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F-18 5150 Sailing
Sailing on our F-18 Catamaran accounts and descriptions of racing and playing.
The Philippines
Rich Vilvens
11/18/2012, El Nido, Palawan Philippines

The Philippines
I arrived in Manila after several days of travel. With a layover I got a hotel for the night and got some dinner and that was it. The next day I went to the airport and waited for my flight. I didn't get to make the trip that day do I had to get another room and come back the next day. This day I finally got to get to the check in process and caught my flight to Puerto Princessa. This is a small town in the middle of the island and I had a 6 hour car ride to get to El Nido. My laptop was down and I couldn't get my e-mail and my cell was useless. I finally got into El Nido and got checked into a small hotel for the evening. The next morning I checked into my Visa but the Tourism office said I had to go back to Puerto Princessa to do that. I took the 6 hour ride through the jungle to Puerto Princessa again and got my Visa. I also bought a new cell phone and was finally able to contact Jan. Now with a plan and some contact I was feeling much better. Another 6 hour ride and I was back at my hotel and waiting for a text or call from my contact here.
The next morning I got a call from Jan and he gave me Lety's number and she set up transport to the cottage booked for me. Lety's husband Joshua drove to pick me up on his trike and drove us to the cottage. The accommodations are basic but very peaceful. I got to go up to the sailing sight and unload all the gear I brought for Jan. Here I met Anton who will be running the kitchen and restaurant and is also helping in the construction of the site. After a tour of the property I walked with Anton back down the road and he pointed out things in the small community. I then returned to my cottage and met my neighbors and got comfortable in my new place. After waiting on the front porch and watching the sunset I walked down to one of the other resorts and had dinner. A nice big "Hamburger" and fries was ordered. The burger was king of different as it was pork and beef combo but was tasty and well prepared. I ate and enjoyed the evening and then went on to go back and go to sleep in my cottage.
I got a text from Jan he was coming back from Manila and would be there in the morning so we agreed to meet up that morning. I woke up, showered (no hot water here) and then dressed and walked to a resort between us to get breakfast. A nice pancake and fruit with coffee and I was off to the site. It is about a 15 to 20 minute walk by the beach from my cottage to Jan's As long as the tide is not fully in it's a ok walk with only your feet getting wet. I got to the site and was helping Anton and the others there cutting some rebar for the new cottages. All this was being cut and bent by hand as that is how almost everything is done here. After a short time doing this Jan arrived and gave me a better tour of the property and showed me the parts we have to work with. We had a nice discussion about what he wanted to accomplish and where he was coming from. He had run Nordic Adventures for 15 years and is now looking for a warm weather area for when Northern Europe is frozen over.
We got done with our talk and we went to getting the boats out. We began rigging a Tiger and assembling an 18. The 18 is kind of different to me as I have never seen one with center boards but guess for this area it will be nice. The tigers are a 1996 and a 2001 so there is some upgrading to do but they are sailable other than one has a small dent on the hull that a needs a little work. We got the base platform rigged on the Tiger and the hulls and beams assembled on the 18 and called it a day. Jan wanted to take us out to dinner and after a quick shower we met up and took a trice into town. On the way we stopped at a cell phone repair place and they looked at my computer charger. After getting it torn apart the bad capacitor was found. They said they had one and would fix it and then text us. We continued on to dinner and had a couple beers on the beach listening to live music and waves hitting the sand just feet from our table. After an hour or so we walked back to the shop and the charger was on and working. I paid the man 850PHP about $21.00 and I was off. We got back and I made my way to my cottage and plugged in my computer and saw it was charging and was very relieved. I went to bed and slept looking forward to tomorrow where we hope to have at least one boat sailing in preparation for Monday's arrival of the new guides in training.
This morning I got up and went to get breakfast on the way to work. After a pancake fruit and some coffee it was off to work. We finished rigging the Tiger and it is ready to sail. We then got one of the H-18's rigged and looking at the sails to configure them to a newer style. We think we may have some different rigging in this group so we are looking at changing the rig once we have 2 other boats prepared. Tomorrow we have 2 guides coming in to interview and we should be able to splash one of the boats. After work I had dinner with my neighbor Dalphine a Diving instructor from France. It was nice to just sit and have a relaxing dinner and chat some with the meal. It did however make me homesick a little and miss the wife and dogs. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get an Internet card and post some of this online. I have some pics of the area and now we have a couple of the boats.
This morning I walked my way down the beach and stopped at Stunning Vistas for breakfast. I met the owner and chatted for a while as I enjoyed my coffee and food. I then made my way down the beach to see if Anton had left yet but he was having coffee with his neighbors so I stopped in and said hello over a cup of coffee. We then walked together to work and got started on our day. We created a new forestay for the H-18 out of spectra and began to design the sails we are going to use on them. We have found that with a slight modification the jib can be shortened at the top and the foot can be left alone for the self tacker. We then started on assembling the rest of the H-18 masts for the other 2 boats. We were joined by 2 of our guides that we will be training. We gave them a short tour of the facility and then it was back to work for me changing a set of beach wheels.
