Archive for the 'Racing' Category Page 2 of 5



IYC DH Lightship 2012


The DH Lightship ended not with a bang, but a cold and wet whimper as all but 5 of the 36 entrants retired in the face of light winds, bumpy vomit-inducing seas, and the flood tide that started all too early for most.   As you can see from the track above, we were among the retirees.   My crew was Gilles Combrison of GC Marine, who has done most of the rigging and deck work on Temerity over the last two years.

We had a good start, as most of Div A was fooled by the Race Committee’s mistake of starting the race 5 minutes earlier than had been stated in the SI’s.   The First Warning was meant to be at 0900, with the first start at 0905, but they started the sequence at 0855.  It was light, light, light though, and the lighter speedsters pulled ahead.   We set our somewhat baggy 0.75 oz runner and tried to make do reach-to-reach jibing to keep boatspeed up, the angles be damned.    It was cold and there was a heavy drizzle much of the time.   Eventually, we realized that we had spent 4 hours covering 25% of the course distance, with the wind only expected to get lighter later on.  So we bailed.   Well at least it was good practice of a sort, and I enjoyed sailing with Gilles.   Hopefully he can join us later in the season and we will have some better weather!

OYRA Lightship I

To say that our running in the OYRA Lightship I race got off to an inauspicious start would be beyond understatement.   I was lucky to have Kim, Chuy, and Michaela as crew, and was looking forward to turning in a good showing, as well as a good time.    The start proved to be a fiasco however, as I misjudged the speed of the early ebb and we drifted over the pin, snagging it in fact on our rudder.    As as you can see from the animated chart below, there we sat for all to see for nearly an hour.     The RC delayed the two Divisions after us, but then started them off, with Temerity playing the inglorious role as the pin.


View Larger Map

After the other fleets had all left, a nice young man in a big StFYC RIB helped us off, after several  attempts against the 3 kt current.  By towing straight back towards the ‘X’ buoy, we were eventually freed, and could see the nasty pink inflated mark ahead of us by a boatlength or so.   And then, before we could get the sail up and get steerage, we drifted right back down on it and snagged it again with the rudder.    A real character building moment.  Finally, we were off for real, we hoisted sails and started out the Gate.

The wind died, and then filled again out of the promised NW.   We made the Lightship in one long beat on starboard, getting a bit of a lift on the way.  It was too late to be clever and try to work to the north of the course.    As we rounded, the wind was blowing about 20 kts and had veered enough so that the apparent was nearly on our beam — too far forward to set the spin, and the seas were pretty steep, probably about the 12 feet at 12 seconds that had been forecast.    We stuck with the #1 and power-reached for home.     As the afternoon progressed, the wind built to a solid 30 kts with gusts of 35 kts.      With Kim and Chuy sharing the driving most of the way back, we saw over 17 kts on the speedo, a new boat record, helped by the steepness of the waves.   We even managed to pass a couple of the PHRO3 boats on the way back.    The result was a DFL, not surprising given our delayed start.

Fortunately the crew were very good about the whole business, and après-race we were all happy to tuck in to the delicious chicken pot pie that Kim had prepared, with Dark and Stormy chasers to take the edge off.   It was a lovely day with good wind and a chance to be on the ocean, so what’s not to enjoy?

Three Bridge Fiasco 2012

This year’s edition of the SSS Three Bridge Fiasco was the fourth time we have done the race, and the first time we have finished.   Annika flew up from UCSD to provide her excellent helming skills.   The weather couldn’t have been better warm and with lightish winds, except for the two big holes near Blackaller and at the end rounding Yerba Buena.

