Jumbuck Year End Party + Trofeo Navidad, Altea
20 December 2017
There were 19 of us who met up at the Montevideo Restaurant in Benitatxell on Wednesday 13th December to celebrate our season end, to give me he chance to thank everyone for their input, and share out some 2017 crew trophies to reward those who've done the real tough jobs on the boat.
Top trimmer this year went to Kevin Moss, top mainsheet to Edo Volker, and top bowman to Eric Degerland. All good sailors who've gone a bit above and beyond in the past season helping to move Jumbuck up to that top spot in Division 2 for the 5 Clubs Series. It was nice to recall individual memories and hand back the trophies awarded to Jumbuck, suitably re-engraved with the guys names. Truly lovely blokes to both sail with.
Unfortunately didn't get a shot of Kevin and his trophy, but Eric and Edo are shown above.
New crew have also added their input this year. Rob Mitchell and Chris Debour both vieing for the bow spot next season, and Nigel Robinson guest trimming back in the cockpit. All have yet to earn their spurs and get a trophy but there's always next year lads......
We've now picked the 19 events Jumbuck will enter through 2018 and we will be looking to add another heavyweight crew member so we can load that rail with the 650kgs needed to get upwind faster and manage the sail handling on short course races. That, along with some focus on boat maintenance to get kit working smoother, plus further boat handling sessions each week, should combine to see us raise our game and hopefully defend our spot against what I suspect will be even fiercer competition in the coming year.
Our principal opponents Dale Andar (Dufour 36S) and Paguelin (Salona 37) have both just invested in new composite sails plus we've also now got Aurora (First 34.7) arrived on the local scene. All are well sailed, and all have super ratings.......
Sad to say our own sail and boat handling let us down last weekend in testing conditions for the Trofeo Navidad.
Saturday / Sunday 16/17th saw Jumbuck line up in a combined Division 1 and 2 regatta for Alteas annual Xmas event. Fresh but variable conditions both days saw us off on a 16 mile coastal pursuit race on Saturday - where we secured a 4th spot behind a First 50, a Grand Soleil 46 and Paguelin the Salona 37. It was always close, with the four boats frequently changing positions along the course as the wind came and went. We could have done better and my wrong sail selection (Code 0 over A2) on the last run didn't do us any favours.
We really missed Sue's deft handling in the pit the following day as Sunday's two windward / leewards was run in even fresher winds. Again close racing using small AP on first race and Genoa on the second, only saw us able to secure the same positions, mainly because of a booboo in start timing and then later with sail handling. A shame for the team. Overall for the event it meant 4th spot, one slot down from last years result.
It would have been frustrating if we didn't know what we did wrong and still getting the 4ths, but our errors were pretty clear and we all know that with more practice and a full crew, we will do better on future events. So it's truly on, on for 2018.
That commences with the 5 Clubs Opening race at Moraira on Sunday 28th January. Bring it on......
Autumn 5 Clubs and Pata Negra - Campomanes
11 December 2017
CN Campomanes ran the last of the 2017 5 Clubs events and merged it into their own three day Pata Negra Regatta.
Always popular, not least because Campomanes has such a classy club, we went out with the primary aim of securing enough points in the 5 Clubs race to ensure we would become Division B Champions for the 2017 9 race series.
Pleased to let you know we achieved our goal, and can now look forward to picking up a Series Champion trophy for 2017 when next years series commences in January at Moraira.
Friday's race started in light fluky winds. We got away well, seven up, and slid upwind from Campomanes towards the Altea fish farm, our first rounding. Did OK upwind, arriving even before some of the 46 footers, only then to hear that they'd abandoned the race. Lucky for those we had left behind, but not for us!
Saturday saw moderate winds and a similar course, and it turned into a competitive Division B race with four of our quickest yachts frequently swopping positions as we worked out to a windward mark before then reaching off across the bay. That lengthy tight reach saw our Code 0 gain us the lead until the leeward mark, when a furling issue allowed Dale Andar to get back in front. Level pegging then on a broader reach back across the bay looked good despite having Aurora and Paguelin on our tail, but when the winds backed and strengthened, our genoa proved to be our undoing.
