Sat, 08th March 2008, RPYC, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
Back to racing today. On the way down to the boat I picked up some new 12mm Spectra rope to replace the Starboard Genoa halyard, as the old one is just old 14mm double-braid that is too tight to run through the new halyard clutches. However, I didnt get enough time to run it through as I needed to the clean the bottom of the boat.
Anyway we got out there racing with a couple crew shot, so Brett had to do the foredeck by himself. Even though he complained that he couldnt remember what to do, apart from a bad spinnaker set (and having to pull it down), which was partly my fault anyway, he did a fantastic job. He did 3 out of 4 successful spinnaker sets, all drops were great, and 2 gybes by himself, as well as coming back and manning the the genoa winch when he wasnt sorting the foredeck out. He ended up buggered, but I have to take my hat off to him, he took the challenge on and completely succeeded. It has got to be a huge confidence boost to him for working on the foredeck. And, Vera said she has probably done herself out of a job.
Anyway, we had a good start about 5sec's off the gun right on the boat end. Today the wind was in the west, and that normally means you take the Northern shore on the windward beats. The S80's started 10mins before us, and I watched one (Bluebird - Tony Johnston) go to the north and end up well up the fleet at the top of the beat. So, I was pretty sure that was a winning tack, and it was because the BW8's normally would beat us up to the 1st top mark (especially in these conditions), but I crossed the whole fleet 80% of the way up before getting caught in some lighter stuff at the end of the beat and dropping back slightly.
Then, the spinnaker set was a mess because of a confusion provided by me, and Brett second guessing himself. But, we got it down and continued the short downwind league under poled out No1 Genoa, and didnt loose too much time.
I went up a reassured Brett about what happened, and got him straight in his head, and all of the rest of the spinnaker sets, drops & gybes were absolutely perfect.
We finished the race about mid-fleet, and with our heavy handicap were about 11th on handicap.
As I have said before our historic heavy handicap, and deteriorating sails are really hitting us at the moment, but we will soldier on.
All in all we had a great day, and very positive.
Excellent work Brett.....
Mon, 25th February 2008, RPYC, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
Another average day today. It was the Bricklanding Trophy today. Brett was sick and Vera has finally decided to give her shoulder a break for the season, so we were able to pick up an Etchell skipper to crew for us, and he was very good at trimming.
Grant did the foredeck and did it well.
As I have said before the No 1 genoa is definitely getting tired and I cant get the pull out of it that I used to, and that is certainly not helping. Finished across the line behind Kungari, and 5th on handicap.
Now a week off for Labour Day long weekend.
Sat, 16th February 2008, RPYC, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
Well today I was hoping for a better performance than last week, although we did well it was a bit disappointing from the incident point-of-view.
Well Vera was back on board this week, and she called me down to the start very well, and we started about 5 sec's after the gun right on the boat end of the start line. However, we had a BW8 in front of us who could point higher than us so I tacked out onto port to get some clear air.
We then tacked back onto starboard back across towards Applecross to pick up the lift off the point. After we tacked back onto port I had to give way to Kungari by tacking back onto starboard. This was pretty good as we were able to out foot them in speed, although they now have their new genoa working well, and were able to point higher.
We had a couple of twisted spinnaker sets on the downwind runs, which we still need to iron out, and I think after talking to Vera afterwards we have a plan to stop that. Plus, having to use the little 1.5 ounce flat spinnaker doesnt help.
Also, I think the genoa's are starting to get very worn and that is not helping us at all, as I am unable to get the boat doing what it was able to do last year.
Anyway, here and there we had some good battles with the other SS34's. We ended up 6th across the line behind Kungari and in front of Perie Banou III.
All-in-all another average day. I really need to find someway to get some new sails, back there are other more important things first though.
Sat, 09th February 2008, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
Today Dad was skippering as Vera (my wife) was unable to sail due, so I needed to do the foredeck with my son (Brett).
We had a reasonable start and made up some time to the first mark rounding at Foam Bouy. As we were putting up the spinnaker our mast collided with another SS34 Perie Banou III. We were in the wrong (Port & Starboard), and although both skippers thought we would miss, Perie Banou III heeled over unexpectedly, and thus their mast made contact with our spinnaker and port side stay. The only damage to them was they last their wind sensors.
We did the obligatory penalty turns to absolve ourselves, and both yacht continued racing.
It just goes to show how tough these boats are when 2 masts collide at 5-6kts each (10-12kts total) without a mast failure or anything else.
Anyway, we both raced on with us having a decent contest with another SS34 Kungari, who just beat us out at the finish.
We ended up getting 6th on handicap at the end of the day, with us all having an enjoyable sail.
Sat, 02nd February 2008, RPYC, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
Back racing today after the long weekend off.
It was supposed to be hot, humid & thunderstorms, but it turned it just to be hot and virtually no wind.
We got out to the start, and there was probably less than 5kts of wind, with the occassional zephyr come through with a wisp.
We started in Melville Water about 5min's behind our start (much like most boats in all divisions) because of being able to make the start line.
It tooks us over an hour to get to the 1st mark of the course (Foam Bouy), and then took us over another hour to get back to approximately where we started on the way to Freshwater Bay (Middle Spit).
I heard the committee boat come around and blow the abandonment whistles, but nobody else on the boat did. So, I called Alysha back to the cockpit, took her sunnies off and threw her in the water. I soon followed, and then Brett. We got back on the boat, stowed the sails and gear while drifting, started the motor and towed 2 boats back to the club.
Then we went upto the bar to cool off.