The wind was pretty variable at the time of the start.   Motoring along the city front at about 0900, the wind was up to 15+ kts with whitecaps forming west of TI, and so we put the #1 genny below and hauled out our shiny new Doyle Stratus #3.    But a half hour later it had dropped to less than 8, so it was down the hatch with the #3 and out again with the #1.   Even so, we called the start pretty badly, and were about 5 minutes late over the line, creeping along at 2 kts.  After being razzed by our pal War Dog about having too small a sail up, we set the spin, and proceeded to drift down to Blackaller, with over a hundred boats around us doing a floating fiberglass impersonation of 880 at rush hour.  We barely stayed outside the Anita Buoy, and then it was really crunch time as we entered the Maelstrom.   Three trimarans were lined up ahead, ama to ama and we where hemmed in on either side with boats less than 10 feet away.  The tris seemed to form a solid barrier, and in spite of the well known fact that multis are the fastest boats sailed by teh bestistist sailors, with our spin up we were fast than they were, and as overtaking boat had no rights.    I guess in hindsight I should have doused the spin, but somehow the waters parted and we snuck through.  “A ballsy move” was what one fellow racer told me the next day, but it was more reckless than anything.

We overstood Red Rock only to find the wind dying there as well, and had to do a short, slo mo tack to stay clear of the reef.    Then we made one of the better tactical calls of the day, delaying setting the spin to head south until the wind settled down.  At it turned out, the apparent wind was ahead of the beam for the whole reach down to TI, and we saved time over those boats that had set and doused.  The Bay Bridge was another traffic jam, and this time we did not do so well getting out of it.   But we picked up a bit by going straight for the Pier 39 corner instead of hugging the city shoreline as many boats did, and then had to tack out.     Our finish was at 15:35, putting us at 158th out of 271 double-handed starters.   It was a great day on the water for Annika and me!

Approaching the finish, photos by Jeremy of Surf City Racing.

 

Somehow there is always a line dangling whenever we get a photo taken…

[Edit] framgrab from our crossing the finish, seen from the Racedeck

3BF Currents, 2012 edition

It’s never too early to start thinking about.  DH again this year with the 1st Lt.   Our start: 9:57:45.  This year’s goal: to finish.

Animation from holdentechnology.com:

 

Frames broken out for your printing and studying pleasure (click for big):

The tide is not as strong as it has been the last couple of years:

Judgement Day

Oh snap, the Singlehanded Farallones Race is being held on Judgement Day.

Well I guess that is true in a way.  Yesterday I did a singlehanding practice, and meant to fly the spin, but by the time I got to the Cityfront (it was slow going against a big flood), the wind had kicked up to the teens, which was more than I wanted for my very first solo kite flying expedition.    So I messed about a bit just outside the Gate, enjoying the sun, breeze, dolphins, and views of the America replica and USA76 which were both out for a spin.

Fortunately, the End of the World will occur just after the Vallejo 1-2, which is pretty much the end of our season.

Racing Rules of Sailing

This video should come in handy this weekend —  our first Friday Night in the Estuary, and crewed Lightship Saturday.

Via Port Townsend Sailing Association

BAMA Doublehanded Farallones

Last Saturday Paul Harris and I took a little trip out to the Farallones, and I, at least,  got my ass kicked.

It started innocently enough.   It was my first BAMA DH Farallones race.   The forecast was moderate, as these things go, it was only supposed to blow no more than 25 kts outside, and for only the late afternoon hours.    The start was a drifter, with the real surprise being the tide.  Instead of a 3 kt ebb, we found we had about a 2 kt flood, setting due East.    For once I was on the ball at the start, and we aggressively motored up to the start line with the #1 and spin ready to go, cutting the engine 30 seconds short of the deadline.   We noted Green Buffalo doing the same, while most of the fleet was moving backwards, if at all, having set sails too early.   So we were in a good position as we crossed the line, perhaps less than a minute after our 0820 starting signal.

Looking back at the fleet at the start.    Almost everyone was suckered by the huge flood counter-current at the beach.

A small group of boats made the call to head North to intercept the ebb that must be out there somewhere.   We were moving, slowly, in the direction of the South Tower, and we hoped that we would either get a good puff or cross out of the counter current eventually.    This strategy did not pay off as well as the northerly one, as some of that portion of the fleet first reached the ebb and then a wind line came down from the North.   Meanwhile the bulk of the fleet was  still milling around in the start area.   We cleared the bridge, and the wind picked up.    We were making good time out to Pt. Bonita on starboard tack  under the #1, when it really started to blow and so we peeled to the #3.   The first real excitement of the day occurred as we lost a jib sheet, had to tack back onto port to re-attach it.  By this time the exposed reef at Bonita was looking pretty close and pretty mean.   We tacked away with only a few boatlengths to spare.   We settled in on starboard, aiming more or less at the Farallones, parallel and about a mile north of the shipping channel.  The seas were short and steep, and the wind piped up to 20 – 25 kts true.    I could hear down below as various objects were crashing and breaking.    We were also taking a lot of water onto the deck, and we scooped up one big wave with the bow that sent a mass of water over the cabin top and dumped into the open hatch.     Oh well.