We found ourselves just a tad over-canvassed as we beat upwind into 25+ knot winds but made the final rounding mark and after Eric had executed a simply perfect kiwi hoist in strong winds, we screamed off downhill for the finish. Dale Andar with her symmetrical kite still got in a couple of minutes ahead, just enough to give her a first spot. Aurora, a new to the circuit but well sailed Farr 36.7 crossed maybe a minute behind us, enough with her better rating to give her the second. And Jumbuck got a third. Our old running mates Paguelin got a forth.
So with low points already picked up over the previous 8 X 5 Clubs events, that 3rd place result was enough to cement the 5 Clubs 2017 series for us.
Job done. 😎. Well done everybody!
Sunday saw the fresh winds set in, so we went out mob handed having traded down from Genoa to the heavy small AP for what was supposed to be two short windward leeward courses.
The first race saw gusts close to 30 knots and whilst we stormed to windward with our 8 on the rail and handled the first off wind leg well, we lost our single kite halliard bashing up the second beat......
Didn't think we would hold off our rivals down the last run as we had no option but to sail real deep under white sails only for the three miles to the finish. Fortunately the winds were still 25+ so we weren't going slow, and as gusts came through we had both Aurora and Paguelin broaching wildly behind us. Suspect with our small asymmetric we would have handled that leg ok under kite, but we managed to keep our spot and lead the Division B boats over the finish.
For his penance, we then hoisted Nigel up a wildly swaying rig to get his halliard back!
But with at least four other yachts having damaged multiple kites on that first race it wasn't a surprise when they abandoned the planned second race and sent us all back in to join a dockside party. In the sheltered marina the sun continued to beat down - great way to spend a December Sunday......
The results for the three day Pata Negra series is calculated across all boats, with trophies for 1st to 6th. Eventually they got it all worked out, with the strong conditions Sunday giving the bigger boats most of the prizes. Aurora secured a 3rd overall. We just managed to squeak the 6th, so look forward to collecting that additional trophy at next Saturday's prizegiving party.
All in all, great long weekend on the water, and TWO trophies, and again we learnt lots! Every day in every way, we get a little better!
Our crew of Edo, Kevin, Sue, Eric, Rob, Chris Debour, guests Chris Engles and Nigel Robinson were exceptional. It's been great this year seeing our mob develop into an almost faultless race crew, especially as they are pretty good at the parties too.
And for sure having reconsidered the smaller APs in action and having sailed for the first time with a full 600 kg on the rail, weve learnt for future events to definately swop down at exactly 15 knots - and go out mob handed more often. All invaluable stuff for continued improvement.
Thanks once more to our honed pensionista team (!) we can all look forward to our Jumbuck Xmas bash, next weeks two day Trofeo Navidad at Altea, and then next year - all with anticipation.
Next Event - Pata Negra - CN Campomanes
02 December 2017
Autumn 5 Clubs Series - Calpe
19 November 2017
From L toR: Chris Debour, Eric Degerland, John A, Sue A, Edo Volker, Kevin Moss. Only one missing was Nigel Robinson...
Well we finally got our first 1st in the 5 Clubs Series yesterday. Wow!
It was a very busy start line off of RCN Calpe as a combined fleet of 25 crushed up close by the biased committee boat in fresh 13/15 knots of breeze. Think lots wanted to bail out and work the right side of the windward / leeward course they had laid for us.
Kept pressing those above us and didn't take long to get lucky. A slot opened after a few minutes allowing us to tack over and go the way we wanted - and frankly - from that point we didn't we look back.
The seas were a bit short and lumpy so once we worked out we were faster dialling down and sailing low, we found ourselves relatively fast upwind, hanging on amid a group of Division A yachts and leaving the other Division B boat well behind. But by keeping it simple and reducing tacks / gybes to a minimum, we put in a good performance both upwind and down. Hoists and drops went like training exercises. Only one short lived blip in our penultimate gybe, but that was sorted swiftly. Really, not much went wrong all day.