Anton made a papaya chicken and chili leaf soup for lunch and just as we were about to eat our other 2 guides showed up from out of town. I gave them a tour of the area and then they helped me in rigging a Tiger sail on an H-18. We got the measurements we needed and Jan can begin cutting and stitching sails when he gets back from Manila next week. He has to go supervise the un-loading and re-loading of the Wildcats as well as some other items in the container. So I will be solo next week to start training Monday morning with our 6 guide candidates. Jan has given me full reign to get them started and hopefully we can have some good progress in the coming weeks. After work we went into town and had a nice meal and listened to some good music at one of the local bars. 2 of our guides play in a band downtown a few nights a week. We had a drink, watched some fights and then we made our way back home. I hope tomorrow morning to set up my Wi-Fi and will be able to post some of this to my blog and find out what is happening outside our little area of paradise here.
Sunday morning and I'm sitting in a resort restaurant having coffee and an omelet for breakfast. I have no power at my cottage right now as the power here is off from 6 AM till 2 PM. At the site we have power from a generator but in most places there is just a heat of the day black out. It's something you just get used to as with some of the other little things here. I have a large Gecko on my house that lives up next to the light. He is about 9 inches long and is pretty loud when he wants to be. There are dogs and cats all over the place and even chickens and pigs tied up in some yards. Just outside town there is Musk Ox that is used in the fields to plow and have seen them in the rice patties pulling plows.
Most of the local transport is dome with custom trikes. These are somewhat, home-made contraptions with a small motor bike with an added on passenger cabin on the right side. They are slow but cheap transport to get into town and back. Lety who is Jan's office manager takes care of all our arrangements and gets us her husband to drive for us whenever possible. The definition of a resort here ranges from a couple cottages like mine, up to several unit concrete structures with air conditioning and hot water. These places can cost up to 4 times as much as what I am paying for my little cottage.
Had to go into work this afternoon and get some logistics clear with Jan. Was pleased to see Anton there with Bong and Joseph (2 of our guides) smoking a fish for lunch. We had a nice Tuna wrapped in banana leaves served with rice and spinach like plant. After some more conversation I came home and am relaxing at my cottage waiting for dinner. I am a little anxious about tomorrow but sure things will go fine. We have to develop the training so they guides know the boats and the safety procedures then we will begin on the water training probably Tuesday.
I am not feeling great and will probably take it easy the rest of the day. My day off and I get to go into work and get sick what a wonderful Sunday. I just hope I will feel better tomorrow when training starts.
Training Begins
Today Monday was our first day of training with all the guides. We had 4 of them there at 8:30 and one showed up later and one made it in after lunch. We reviewed the basic parts of the boat and did a little sit down get to know each other. I was not feeling well so we were taking things easy. I guess Montezuma is vacationing in the Philippines. I tried to get to know the guides as best I can and then we went on to getting some work done on the boats. We had several sets of wires to peel the plastic coating off of and some spreader bars that needed new rollers and protectors. The guys work very hard and get things done in a timely manner. Over the day I began to learn the strengths and of each and where they need help. My day was punctuated be trips to my place 30 min round trip or down to a resort restaurant to find a bathroom. We kept going till right at 5 when I let them go and made my way home.
At home I showered and got ready for a little nap. I slept from 5 till almost 8 and then went to get some food. Again I haven't been able to keep anything in my system for any time at all. I went to the Greenview and had a plate of fries and bottled water. Then made my way back home to sleep some more.
I woke up Tuesday morning still feeling bad and decided it was time for drugs. Luckily they have Imodium here and a couple tablets helped a lot. I am beginning to recover and am keeping my breakfast in. We started the day by setting up the 2 hulls for sanding and spraying. We chose the Centerboard 18 as the dagger one has a soft transom and needs major work. We then went down to the beach and rigged the spin and the jib on the Tiger for an afternoon sail. With the boat almost ready I walked our beach exit point to check if we could float the boat out. I decided there was enough water and decided to grab some gear.
We took life jackets and rolled the main on. We had several issues getting the main up and had to drop it twice to get it locked properly. Once it was on we rolled into the water and walked the 200 meters to deep water. Panoy and Joseph sailed with me on the first go. We sailed up and back with a very funny wind that changed direction as you went from one side of the bay to the other. We made 2 laps and I was still feeling out the boat and they were experiencing their first ride. The second lap provided a little excitement as the starboard rudder let go. It just completely delaminated at the head of the rudder. A quick furl of the jib and some feathering of the main and we made our way to the shallows. We walked the boat back in with no further damage. With a weather system pushing in we chose to beach the boat for the day and work more on the other boats. The guys got a lot done but there are a lot of frozen bolts and screws we need to get off the hulls before gel coat and sanding. We held out till 5 and then made our way home for the day.