Our track.  Unfortunately, the GPS ran  out of memory and overwrote the start of the race, which was the most interesting tactically.

About 10 nm outside the Gate a problem developed.    The #1 jib had not been secured well enough to the foredeck, and the waves coming across the deck had partially washed it through the baby strainer and into the sea, where it performed a creditable imitation of a sea anchor.  It was hard to see what was happening, and the #3 was sheeted in very hard, and some portion of the #1 was under the boat on the leeward side.   I offered to go fetch it back and Paul did not object.   I clipped in to the  jacklines and started crawling forward, hanging on to dear life as Temerity bucked her way through the waves.   I clung to the spin pole and mast, and started hauling the sail back on board.    This proved to be incredibly difficult, as the boat was doing 4+ kts through the water and the sail was acting like a big scoop.   The middle of the sail had gotten wedged down into a corner where the lifeline, stanchion, and strainer line formed a noose, and as soon as I had tugged a few feet of the damn genoa back aboard the sea would pull it back.  This happened again and again and again.   I tried to brace with my legs, but I needed at least half an arm to use as well to hang on.   While twisting my body and pulling as hard as I could, I suddenly heard and felt a tearing sound from my chest.  “Oh shit,” I thought, “this will start hurting pretty soon.”   I had pulled  a muscle in my upper abdomen, badly.   Paul  shouted words of encouragement, but my mental state was not good.   “What the hell are you doing out here, you are just not cut out for this!” I berated myself.    But my fear of losing the sail and having it jam under the boat, perhaps fouling the rudder, was greater than my fear of falling overboard or the pain and exhaustion I was feeling.   I was also wet to the skin at this point, having ventured forward without my foulie jacket on.   I got even more scared when I saw that in groveling around on deck my tether quick release had triggered, leaving me unsecured for some unknown amount of time.     I reattached it with shaking hands, and at this point Paul eased off the jib sheet enough for me to actually make some progress in getting the sail back on board.  Finally I had done it, and I bundled it up and put on two bungees to hold it down.   I had not brought any sail ties forward with me, which was quite an oversight.    By the time I made it back to the cockpit, I felt completely drained, and my torn muscle was stabbing me with pain with every breath.

Not 15 minutes later, it happened again.   The wimpy-ass bungees were just not enough the keep the waves from knocking the sail off the deck.    I told Paul I just couldn’t do it, and that it was his turn.  He suited up and ventured forward.     I let the sails flog like crazy and slowed the boat to 2 kts to make it easier for him.    Not as much of the sail had gone overboard as in the first instance, so he was able to recover it a bit more easily, and this time we stuffed the soaking thing down through the hatch.   I never wanted to see it again.

We were both beat, I had lost my fancy new Myerchin knife, and Paul’s VHF had also been launched into the sea at some point.   But we only had about 8 nm to go to the island, and all we had to do to get there was steer.    We knew we should reef as we were still overpowered, but figured we would want the full main back as soon as we rounded the Farallones.

It was clear and beautiful at the island, but neither of us had the energy or time to fetch the camera.  The famous great whites and orcas were not to be seen, as it was far too rough.   The waves smashed most impressively against the rocky shore.     We had converged with Nancy,  Express 37 Escapade, and 1D35 Zha Zha.    The ride back was fun — a deep reach (still with full main and #3) on a straight line course back to the Gate.    The wind was still blowing around 25 kts, and we were seeing 10’s,  11’s, and 12’s on the fun meter sliding down the steep waves.     Paul got an especially good ride on one, setting a boatspeed  all-time  record of 16.2 kts!

The wind stayed strong all the way to the finish, again defying the forecast.   We had a nice view of E-27 Great White doing multiple spin crashes, while Dianne under white sails only edged past to beat her by 2 minutes.

