled into 3rd. A slight port turn, about 15 degrees to the top mark. The now 4th place boat popped spinnaker again but didn't gain any real advantage. They ended up just outside our hip overlapped for the turn. We made a great tack and out gassed them after rounding the mark. Opened up about 2 boat lengths.

We worked it into about 3 lengths and crossed upwind. From there it was pay attention to the shifts and by mark one we had about 10 lengths. 2 long tacks to the finish. We ended up 3rd on the water and 2nd on handicap.

Very nice sail compared to last week.
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Old 27-02-2012, 07:11   #245
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Sigh. 68 days until launch.


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Old 27-02-2012, 22:14   #246
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Don't ask this guy from my neighborhood !

At Least He had Good Weather and a Mountain View !
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Old 28-02-2012, 00:17   #247
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Ours was good.

We decided as the wind was southerly, we would motor south into the wind as far as Jumpinpin Bar (the exit to the big wide ocean). The very northern tip of Sth Stradbroke is just a sand dune....very white sand and with the sun shining and the clear blue sky today looked very very lovely, so it is earmarked for a nights stopover.

Once we turned around we had the wind behind us so were able to sail.
We came down past Slipping Sands on Nth Straddie (again had not been down this channel)


It's great sailing past all the islands. Not all are inhabited and some are not all that big. They are all lined with mangroves and mostly low lying.





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Old 28-02-2012, 01:57   #248
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Yesterday, on the Napa River. (Wake gives an indication where the river is shallow, the vast majority of its lower reaches.)

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Old 29-02-2012, 01:14   #249
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Photos got posted to the club website.

Photo one is the start line with Simba popping her chute brilliantly right before the gun.

Photo two is us coming up to the line 2 minutes late with an awesome wineglass going on.

I'd almost pay to have Simbas bow crew. They've been together like 10 years.

We have me on bow and a crew that's been together for a few weeks.

We ended up beating Simba on the water. We do well upwind in light air...
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Old 12-03-2012, 20:14   #250
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Sailed the last regatta of the season for a while. Commodore's Cup. 4 passage races planned with 10 course choices ranging from 120-330 minutes planned.

Day one was very light and both days we had 2 1/2 knot currents running out in the afternoon.

The light winds on day one favored the lighter boats. We sailed with an 80 PY. 11 boats total and in race one we did well to finish 6th. We beat every boat with a handicap higher than 72. Unfortunately there were some pretty fast boats.

In race 2 we followed the crowd right. Two boats close to us stayed left and got extremely favorable currents up the course. The top mark was reqched and we did well on the run but we pretty much lost tactically in the light winds. We couldn't overcome the current in the light wind. Finished 8th for a total of 14 points on the day and lying tied for 8th in the regatta.

Day two had the same strong currents but much stronger conditions. In race 3 we did just about everythng right. We out pointed everyone we were supposed to, maybe a bit slow on the spin set but after 2 hours we ended up in a drag race reaching finish against Simba. They rolled us and we climbed up and reestablished overlap, they broke the overlap, we reestablished. 40 degree heading changes to "mess" with each other. They pipped us at the post but of course had to give us 10 minutes on handicap. It was just fun being close to each other in the race. Doesn't happen a bunch in PY. We ended up pulling a third!

The second race was at peak current. We all started well and the first mark was once again crowded. Good fun to have everyone bunched up. Once we got in the open bowl the beat was good. We pointed well and had good speed. We started the day tied with Swiss Marigold, she has a 79 handicap and is really our boat to beat. Simba is more like our rabbit.

Marigold hasn't been pointing well but gets good speed. In race 2 she went left and got a good result. We had to beat SM on day two and we did so handily in race 3. She had spin problems and Simba and us ran away from her on the run. While Marigold wasn't pointing it seems she had good speed as we were close on most crossings.

In race 4 we rounded a top mark (Tekong buoy) that is pretty close to shore, hit a mid mark down wind and went back to reround tekong. The first round was fine. A short spin run and we rounded the mid mark with Simba. SM was still 400 meters to the mid mark. Simba hit the mark because the wind died and the current was strong. She managed her turn in dead conditions so didn't really lose anything. We were in the lee of an island so the current wasn't really setting us hard as it could have. We hung on hoping for the wind to come back with boats stalled all over the course. We were headed up channel and Simba was headed perpendicular.

Then we saw the north east wind coming. We could see boats 1/4 mile away getting heeled and taking off. We prepared to get a jump start. When the wind came it came on strong. After the race some guys had recorded up to 33 knots. That's Singapore sailing. 0-30 in 3 minutes...

We split completely with Simba and thought we got a really good jump on her. We were headed stright into current they were across it. I hoped they got set badly... The wind was really strong and we had to work the main a lot to avoid rounding up or broaching. It was great sailing. We considered shorting sail but the boat ws fast and I did not want to lose any tme.