I'm sitting on my front porch with no power writing this. Tomorrow I need to get some pics and e-mail them to Jan who is still in Manila so I should be able to post this to facebook in the morning. I'm off to get some food and if the power comes back on and I can charge the battery I may write more.
Wednesday morning and I'm having my breakfast. There was no power last night so the resort has the generator off for a few hours to not over work it. No internet connection right now maybe later in the day I can get on. My stomach is feeling better and I'm hoping I'm done with this crud that has me down. I talked with my neighbor last night and she said she had it a few days ago, another friend has it now and one of the other restaurant patrons has it. So it's kind of like a bad sickness like the common cold. I found out that a Gecko can talk and are very loud. The make all kinds of racket when they want to. I have a couple living on my cottage and they were active last night. There was also some kind of race a mini triathlon that went on till all hours of the night. Playing the same songs over and over then yelling in the P.A. system. I don't know what time it stopped but it was late.
Wednesday night sitting and getting dinner. The loud music is going again and this is the last day of the "Festival". Guess this is a yearly event for the area to raise money. Today we had all 6 guides sailing and taking the tiller for a lap of the bay. All morning long I was out sailing while they worked on the other boats. They are progressing nicely. I am still having complications from my illness and am going to go in to see the doctor. It may be a case of Guardia or other parasite I picked up. It makes it hard to work and concentrate when you fell like crap all day and your closest bathroom is 10 minute walk away. We are still managing to make progress on the rebuilds and the sailing instruction.
Thursday Morning I had my breakfast and went to work. I had to say no more and went to the doctor. Well after most of the day in his office 2 bags of I.V. fluid and a bunch of drugs I was let go. Turns out I have amoebic diarrhea and now have a drug list for every meal. I went back to work to check on the guys and got a progress report for the day. We also got some of the stuck bolts out of the 18's we are prepping for gel. I went got a bite to eat and called it a night.
Friday morning and I feel good. Heading down to eat some breakfast and then a quick check-in via facebook for the morning. Got that all done and then off to work. I feel pretty good and want to get some sailing in today. Well just got to work and found out I have to go get the Wildcats at the pier. We did 3 loads in the back of a 14 foot bed truck and still did not get all of our gear. The guys at the dock there are brutal with anything coming off the boat. Now I know why Jan wanted someone there to oversee the offload. We got the 3 loads back and stored at the resort and broke late for lunch. After lunch we had to move some gear and inventory what was there. We are still missing several pieces and had some damage but I think they will be useable. After that we went to the beach and went over procedures for righting a capsized boat. That took up most of the rest of the day and we all went home. Now I'm going to go have dinner and post this if I can. I also need to E-mail Jan about the damage. Sitting in my favorite spot on the beach ordered dinner and waiting for it to come. Just heard that another delivery came and got put away. Hope everything made it.
Saturday morning started off with pancake water and pills at my usual spot. I then went to work and we got the boat ready to go and we started training on the water. We had switched booms to one with a second sheeting set up so I have an oops line if they don't un-sheet or steer quick enough. We got on the water with 2 guides and me on the Tiger sailed for 2 laps of the bay and then switched drivers. We had a couple close calls but nothing major. Probably the worst was a almost accidental gybe during a nasty down-wind run. We were able to stop it just in the nick of time and everything was alright. We sailed late into lunch so we took a break and got the main down the sent everyone to eat. After lunch we cleaned the boat and gear then set everything to dry. We had a debrief about what it was like to have full control of the boat and I also gave them a short critique of what they did right and wrong. Everyone still seams positive so looks like we have a good group that may work out. We tried to get to the foils and sails for the Wildcat but that stack is still needs to be counted and inventoried. After a successful day on the water I cut the guys out at about 3:30 and finished up my notes for the day. Now off to dinner and then maybe I'll write more.
Sunday a day off and I'm not doing much today. Spent most of the day lounging around and getting absolutely nothing done. Took a walk on the beach and then went back to lounge some more. Had a nice breakfast and dinner and decided to call it a night. Then Jan called and wanted to debrief about the week. I got out of bed and met him for food and drinks while we talked about the week's events. Ended up being up till almost midnight and finally got to sleep.
Monday morning I walked and got my breakfast since it is going to be an on the water day I had a nice big breakfast. I got to work and we started rigging the Tiger for a day on the water. We were off the beach by 9 am and had a nice light wind with very few gusts. The first two guys had a great ride and did well other than the occasional forgetting which way to push the tiller to tack or gybe. The second set of guys had a little bit more wind and it was starting to get gusty. When the third set of guides got on the boat we had good gusts running through. The first guy got a full run in but when the second guy took the tiller it was getting really gusty and wind was filling quick. After the third tack we had to switch as the wind was now in the 20's and above what they could handle. We went back to the beach and started to de rig the boat.
