Saturday, 14 June 2008

14 June 2008 - Racing?

estimate 8 nautical miles
Today was supposed to be the day of races for the club. Unfortunately I had not been able to find a crew for the day, but when I arrived at the club, Paula swapped from being crew on Blue to being my crew and Neil single-handed Blue.

The winds were very light and the GPS batteries ran flat so I have no map of the sailing. With Paula who is also a helm we spend about an hour on the water trying different positions for the genoa sheets. Nothing conclusive though... the new place for the fairleads on the forward seat didn't seem to set the genoa much better. Our conclusion really was we needed about 3/4 totally different fairlead positions to get a get setting at all points of sail.

We kept going back to see if they were ready to race as James was supposed to be racing and they had another commitment later in the day. Eventually the other boats came out and Nickos set the buoys for the race. We all gathered around the race boat. Instructions were shouted in Greek, which meant I understood one word in one hundred. Our hope was to follow the 470 which Christos was helming as we knew he had best idea for the race.

'Five minutes' and a blast on the horn. I sailed off for a couple of minutes, my plan was to be sailing back at speed to pass the start buoy at the start of the race... 'Three minutes' and a blast on the horn... we turn and begin to sail back... 'One minute'... we are well positioned I think, but half the fleet are sailing one direction and half the other. A total muddle of boats... '10..9..8....7..6..5..4..3..2..1..GO!'

Then multiple blasts on the horn to abort. So we sail off again and get ready again. Great, we are positioned next to Christos [who I thought was called Mike at that stage] and confirm the course with him. After the abortive start - I don't know why but the boats were all in a total muddle at the first start - five minutes laterwe were off again.

It was three laps round two buoys. There were Lasers, 470s, one Lasers 16 [Neil single handed], one Wayfarer [us] and one Optimist [James]. Christos was helming one of the 470s and had an experienced crew and was flying off with trapeze on the tacks and spinnaker on the downwind runs.

The first lap I didn't get the tacking turns great on the upwind run, so had to tack 4 or 5 times. Then got confused as to whether to bear off or gybe [bear off was correct] into the downwind run... and we got our whisker pole out and goosewinged all the way down to the next buoy. A smart gybe round that and we tacked back again upwind. Better this time, but still not as good as the others to get to the buoy. But beared off at the buoy correctly now and the downwind goosewing went well.

Final lap... tack changes perfect this time and caught up James [so we lapped him, but he was sailing an Optimist!] and did a photo shoot as we went by and were closing on the buoy. Quickly get the camera away, bear off round the buoy [nearly touched, but missed by half a metre - I guess that's pretty tight on the turn] and up with the whisker pole for the final downwind run.

Ooops... I forgot to mention... it was Paula on Blue who took the fabulous pictures of Galini on May 29th. She was telling me about the problems while crewing for me. Because there is a delay on pressing the shutter and the picture taking on her digital camera, trying to get us cresting a wave as a knack... press the button before we crest the wave to get the picture of us on the wave!

So... who won? Well... nobody was counting so I have no idea and back on shore people were asking is there is a way to calculate with different types of boats. I had the Portsmouth Yardstick spreadsheets on my computer so I will bring them down tomorrow.

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