We rejoined 15 minutes later at the top mark. They were starboard and crossed us. We went deep to what we thought would be the layline and tacked 200 meters from the mark. This is where it got crazy. There was at least 2 1/2 knots current and the mark was dead upwind. If you look at a chart there is only about 300 meters to the shore so you are limited on how high you can get above the lay line. On the first attempt both we and Simba got set well below the lay line and had to tack. When we tacked back to port we looked right and here comes Marigold! 3 of us are now at the top mark with really adverse conditions. We got behind Simba and in hindsight I should have overstood the mark on starboard well below it and come down hard from below it. Simba tacked to starbord just feet from shore and just cleared the mark. We were slow out of the tack and didn't accelerate enough to make it the second time - approaching we passed abeam the mark about 5 meters downwind and downcurrent on port. By the time we tacked to starboard we were 75 meters downcurrent. Meanwhile Marigold missed their first try and were attempting a second. They went to school on us and made their second rounding. We made our third try at it and both Simba and Marigold were well down the course by the time we got around.

Now it is a drag race. The winds were abating again and by the time we recovered from all the short tacking we were 1/4 way down the course with about 145 apparent. Winds were about 13 knots now and boat speed wasn't bad. We got lazy, ok and a little concerned about setting the spin and decided to stay white sails and sail the angles.

The race commitee decided to short the course at the bottom mark, eliminated about a 1/3 mile reaching finish. Simba and SM did not fly chutes either so we thought competitively we could make some time or uncompetitively we could just pace them. At this point we couldn't see the committe boat but we saw Simba round and keep sailing the reach. Marigold reached the mark and started doing turns! What's up? Did they break something? This is good cuz we gotta beat those guys.

Turns out we see the committe boat and realize the race is over. We later learn that after the finish they gybed and knocked their bowman in the water. They dropped sails to effect an easy mob recovery - LOL.

The post mortem was that one boat shredded a spinnaker, one boat had the spin wrap the forestay and they effectively finnished under main with the spin just flogging. They motored back with the spin flying like a flag and sent someone up the mast for 40 minutes to unwrap it and the halyard which at the end had about 6 turns. The changeable winds were extreme.y challenging for everyone and there were lots of near broaches.

We raced PY but we also had a beach cat division and a tri division. Several beach cats capsized,

We ended up 6th behind Marigold in race 4 and beat Simba on HC. Our saving grace was our 3 in race 3. We ended up ahead of Simba and SM and all the "heavy" boats. We also beat a J24. 6th overall in the ragatta moving up a couple of spots on day 2. We threw out our 8 and ended up 6-3-6.

Great fun!
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Old 12-03-2012, 21:02   #251
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Good fun! We went sailing for the first time in about two months on Sunday. We did a "Gillian" (three-hour tour). Sailing conditions were near-perfect with winds on the beam at 12-15 kts, gusts only to 20 max. The wind made it damn cold, but it was great to get underway after such a long time tied up dockside!

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Old 12-03-2012, 21:09   #252
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Took the beast out yesterday to seatrial the new bottom. After morning showers, the wind turned westerly around 1630, so I jumped onto Accuweather radar and saw a good two-hour window. Just enough time to reach over to The City and maybe still get home dry.

Goodness, I love a new bottom. A shame I can't afford one every year.
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Old 01-04-2012, 21:37   #253
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Mixed weekend...

Saturday twilight. Still working with new skip and his crew. 2 new bodies show up. Skipper places them on genny winches. I presume they know what they are doing. Bad call. I am limited as tactician/instructor. 7 on the boat so I clear the cockpit and hang out as "mastman" although twilights are white sail.

So we have skipper, main, 3 genny tackers and a passenger in the cockpit. Too many folks, boat with its butt sagging from all the cockpit weight but it's a twilight so what the heck...

We time a good start, tack onto starboard with 45 seconds and the intent to charge the line. Lazy sheet line wrap, kerfuffle and hit the line a bit late and slow. No big deal. New crew jitters, I think... Later I realize the starboard guy is "paying" out the lazy sheet while still loaded on the winch!

Good 15-17 knot conditions. We are in touch with a j24 (much faster) and our "pace" boat Simba. Our speed is a bit slow and we aren't pointing as well as we should.

The main trimmer after 4-6 weekends of instruction is doing some really annoying things. Upwind leg, traveller up, adjusting the main sheet? Putting the traveller on a winch, very slow to trim the boom. The boat is close to over powered and we repeatedly round up and sail continuous "S" turns on the upwind. The main trimmer hasn't learned a thing about his participation in steering the boat upwind.

Out of the tacks it's taking about 10 seconds to get the genny trimmed. The boat is sailng at 5.5 knots and coming out of tacks we exit at .9-1.2 knots. We are losing about 100 meters on every tack. I yell at everyone for the first few tacks to "encourage" higher speeds but after a while I realize it's technique problem. They are tailing slow and the grinder has an average of 4 foot of sheet to grind and is getting worn out. And with 6 guys in the pit, I decide there is no room to go in and start teaching.