Jan then split the group up and we had different jobs assigned to the guides. 2 of them are working in the sail loft and one was working with me rigging a second boat. Tomorrow we will have both Tigers on the water with 2 guides on one and I will chase on the other with 2 different guides. Then hopefully we will have our first custom 18 sails from the loft and we can start testing those. Now tomorrow promises to be exciting as the first solo sailing day for the guides.
Tuesday evening and today was pretty good. We started out with 2 Tigers sailing in the light morning breeze. Rocky and Panoy sailed one solo while We trailed them with Bong and Jackil on the boat with me. We sailed for about 3 hours then the wind started getting too much and Rocky called to end the session. We got the boats back to the beach and washed them before lunch. We sent everyone early for lunch and I talked with Jan about a few things we had going on at the site. Guess they have changed the law on having lumber and we were inspected and the confiscated some of our lumber. (but if you need more they can tell you where to buy it) Then it was on to repairing a broken rudder cam and rudder adjustments on the Tiger. After that we went up to the boat maintenance area and put the shade up. Tomorrow we begin sanding hulls and preparing for the upcoming season. We did get a second time on the water but it was short lived as we had wind in the upper teens and almost had a pitchpole. We managed to keep the boat from flipping but it was a bit much for the new crews. Now I am waiting for my neighbor and a few others to do a barbeque here in front of the house.
Wednesday we got in three on the water sessions and everyone is doing well. The hull maintenance was going well till the air compressor blew up. Hopefully that will be fixed soon. We also have two guides getting the new sails cut and ready for stitching. All together we had a very good day here. After work rum with Anton and Joseph then off for dinner and bed.
Thursday 4 on the water sessions today and I am whipped. The wind all week has been blowing and it is making it hard to train when you're constantly getting pounded by gusts. We are still managing to make progress and getting time in. Our hull sanding is going again and if the compressor keeps working things will go fine. We also have the new jib taped up in the loft so our sail making is progressing also. Tomorrow I will be moving from my current cottage to a different one so they can paint and do some repairs to the floors. Then once everything dries I get to move back. All this going on and I got to talk to Daisy tonight for a few minutes while waiting for my dinner.
Friday morning sitting waiting for breakfast then I have to run home and move. The sea life is awesome here. We have seen needle fish, barracuda, sea turtles, sting rays, and several other fish while out sailing. On the beach there are little crabs running around and some hermit style crabs lumbering too. It is early so the roosters are crowing and the dogs are running the beaches. There are even a couple pigs tied up in yards. This morning I saw the monitor lizards that live by the trail to my cottage. Lots going on here today and this will be short for now. Hoping they turn the generator on with no power at the resort I can't post this now any way. That's another little oddity here. The power company is turned off from 6am to 3pm every day. So if you want power in the day you have to have your own generator.
Today we had a few firsts at the site some good some bad. Our early morning session was interrupted by an injury. Rocky was driving and started to gybe in heavy wind. Well he held on to long before ducking under the boom and got swept right off the boat. He hurt his middle finger and it was a little swollen but I don't think it was broke. So after grabbing the tiller and main I spun the boat around and picked him back up. We then sailed back to the beach and had his hand looked at. He got the rest of the day off and Jackil and I put the boat up. Bong and Panoy were sanding all day. Joseph and Juni were working in the sail loft and almost have our first set of sails ready for the H-18. I also got to peel and crack my first coconut. We have had several but this one I got to do. Even though it was a little brown the milk was good and the meat of the nut was good. So with one guy down and 4 busy I was in charge of cleaning and protecting the Wildcat parts and putting them into storage. That took almost the rest of the day and then we did a couple test fits for the sails we are designing. All in all it was a busy day but with some highs and lows yet still rewarding. We have had 13 knots steady with gusts up to 20 for the last week plus and flat water basically perfect sailing conditions.
Saturday December 1 and it is a beautiful morning. As I walked to breakfast the full moon was still visible and I snapped a few pictures. Now I'm waiting for my breakfast and getting some writing done. Today they begin sealing the gear room and our shelves should be ready next week. We are each going to have a small shelf for our sailing gear and we will have big shelves for each boat for the sails and daggers. This should make storage much nicer and convenient for the sailing guides. I'm now real happy with my new room and can't wait to move back to the other one. The stairs are not nice when you have to get up in the morning and when the power goes out it is very dark inside. Guess it will do for a little while till I get to go back. Right now there is a little Pomeranian looking dog chasing the workers as they rake up leaves in the court yard at the resort. Guess he thinks those are his leaves.
Good sailing today for all day long. We started out with 2 guys on the boat with me for a good 3 ½ hours. Panoy and Jackil did very well and we had no real issues. Panoy then went back to sanding and Jackil helped me peal the stickers off the Wildcat main. After lunch we set up 2 Tigers and we went out and with Joseph and Juni sailing one boat and Jackil and I on the other. We sailed for several hours and by the end they were really starting to push the boats. Watching them fly a hull and keep it going made me kind of proud. We got the boats back in just in time to clean them up and get everything put away before calling it a week.