Temerity crossing the finish line at the X buoy.   The #3 sheeted to the stern fairlead proved fortuitous.  We were way too beat to change to  the #2 reacher.

We were crushed by the Cal 40s in our Division and edged out by Ay Caliente (oh there but for the dragging jib!).  The Wyliecats crushed us and their Division as well.   All the Moore 24s that finished beat us as did the entire Express 27 fleet.  Moores took the overall 1st, 2nd,  3rd, and 4th  places on corrected time.   On the other hand, we beat (on corrected time) all the Express 37s, a 1D35, and the Open 50.   The Olson 34 Redsky, the Mini, and the mighty Double Trouble dropped out.    And in a race where 4 out of 10 starters retired in the face of the wind and waves, just getting home in one piece feels like an accomplishment.

Some other write-ups:

Cal 40 Shaman (winner of our Division)

Video from SC-27 Don Quixote

Photo gallery from the race deck, by Slackwater

NorCalSailing’s writeup

More stories, official results, and links at the SF BAMA site.

19 April 2011 Edit:  I was interested in how participation in this race has changed over time, so I made up this plot.

Under her former name (OZONE) and owner, Temerity did this race only once before, in 1998.

SSS Corinthian Race

Last weekend Char and I competed in the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s Corinthian Race, in the Doublehanded Spinnaker Division.   Char was a little apprehensive about doing a race with just the two of us, but I told her we were not going to fly the spinnaker (even though we could have in principle), and that we would treat it as just another daddy-daughter day on the water.   Fortunately the weather was fair and the winds fairly light, except for a bit rounding Blossom Rock buoy.    We flew the full main and #3 jib, as did most of the rest of the fleet — I didn’t see too many #1s even in the very light air of the start.

It was a long day for us as we finished near the back of the pack (in spite of taking the Raccoon Strait option, that worked out for most of the winners), and we finished slightly after 5PM.   We saw a few porpoises and the usual seal, but again did not manage to take any pics!

Doublehanded Lightship


The rain held off at the start, but lumpy waves greeted sailors once they reached the ocean. ©2011 norcalsailing.com

This past weekend Temerity had her first outing in IYC’s iconic Double Handed Lightship race.  I was very lucky that Annika was home from college for Spring Break, and could crew!   It was to be a day of daddy-daughter bonding through shared suffering.

Annika and I went up to Alameda Friday afternoon, where we got the boat ready and reviewed spinnaker procedures.  We had a great pre-race dinner at Speisekammer (same place, different daughter since last week).    After a night spent on the boat listening to the rain on the deck, Saturday dawned to even more rain.

Our trip out to the starting area (off St.FYC) was a quick one on the building ebb, and we arrived over an hour early.   We messed around, reaching back and forth while avoiding (and marveling at) the 38 swimmers in the water and their chase boats, making their way from Alcatraz to St.FYC itself.   Seeing this lot made us feel a bit less crazy ourselves for being out there.     Ironically, we had so much time to kill we were late to our start by 9 minutes, as we lost track of time while pondering which jib to use.   The rain had stopped and the wind was blowing out of the South at about 10 kts.  Finally I called for the #3 though, which proved wise, as the wind picked up and veered after the start.

We had previously agreed that we would only set the spin if conditions were benign, and that our main goal for the day was to have a nice day on the water.    The waves outside the Gate grew much steeper, and were very short period — I timed them at 6 – 8 seconds at one point, and I guess they were about 8 feet high.    This was due to the massive ebb tide (estimated by one observer to be 8 kts)  running against the wind, which was now westerly and in the mid- to high-teens.  We pitched and slammed.   Annika started to feel sick, and we focussed on hanging on, glad to be clipped in with jacklines rigged.   One oddity of the day was that the Lightship buoy itself was to be found aboard a USCG  buoy tending ship, and we gave it a very wide berth.


Our track.  The image does not show the first third of the race as the GPS memory overflowed.

