My stupidest sailing day so far, almost
After 6 hours of sanding
rewarded myself by joining my buddies Jenneau 35 for the club twilight race
We get on the boat 20 minutes before the start - late but not a disaster. A bit rushed but set the tone for being "a little behind things" all through the race
We get on the start side of the course, we have about 6-7 knots of wind
and a lot of current
running with us. We are depowered and a bit early at the pin end. Another boat is coming from the start side on port, barreling in. It's a club race but we had rights. I stupidly decide to bear away and let the barger through...
This put us outside the pin and early by about 15 seconds. We tack back on to port and we foul another boat who also has to bear away and he ends up cleared off the line at the pin end. Then the barger has made his turn and we almost foul him. He's yelling up a storm now that he has rights.
Oh, well first lesson learned. When you got rights sometimes it may be better to crash.
Now we are so slow we have to dump the genny completely so the bow doesn't blow down on the pin. The main eeks us through the gate and we are off - with about zero speed. Totally blown start.
The start gets underway and in about 5 minutes the fast boats are clearing off and the 3 high handicappers get into a bit of a match race. It was a lot of fun, we are really going pretty well upwind but aren't pointing. Someone finally looks and says, "Are those genny cars in the right place." - All the way back? Of course not - they are about 9 holes off.
blushes and says, "Oh, yeah. I moved them when I washed the boat last week." So we go through the rest of the rig. Reef 1 & 2 are tight on the leech & the topping lift
is tight on the boom -
Lesson 2 rushing to the boat and flinging the sails
up is not conducive to good boat handling.
We get the cars sorted on the first tack but we are way left do to the slow start and no pointing. The other Jeanneau
has caught us as well as G24(?) closing - We execute a nice tack, cross behind the Jeanneau
with intention of having starboard rights on the lay line - It worked out just like the book said it would and we take the mark in 5th - the fast boats all clearing out.
Downwind (white sail race) we are slow and couldn't figure out why all day. We change positions a couple of times and we just lose the overlap at the and of the ~2 mile downwind. Upwind we do well and at the second rounding we are strung out about 50 meters between each boat.
Conditions are very shifty and we have periods of drift and then periods of 8 knots of wind
. We are also now fighting about a 2 knot
(favoring the downwind) - At the bottom mark on lap two I make a critical error. The wind is DDW at the mark and weak. I decide to "round" the mark but after the tack we are set back by the current and have no speed. We almost get set back, on the mark and have to do another zero speed tack. We end up getting set about 100 meters below the mark before we get the boat moving. The right call was to simply harden up at the mark, get some speed and room and worry about making way up the course later. I knew that.
Anyway the other guys made it around but the are way left - I decide that now we have to split and we go right. We get across the channel, into shallow water
with less current and a small thunderstorm (the reason for now wind) now starts dumping - we now get 5.1 SOG into a 2kt current - we are doing great and have made up all the lost
ground from the downwind mark debacle - and we are on the club side of the channel and closest to the line.
Except we have little room from the shore. I keep praying for a lift
but none comes. We decide to sail through the moorings - Big mistake. The short lived thunderstorm peters out and we do all we can to simply not hit moored boats. 5 minutes later we tack out and extricate ourselves from the moorings.
The Jeaneau gets past us and I think we can tack back in and make the line - Bad call again. We tack back and immediately get headed - we are heading 90 degrees to the shore.
I haven't been paying attention to the continuing clocking of the wind. we went from close hauled aimed at the line to close hauled aimed at the shore - like a 90 degree shift.
Oh, well - tack out - 4 more tacks to the line because of course every time we tack back toward the club line we are 90 degrees to the 2 knot
From 1 3/4 laps of "match racing" to dead last by a long way (like 12 minutes+) -
Very stupid, lots learned and remembered but it's OK - Went Sailing!
Today I think I will sand the boat some more - better at that lately - LOL