Sunset Race
Rich Vilvens
10/28/2012, Humboldt Bay Yacht Club

Sunset Race
Daisy and I met up with Paul at about 3:30 PM for the Sunset Race. Paul was getting the bottom scrubbed and we helped out so we could get going. We motored over to the Humboldt Yacht Club for the pre race meeting. While Paul went up for the skippers meeting Daisy and I set up the sails and finished the rigging. The call was for a start at 19, up to 3, down to 17, back to 3 then finish at 19. We took a quick once over on the boat and motored out to the bay. The wind was light and we raised the sails and began to form our plan.
We took a couple practice runs at the line and waited for the start. At the gun we were a little late and were in second behind the Laser 28 but ahead of the Choate 40 and the San Juan 7.7. We pushed across the bay on a 5 to 6 knot wind and watched as the laser tacked in front of us and made their way to the other side of the bay. The Choate was already over that way and the San Juan also tacked, but we kept sailing and looking for the shore lift near the piers. We tacked in a nice wind line and began to pick up distance to the mark. We now had nice separation from the other 3 boats and hoped we could gain some ground. We watched as the other boats had some more pressure than us and we were going to be in third rounding the mark. The Choate rounded followed by the Laser and we were third followed by the San Juan.
We set the kite and began to make our way to 17 in a light breeze. The wind died down to 1 to 2 knots so we were drifting in the current almost as fast as the wind was pushing us. We kept pushing and trying to get down the bay before the tide changed. After changing the pole a couple times we finally got a nice little 2 to 3 knot wind at our back. We were watching out front as the Choate turned the mark and we were making about 2 knots over ground to 17 as the tide began to flood into the bay. We got a call from Race committee and we decided to shorten the course to just go to finish. The light was quickly fading and we informed the Choate and the Laser as they rounded of the shortened course. The San Juan was behind us and the first boat said they would tell them.
With Daisy still on the helm we turned the mark and made our way back to the yacht club. The wind filled back in to almost 10 knots and we were making good progress sailing in the dark. Paul and I were keeping watch as Daisy drove the boat. With 9 to 10 knots steady we made our way back tacking 3 times up the bay back to the waiting race committee. We finished in third and made our way back to the dock for the evening. Daisy did a great job skippering the boat and Paul and I crewed and tried to get all we could out of the boat. We had a good time and found this to be a good closer for the year.
Sunday afternoon we met up at the boat ramp and went to get the boat. We pulled it up on the trailer and dropped the mast. Got all the lines put away and the boat is ready for winter storage. It was a great year sailing in Humboldt and we look forward to next year. Now on to my next sailing adventure.