At the first lay line we are at least 10 boats back. We tack the line and of course with no boat speed we are blown below the mark, requiring a couple of shorttacks to get around. Downwind now 20 boats back we make some time up and the crew downs a few beers.

Bottom mark all we have to do is gybe the genny from wing on wing, harden up and go. We don't successfully gybe the genny, someone makes a call to let go the lazy sheet and the genny ends up wineglassed around the forestay. I give steering instructions to skip and we sort that mess out and get back on course.

Long story shorter. I decide that some days are just off days and sit on the rail drinking beer. Lap 2 we miss the top layline again. Skipper gives me the helm on the last 1/2 lap upwind to the finish. Later he said he wanted me to experience what he was experiencing at the helm. Rounding up and zero speed outta the tacks - good call by him, it was dismall. I almost pranged a Lagoon 400 on a mooring coming out of a tack with no steering ability. We end up a dismall 4th outta 4...

After the race I get in the pit move some people about and give a tacking demo. I tail about 4 tacks and we are averaging 3.5 knots coming outta the tacks with about 4-6 pumps on the handle to get made. Give the guys some practice and they get marginally better but they are way more interested in beer at this point.

The hardest part was the discussion with the skipper. He sought me out in the bar and it was weird. He was apologizing and was concerned I was gonna jump ship. I told him that wouldn't happen. But then had the skipper discussion. I asked him what his goals are after 6 weekends of training. He said he wants to win. He bitched a lot about the main trimmer and how hard it was to steer and that when I was main trimming it was a completely different experience. I pointed out the obvious. He needs to have a conversation with the main trimmer about it or replace him. He was a bit shocked as the main trimmer was a friend. I said I have trained him a lot and the guy truly doesn't believe anything I am telling him but that it isn't my boat so it isn't my call. On my boat he'd straighten up or get flicked.

After 6 weekends I expect only people to retain some of what they are told. I have spent so much time on crew skills I have had no time to stand with the skipper and teach steering and driving. He's a chronic pincher. It actually is a bit exasperating.

I finally admitted that if he enters twilights and passage races with me on board. I expect to compete, otherwise lets just booze cruise as that is cool too. But he is the skipper, it's not my place to ovstep and be the bad guy. However, if I decide that his boat won't compete, I will tell him why with plenty of advance notice. There are several fast boats that are asking me on board and in fact a couple of guys interested to start a J24 team, one of my favorite beer can racers.

Sunday - Took my girl, Relax Lah! Sailing with a few friends and their kids. Great wind, everything working. Otto steered a perfect close reach up the east coast for 2 1/2 hours while we ate drank and were merry. The kids in their Optis were out in force, maybe 200 boats. We tacked a few times to avoid driving through their race and practice courses.

Finally tacked back and broad reached 2 hours home while having water balloon fights.

Racing? What's that? LOL
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:27   #254
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Thems the negs about having to have crew, most of my twilight style racing is done solo or occasionally the two of us.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:56   #255
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Re: So . . . How Was Your Sail Today ?

Today was going to be the first sail in our little Navigator. So we headed off for the drive up to Hinze dam. Lovely drive, as usual, and arrived there with no problems at all. Now, if we had not been greedy and wanted more, like a sail for instance, we could have turned around and driven home with no problems and think that we had a lovely day.But, we had come for a sail so give it a go. Removing the trailer connection was the first sign of things to come. The plug came out ok, until you looked at it, the end bit had decided that it liked being shoved up the bum of the range rover, wanted to stay there and so disposed of it's surplus bits like a space shuttle jettisoning its launch rockets. No worries, we would just drive home sans lights.

We then got the mast up etc and reversed the boat down the 12klm ramp, it seems that long, and launched easily into the water. Up i go to park the car and put the trailer lock on, guess what? It does not fit. Suggested that we abandon it and go home, not wanting to leave the trailer unsecured there, Vixen said that i was" *** ******** ***** ** ** ******* ** **** **** *** **** ******* ****", so i cancelled that idea.

Into the boat to put the centreboard down and...........nope. It was stuck solid. Off with the top of the case, 947 screws,(10), bash the thing, swear at it, give it a good dose of death stares, and it gave us the proverbial finger. OK, sailing definitely cancelled for the day now. Go get the car, reverse the 12klms again, and getting it back on the trailer, two of the wobble rollers decided that voluntary euthanasia was on their list of things to do for the day. Managed to achieve the status of boat on rolling device and took it home.

Back at home we managed to get the centreboard out, it needs sanding to ease it's passage through the case, and new rollers will be bought on saturday. Now, wasnt that a beautiful day out? Think i will take up Russian Roulette, the pain lasts for a lesser time if it all goes wrong.

Coops.
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