After finally gybing back towards the Gate,  I went below to fetch up some bottles of water.     We had both been drenched by waves breaking over the bow and were thirsty from the seawater in our mouths.  In the cabin I found that everything had gone flying, even though we had stowed well enough by Bay sailing standards.     The portable GPS plotter had gone ballistic, some heavy coffee mugs and other crockery  had smashed through the sliding plasitic door of the galley cupboard, breaking  it and themselves, and half a case of ginger beer was now in the bilge.   Fortunately there was no broken glass, and the rum was safe,  praise be.

The trip back was slow, again against the ebb, and we managed to get a good deal further towards the Potato Patch than I might have chosen initially.   Our low boatspeed while North of the channel  (we were sailing very deep angles)  and the quartering seas made for a great deal of banging of the boom and mainsheet tackle.   The wind and waves picked up again as we got closer to the bridge, and we were doubly glad to have not set the kite as we saw peak gusts of 30 kts TWS and boatspeed of up to 12.4 kts surfing down waves under full main and #3 alone.    After some final course diversions to avoid an enormous  container ship inbound for Oakland, the  Bay felt like a mill pond, and the sun was even coming out.  We finished at just a hair under six hours after our start time, near the bottom of the fleet, but we did finish, one of 22 boats out of 39 entries to do so.

So I guess we did OK in the larger sense.   We weren’t intimidated out of starting,  nothing important broke on the boat, and we avoided injuries  (such as a broken eye socket bone, a cracked rib, and a  dislocated finger as some other unlucky competitors suffered).    Rivals Nancy and Ay Caliente! declined  to start due to conditions or bagged it early, respectively.  (Green Buffalo and the other Wylecat did fine, though.)  And of course I am lucky any day I can go sailing with one of my girls!

Results are here.

NorCalSailing’s reports:  Part 1Part 2

Corinthian MidWin Bonus Pursuit


The Moore 24 JR chases the Olson 34 Temerity. ©2011 norcalsailing.com

To paraphrase Eliot, this is the way the Corinthian MidWins ends.      We (David, Char, Paul H., Stephen A., Nick, Linda, and Kim) got off to a bit of a late start for the soggy last day (a pursuit race around Angel Island) of the 2.5 weekend series.     I decided not to set the spin in the blustery conditions (along with much of the rest of the fleet),  and we finished in the back of the pack.   It was too chilly even for the usual Dark and Stormys at the dock.    Char was quite a trooper though, bravely hanging in even after a bout of seasickness on the delivery to the race.

Our delivery home was even more memorable — four hours of slogging against a heavy ebb, steep chop, rain,  and southerly winds right on the nose that gusted over 30 kts at times.     Speed over the ground passing TI was a blistering 1.5 kts. 

While the rest of our doughty crew headed to their homes and well-deserved hot showers, Char and I treated ourselves (still dressed in foulies) to a late dinner at Speisekammer, where we wolfed down schnitzel and boar while listening to a live jazz band.  

NorCalSailing’s writeup is here

Corinthian MidWinters II


Race 3 in red (first 7 min of track missing), Race 4 in blue

It was a mixed bag for Temerity on the last weekend of the Corinthian Midwinters (races 3 & 4).     The forecast was for slight chance of showers on Saturday, clear on Sunday, and steady 10kt W winds for both days.   After the first two races, we where in fifth place in our Division, but only one point behind the two boats tied for third place.   So we had a good shot.

Our crew for this regatta was David, Char, Paul H., Linda, Fred, and Steve.  Unfortunately, Steve came down with that horrible cold that everyone has been having Saturday, and could not join us Sunday.   We missed him!

The story Saturday was cold, and rain, and more cold, and a good deal more rain,  a heavy ebb, and not too much wind.   Perfect! Thanks to a good tactical call by Paul, we managed to avoid the ebb/death trap outside the Elephant Rock mark, passing inside it rather than outside as a number of our competitors did, and thus avoided the attendant doom of tacking backwards to round the mark properly.   We got a fourth place, with over half the original fleet not showing up, or DNF’ing due to the conditions.

Sunday dawned clear and cold, with ice crusting the docks at the CYC.   The breeze was up out of the West, finally.   Coming into the last race of the regatta we were tied for third place in our Division (PHRF 3).     The race committee decided to mix it up with a WL course —  Start – Yellow Bluff – Knox Buoy – Yellow Bluff – Elephant – Finish.   Not a good choice for us, as it turned out — we DFL’d, and wound up 6/17 for the regatta.   In the ultra-slow-motion final half mile of the race, Red Sky beat us by only a few boatlengths over the line  (corrected to ~2 min).   Full results are here.