11/11/2012 | Daisy Eng
Thank you, Rich, for a wonderful year of multi-hull and mono-hull sailing!
Burning Dragon Fun Sail
Rich Vilvens
10/13/2012, Oakdale California Woodward Reservoir

Burning Dragon Fun Sail
Thursday we left to begin our journey down. We had to stop by and pick up some sails then journey inland to visit the base in Fairfield. After a drive to Mill Valley lengthened by 101 being closed we were about ½ an hour late picking up the sails. We then drove out to Fairfield and had dinner then found a nice lot to park in and slept for the night.
Friday we got up and had breakfast and drove to Travis AFB to get some shots and thing in order for my trip. After a couple shots we were on the road for the lake. We arrived and began to set up the camper and boat for the weekend. The campsite was pretty empty and we had our choice of sites and held a couple for the other people coming. We got the boat rigged and began to repair the damage from the worlds. People began to arrive and spots were filling up quick. This was the closer for Fleet 20 this season and we had a good turnout. Dinner was a barbecue on the Fleet 20 trailer with oysters, crab, salmon and sausages donated by several fleet members. Fires were lit in the fire pits and we all chatted and enjoyed the evening.
Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast in the camper and after we took a short walk with the dogs. There was a light breeze and we got dressed and put the sails up for some time on the water. Daisy took the helm and we sailed up and down the lake. We are working on Daisy driving and me crewing and it is coming along nicely. After several laps up and down the lake we came in for a little lunch. By this time the camping area was pretty full and there was a great turn out. Mark announced the race for the day and we set the course. Chris got a head start on the laser and with light fluky winds we all set off for the dam. We were second boat to the dam and quickly passed the laser on the reach across the dam. We then set the spin and worked our way down the lake. In the light winds one boat would surge ahead then get stuck in no wind as the boats from behind would catch up. We managed to protect our lead and got the first place finish. We came back to the beach and began to get things ready for the dinner. Mark and Mike had built a Dragon for the burning ceremony after dinner and the kids had been busy helping to paint it.
Some had dressed in costume for the pre dinner party with Pirates and Maidens everywhere. The king and queen were even in attendance. The pot luck dinner was a feast and had enough food to feed more than twice as many as were there. After the dinner people began to gather for the burning of the dragon. Fleet 20 have been closing the season with a "Burning" fun sail for years now. Every year we burn something different. The Fire pit was lit and we waited till we had a good fire to transfer to the dragon. Wood was stacked at the base and fire was brought forward and the dragon began to burn. As the dragon burned we all cheered and then the dragon was taken down with a sword. People gathered by the fire pits or went to bed as the night went on.
Sunday saw a nice light breeze blowing and Daisy and I had a quick breakfast and got on the water. There was another boat out so we chose to sail some more. The wind dropped and was very light so we only got a lap in before we hit the beach. There was a huge pot luck breakfast going with all kind of food from muffins to crab benedict, with potatoes eggs and all kinds of other food to satisfy your cravings. We then went to the fleet meeting and listened as plans were made for the holiday party and some other fleet business. We got some more sailing in later in the afternoon when the wind came back up. We hit the beach again and began tear down. As people began to pack up we said our goodbyes and got our boat put away. This was another wonderful weekend with good friends and a nice relaxing sailing environment. See you all next year.

