03/31/2012, Redwood City California
Friday started with getting to Redwood City and rigging the boat. As we began, the rest of the guys began showing up. We finished rigging the boats and made our way to Sequoia yacht club for the Friday chalk talk. 5 of 6 teams showed up along with Jay and Pease Glaser for the talk. Jay and Pease gave us our hand outs and began to talk about the format for the weekend. They told us all the drills and what they involved. Covered all the skills we would need and talked through how to make the most of each drill. After 2 hours of tuning talk and drill prep talk we called it a night.
Saturday morning saw questionable weather and our 6th team finally made it. We now had 2 Wildcats, 2 Tigers, an Infusion, and a Capricorn. After some discussion we all rigged up and hit the water. We began in the basin in the flat water and a nice breeze. A short course was set and we did practice starts and a short one lap port, port rounding set up. Pease would have us do 2 or three starts before we were allowed to finish a race. Think 2 or 3 general recalls before getting a good start. We then changed to park and accelerate drills. Park the boat and sit on the line , start accelerate and then park again. After several hours out on the water we all went in and took a lunch break.
After lunch we all went out in some very challenging conditions. It was about 8 knots gusting to the upper teens. Daisy and I did the first start then noticed a couple loose battens and chose to go back to the dock to reset the sail. While on the way to the dock we saw a couple near flips and a couple near pitches. While at the dock lowering the main 2 other boats joined us saying things are turning out there. With half the fleet at the dock we decided to go ahead and call it a day. The other three boats soon followed and we all put the boats away for the night. Alex had lost his mast and was helped back to the dock. We all gathered at the yacht club for a short debrief then decided to do a group dinner.
After dinner we met back at Sequoia Yacht Club and sat down for another chalk talk. The Glasers reviewed the events and gave each team some feedback. We talked about tuning and 2 boat testing info, and how to evaluate different boats on the same scale. Lots of questions were asked and Jay and Pease were very helpful in helping everyone understand what they could do to sail better and faster. We took a short break for some Yummy Chocolate Rum Cake. Thanks to Phillip and Daisy for getting the cake there to celebrate my Birthday. Then we went over the plans for Sunday and some more tips to make the drills better.
Sunday morning we saw a clear sky and a fresh breeze. After a short run into the open bay Phillip and the Glasers decided we would stay in again due to large chop. 5 boats proceded to go out sailing for more practice. Jay would take time to get on each boat and evaluate the boats performance and set-up. Pease continued to follow the boats during the races and run drills. Alex was sailing my boat with Daisy as I was feeling under the weather. Several hours of racing drills along with start stop and park drills had everyone feeling good about the weekend. Early in the afternoon we all made it back to the dock and began de-rigging.
We went back to Sequoia Yacht Club for our final debrief. We viewed pictures and video's of the weekend and saw a lot of the skills being demonstrated and critiqued. Jay and Pease would show what was good and what could use some improvement. A lot of small details were shared and we had some really good information.
I learned a lot of tuning techniques and Daisy said she also learned a lot. From tuning to tacking, gybing to setting, heavy wind light wind we covered all the bases and the knowledge possessed by Jay and Pease was impressive. The way they communicate with us and make learning about the boats is great. This was by far and away the most I have learned in over 10 years of sailing.
Thank you Phillip for setting up the weekend, you couldn't have done a better job in planning everything. Thanks to Sequoia Yacht Club for allowing us to use their club for our talks and gatherings. Thanks to all the teams for making it possible to have completion to practice with. A large Thank You to Jay and Pease Glaser for taking the time to put on the clinic.
F-18 Spring Dinghy spectator view.We had to miss the race due to a electrical problem on our trailer and ended up watching.
The first race showed how tricky the bay can be to sail on these high performance cats. Seeing a cat on starboard slipping down and losing all their forward progress shows the power of these tides. When they would tack on to port the wind would push them almost straight up but then the channel tide would begin to push them back down. So boats were forced to try to make as much on Port as possible then suffer the ride sideways on Starboard. Michel KERMAREC on the Viper looked to be dialed into these conditions and showed really well followed by the Wildcats of Phillip and Charles.
The second race the tide slacked and the wind coming up allowed the cats to shine. Hulls flew high and speeds came up as more of the bay became raceable. You could now make some gains on Starboard and at 15 knots of wind there were boats cruising downwind with full spinnakers in the 20 knot range. Phillip, Alex, Michael Butler began to make gains on the Viper that dominated the first race. The third race followed suit and the day ended with three boats close at the top of the leader board.
Sunday began with light conditions and a strong flood. There were holes all over the course and boats swapped positions as one caught a puff and the other sat in a hole. despite that it made for some very tactical racing and tough calls on the water. During the second race the wind almost went to nothing and again tactics and not making mistakes ruled the day.
The third race saw the wind come back and a steady 12 to 15 knots on a almost flat bay. This was perfect conditions to push the boats to the limits and try to drain every ounce of speed out of the boats. This led to some close racing and great fun for the sailors and spectators alike.
Thank You to the St. Francis Yacht Club, and all the volunteers for the great weekend.