In the virtual Olson 34 Division, here’s how it broke down (Razzberries did not compete in the last two races).

If we had beaten Red Sky in the last race, we would have tied for first.    Next time!

You can also read NorCalSailing’s take on the racing here,  scrolling down will reward (?) you with some pictures of our crew.

How to be a good crew (and get good rides)

The other night I came across the following passage from Sailing the Bay by Kimball Livingston [amazon].   I had been thinking a lot about crew management and recruitment, and it seemed like a timely find.

As a skipper, I would have probably put ‘loyalty’ in there a few more times.

Coincidentally, there was a thread started on Sailing Anarchy discussing the same topic, although more slanted to getting on the fancier rides rather than to the novice.    The user known as Blue Water Swimmer has the following advice:

Getting aboard

  • Walk before you run. Don’t expect to do races before you’ve done deliveries.
  • Network yourself like it’s a job.
  • Show up.   Example – my ride for MHOR isn’t a sure thing, yet. If I don’t get it, I’ll get my ass up to Marblehead a day early and ask around. Someone will nab me. Same thing for deliveries/returns – there must have been 20 boats leaving from Bermuda last July after the Newport race who would have paid for crew had any been available.
  • Leverage who you know already – if the big boat at your local club is full, ask the skipper about his competition and if they need anyone – unless he’s a jerk, he will want to get his class up to full strength and will help you get a ride.
  • The Sailing Anarchy crew board is probably the best generic one, but don’t overlook the race web site. Not everyone reads SA.

Getting invited back

  • Do the dirty jobs before you’re asked.
  • Unless you walk on water and have been brought on board because no one trims downwind like you, be humble. (Of course, if you’re that good, then you don’t need my advice – I need yours!) Don’t talk about how good you are, no matter how good you are, until after you’ve done some sailing with the crew and they know you’re not an asshat. I have found it’s better to patiently wait for the chance to demonstrate your skills than talk about them ahead of time.
  • Don’t get too friendly with any one person until you learn the dynamics of the boat.
  • Don’t talk trash about anyone or anything until you know who you’re sailing with, and who their sisters are dating.
  • Age matters. If you’re young and a great sailor, expect to be treated like you’re young. You won’t be treated like a great sailor until you’ve bled a little.
  • If you’re an oldster, watch out that someone isn’t giving you more responsibility than you’re ready for. You’ll embarrass yourself and potentially endanger the boat if you don’t fess up and something goes wrong (don’t ask me how I know this).
  • Act like someone who deserves to be entrusted with the owner’s most prized possession, as well as his life and that of his family’s.
  • Don’t goof off until you know you’re ‘in’.
  • Prepare as if someone had asked you to. Know the weather, local conditions, SIs, etc. If you are a local, then you might have some great intel on the competition, and should be ready to share it – if someone always leaves too much mark room, let the skipper know that.
  • Buy the first round at the bar (unless you’re a poor student, in which case no one will expect you to).
  • Ask someone how to use the head and the galley as soon as possible. Your mates will appreciate not being woken up when you need to take your first crap, and they will embrace you as one of their own if you’re the guy who brings them a hot cuppa as you come on watch.
  • Save something for later. On a new boat, I hang back a little at first, because every one is different. As an observational learner, I pick things up by watching others. The regular crew will be fired up at the start and they know everything better than you anyway. So watch what they do and keep an eye out for a-holes, lines in the water, foul traffic, etc. Then, when they’re grabbing a sandwich, offer to grab the sheet, man the winch, backstay, whatever. This goes for later, too. Be the guy who got rest when he could so when it really hits the fan you have the energy to deliver.

More tips from the thread:

  • bring a spare knife (cheap)
  • don’t bring a lot of heavy gear if conditions don’t warrant it
  • have a sailing resume ready

BWS makes some great points above, prospective crew should take them to heart.     Here are a few more:

  • Make sure the skipper knows you will do the delivery associated with the race when you first are invited.
  • When you are pinged or invited to go on a race, respond promptly with a definitive answer, either yes or no. Don’t leave the skipper hanging, if the answer is no, tell him and let him get on with finding someone else.
  • Also, bring ice.