Great Bay Race
Rich Vilvens
10/07/2012, Humboldt Bay Yacht Club

The Great Bay Race is one of the few races that is open to the general public. Courses for the race vary from year to year but generally they begin between the HYC flagpole and marker #19. Racers then head south down the bay and return back to the yacht club for the finish. This is a pursuit race so every boat has their own start time and the first on to cross the finish line is the true winner. After the race the HYC puts on a barbeque to fill up hungry sailors.

Daisy and I joined Paul on the Holder 20 today for the Great Bay Race. With Courtney gone back to Arizona Paul stepped up to the skipper role and Daisy took the gennaker trim role. We took the second start in the delayed start and began the reach down to 21. We made good time down and had a good lead.

We turned 21 and headed back to 19 the next mark on the charts. Again we were 2 sail reaching and held our lead over the Laser 28 and the Choate 40. The Laser 28 had taken a little ground from us on the first reach down but we were holding a good distance ahead. We turned 19 and hardened up to a tight tack and started to look for 3. We drove a little out into the channel then threw in a tack. With 3 right on the bow we sheeted in and made our way to the mark. We still had a comfortable lead when we rounded 3 and chose to keep the spin in since we were at 60 to 90 degrees off the wind.

From 3 we had to sail way down the bay to 17. WE had a good lead but the Laser 28 put up the spin and began to close in on us. 2 sail reaching we tried to keep the laser behind us but as the wind began to lighten up and get puffy they closed in and passed us to leeward. We were now in catch up mode and were looking to make gains where ever we could. Turning 17 we were now in second and back about 3 minutes. We made our way back to 3 we made up some ground and were hoping to get back in front. The tack back to 3 saw some gains made but we were still back about 3 minutes. We turned 3 and made our way back to 2. Again the Laser flew the spin and we 2 sail reached back down the bay. We closed up some but were still about 2 minutes back at 2. We turned back to the finish line and watched as the Laser crossed just in front of us. The 7 mile course gave plenty of time to enjoy a nice day on the bay.

After racing we put the boat up and made our way to Humboldt Yacht Club for the Potato Salad Challenge and barbeque. After burgers,dogs potato salad (5 choices), chips and baked beans we called it a day and went home. All in all it was a good day for our first time as a team on the boat. Paul did a great job as the skipper and Daisy did great running the gennaker.

Racing 2012 GLOBALTECH Formula 18 World Championships
Rich Vilvens
09/19/2012, Long Beach California