And a few don’ts:

  • Don’t stress out the skipper by being late for boat call.  (You would think that this was too obvious to mention.)
  • As new crew, don’t necessarily point out every little thing that is wrong or non-optimum about the boat, rigging, condition of the sails, etc. Chances are the owner already knows about 99% of the things you are observing.
  • Don’t spend too much time slagging other boats and owners as conversation fodder. Sure, funny anecdotes are funny, but later people wonder what you are saying about them when they are not around.  (BWS says much the same.)

Finally, here are some crew list resources for you aspiring racers:

Good luck!

The Coastal Cup

The Coastal Cup is an annual race from San Francisco to either Santa Barbara or Catalina, depending on the year.  From the website:

This year the Coastal Cup finishes at Santa Catalina Island, located 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, California. Santa Catalina is a part of the Channel Islands of California archipelago. The town of Avalon and Avalon Bay is the most populus part of the island. Avalon has a very mild subtropical climate with warm temperatures year-round and is a favorite destination for local and out of town tourist.

I’m trying to decide if I should do this race or the LongPac (more on that later).  Or could I do both?  The big issues are crew availablity, time off work, the return delivery (many days of bashing upwind or else hire a delivery skipper), and to some extent cost.  The one-way distance is about 365 nm depending on the routing.

The Coastal Cup at Encinal Yacht Club.

A No-Bridge Fiasco

View Larger Map

Temerity made it 0/3 this year with another DNF in the Bay Area classic, the Three Bridge Fiasco.   Along with about 40% of our fleet, and about 50% of the fleet overall, we retired in the face of little wind and lots and lots of ebb current.

Our ‘strategy’, if we may dignify it as such, was to start well to the West of the pin (the X buoy near the GGYC race deck), and come in on a straight line on starboard tack, and proceed CCW round Treasure Island, Red Rock, Blackaller Bouy and finish.  The southerly wind was expected to veer westerly  as the afternoon progressed.   In fact, we started so far West of the start line that we were 8 minutes late to our start.    It only got slower after that.    Boats that headed up to Red Rock first did well and many finished.   We tried to work over to the City Front for current relief, but did not get close enough, and spent about 3 hours making figure-8s with our ground track in front of Ghiradelli Square.    At about 1300 Annika said “Dad, let’s go home and make a pie”.   We stuck it until 1500 though, and officially bagged it just short of the Bay Bridge.

I guess it is a victory of sorts though, as I had told myself that I was just going to have fun with Annika (who had flown up especially for the race) and not worry about anything else.   I got a good workout and practice on foredeck, raising and lowering the spin several times without a foul-up.

EDIT:  Below, a picture of us courtesy of our friend Paul aboard VALIS.  Thanks!

… and a shot of VALIS seen from Temerity.   Note the thoughtful deployment of the bumper cushion on VALIS’s bow-mounted WMD.

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And it could be a lot worse.   Below, Dylan Benjamin’s Moonshine suffered a major T-boning from a boat that was drifting in the fierce current around Yerba Buena, apparently without steerage way but enough speed to ruin his day.

Corinthian Midwinters I

Temerity is doing the Corinthian Midwinter Regatta this year.  The regatta takes place over two weekends, the first was January 15-16.    We placed 7/12 in our Division on Day 1, and 2/4 of the Olson 34s, and on Day 2 placed 3/12  for the Division and 1/4 out of the Olsons.  I am very happy with how well we did against the other Olsons!

Saturday Crew:  David, Linda, Paul E., Paul H., Fred, War Dog.

Sunday Crew: David, Steve, Paul H., Fred, Ralph

Photos by Fred, except those not by Fred.



Our tracks.   Day 1 in blue, Day 2 in yellow.   Note the drifting back and forth in front of Alcatraz, and the retrograde motion entering Raccoon Strait on Day 1 — it was very light



War Dog sets the pole as we head downwind.

Continue reading ‘Corinthian Midwinters I’