Tuesday morning saw a warm calm condition in the area. We made our way to the race area and the wind was light and shifty. The race committee got three races in and we struggled in the light conditions. With the 4 fleet set up we got to race against everyone in the qualifier. Our scores were 56, 53 , 53 which had us back in 106th place. Not a great result but we were not dead last so we sailed on and worked to do better and learn from the poor results. After racing we went back to the Yacht Club for a sponsored dinner and drinks. There was an event every night after racing and the yacht club was a wonderful in making sure everyone was taken happy and relaxed.
Wednesday morning there was a nice fog bank on the water and that meant there would be wind. Daisy and I geared up and made the push off to get to the course. With the wind up it was a quick trip to the race area. Winds were about 12 to 13 and gusting a bit higher but very manageable. Daisy and I began to find our groove and we managed to complete all 3 races in the building breeze. The first race we missed the set-up but began improving from there. A 57th place finish was followed by a 53rd then a 46th place leaving us in 110th place over all but feeling good about doing better as the day went on. We left after racing and a shower to go have dinner with friends.
Thursday morning there was a call for more wind and bigger seas. The fleet was split into Gold and Silver fleet already so we were set to race for the best of the rest. Daisy and I got the boat rigged and made our way out. It was obvious there was going to be more wind and waves. Race one we did well and got a 36th place finish. The big waves were knocking us hard and I lost my footing a few times but we kept the boat going. Several boats were already on the beach so we knew if we kept sailing our positions would keep improving. The third race we were really driving hard. We had every setting perfect and the boat was really going upwind well. We completed the upwind, downwind, upwind , reach and turned down for the bottom gate. The wind was at about 14-15 and gusting to 18-19 knots, with 4 to 5 foot waves and a few rollers at 6 to 7 feet. We were doing about 16 knots downwind when we got into a gust line. We managed to save the boat 2 times but the third time the waves turned the boat sideways. We were in 46th place after missing the last 2 races in the day. We were in 25th place when we flipped so we were doing good but that's life.
The boat immediately flipped sending Daisy through the main.
In the water Daisy got separated and the boat and I drifted off. I managed to call the race committee safety boat and got our boat righted. The boat flipped right back over on me and then this happened again. I decided to wait for the safety boat and they helped me get the boat back upright after picking up Daisy from the ocean. She was about ¼ mile away when they got to her. We tried to transfer her back to our boat but missed twice and then I began to sail back with her on the safety boat. She was transferred to a different boat and then to our boat just inside the channel to the bay. We got the boat back to the beach and started to access the damage. The main sail was damaged and my shoulder was in serious pain. Team Trapout helped me get my boat up the beach and the sails down, Thanks guys you were a big help.
We got cleaned up and talked to the Glasers about repairing the sail. They agreed to fix the sail and I washed it off and laid it out to dry. After another wonderful meal we went chatted with our friends and decided to call it a night. We stopped by the park to walk the dogs and have a relaxing evening. With my shoulder out of socket and in a lot of pain we went back to the hotel with some icepacks and a sling to help me get through the night.
Friday morning I again filled my icepack and put my arm in the sling. We went to ABYC and I informed race committee we were not going to be on the race area for the day. Daisy was asked to again look at some injured people and she did as she had all week long. With me being too torn up to sail anymore we decided to take the boat down and get ready to leave. Mark Jones helped Daisy and I take the mast down and get it to the trailer lot. We got the boat disassembled and ready to go on the trailer. Hugh Styles and Alain Sign from team GBR 7 helped me put the boat on the trailer. Daisy and I then finalized the tie down and covers and we took it easy the rest of the day. We had a nice meal and then went back to the hotel for the night.
Saturday morning we went back to ABYC and said our goodbyes to our friends. We wished everyone well and got on the road. Daisy and I learned a lot and had fun while it lasted. We ended up in 52nd in silver fleet after missing the last six races. Hopefully my shoulder will be back to normal soon and we will be back using what we learned. Thanks to GLOBALTECH, ABYC, ZHIK, HOBIE, NACRA, KAENON, SAIL REVOLUTION, and all that made this a wonderful event.

F-18 Racing
Prep 2012 GLOBALTECH Formula 18 World Championships
Rich Vilvens
09/19/2012, Long Beach California

Saturday we got the boat off the trailer and got all the pieces and parts ready to be measured. Having never had the platform certified it was a long process and took most of Saturday to get done. There were several volunteers doing this instead of tuning and sailing their own boats. This meant getting the whole sail boat weighed then removing everything and having the bare platform weighed. We then had to have the individual pieces weighed and recorded. After the Daggers, rudders, poles and sails were stamped I then had to take my sails to the measurement pile. It was late in the day so we stood the mast and got the boat ready other than the sails. We found a nice spot on the grass and made our way to our Hotel for the night. Sunday we got in to the sail measurement area and saw a pile of sails to be measured in. The measurement team was working hard to get the sails done, again being all volunteers giving up time to help others. Daisy and I helped out for a while and after the pile of sails was done we took our sails and put them on the boat. Now that the boat was all legal we went to registration and filled out all the paperwork. We got all the paperwork done and put the boat in the water and sailed over to the beach. We decided to call it a day and went to walk the dogs at the park.
Monday we got the boat together and put the sails up. After some adjustment to the dagger pockets we went out for the practice races. After several tacks down the channel we were in the Pacific and ready to start the practice races. Our boards were still shifting in the pockets as we were on the long tack out to the course so as we met the fleet at the start area we decided to turn back and fix the problem. The winds were light and shifty so we weren't missing much and wanted the boat in optimal shape for the morning. We hit the beach and changed the boards to a stock set and took the extra padding out of the wells. All was set and we were prepared to begin racing. We went in for the dinner and opening ceremony. Food and beverages were on the patio at ABYC and everyone settled in to hear from our hosts and sponsors. A good time was had and then it was off for some sleep.

F-18 Racing

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F-18 Racing
Who: Richard Vilvens and Daisy Eng
Port: Eureka California
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