A shame we didn't have our regular running mates of Dale Andar or Paguelin also out there racing, but we completed our circuits well ahead of several Division A boats and once ratings were applied, we won Division B by a substantial 4.5 minutes.
The crew of Sue, Kev, Edo, Eric, Chris and Nige handled the sails and trim really well and as stated, mistakes were rare. Just a lovely solid safe performance - and they fully deserved the applause they got on the podium after.
This 1st and last events 2nd have moved us top of the Division rankings for the whole series. Awesome for our second season racing together as pensionistas.
December 8/9/10 sees the last of this years 5 Clubs Series being hosted by CN Campomanes as part of their Pata Negra Regatta. That will be two days of windward / leewards sandwiching a coastal race.
Looking forward to see how we go!
LIGA Racing RCNC
24 October 2017
Real Club Nautico Calpe host a summer series of racing using their fleet of Tom 28 match racing keelboats. We just recieved the final results.
Great fun boats to sail in the right conditions, which is what we had for both days this summer racing for the Trofeo Verano.
Our five person team was Jenny Rawl, Kieth Leary, David Reid, David Shaw and self.
Pleased to report that between us we secured 2 X 1sts, 2 X 2nds and 2 X 3rds - enough to give us a 3 point lead and (TARAHHHH) overall top spot.
It was summer sailing in super conditions with lots of laughter and banter as we worked hard to keep up with or indeed lead our much younger (and just possibly fitter) Spanish teams all representing RCNC.
We were one of two boats proudly representing CBYA, and I'm not sharing our average age! Well done everyone........thanks for the excellent team work and of course, the final result!
Autumn Series 5 Clubs Altea - Used a Get Out of Jail Free Card today
15 October 2017
This second race in the autumn 5 Clubs series was hosted by RCN Altea, saw us playing this card to pick up a second place in Division B.
Absolutely crap start, maybe 30 seconds too early, right on the start boat with a fleet of hollering Spanish boats all pushing themselves, and us, up, up and up.
A few were pushed over. We got pushed out. Had no option but to bail out just missing the start boat, effecting as swift a 360 as we could do whilst avoiding the remaining late starters, to eventually settle back down and chase after the leaders.
The course was from Alteas Marina up northward into a N/NE 10 knot breeze, starboard around a fish farm off Calpe, back down due south to then round a fish farm off Altea also to starboard - and into the finish.
The card we played was remembering some content of a presentation on wind strategy put together for the club last year.
We recalled that in NE winds we should get a huge veer close in by the cliffs off Campomanes, and maybe also a counter current under our lee bow to give any lift an added boost.
Our two Division B running mates, Paguelin and Dale Andar, had got a clear start. Dale Andar plugged away on starboard, paralleling the coast and heading north like we were. Paguelin tacked off and went offshore with a majority of the fleet.
We mirrored Dale Andar, and whilst we couldn't match her height across the bay, we had a tad more speed, and it was soon obvious the course we took was the right one. The N/NE winds did take a huge veer as they came around Cabo Croix off Campomanes, a high cliffed headland that lay across our path, and we were both able to lift and lift as we got close to the cliffs and felt the current under our bows. All quite surreal, as we eventually gained 40+ degrees on the boats following behind.
Sailing eventually parallel with the curving cliffs (at times only 10 metres off) to pop out of the headland lying a stunning 3rd and 4th boats in the combined fleets of both Division A and B - a huge progression up the fleet considering our lousy start.
Out of the headland we hit the northerly current and fresher winds, both helping to lift us on the other board up to the Calpe Fish farm. Got round that in good order and with slick kite hoists, off we went chasing Dale Andars transom running before ever freshening winds heading back south.
At times we felt we were gaining, but with her symmetrical kite we had to put in two more gybes, to remain less than 50 metres behind as we rounded the Altea fish farm. With our A2 carried shy, we began the starboard reach into the finish a mile or so shoreward with a pretty good chance of getting even closer.
Only trouble was that we had a big kited 44XP Division A yacht also closing up on our stern and threatening to roll over us and kill our wind. Had no choice but to discourage them with a luff or two and once she gave up and settled to go through us to leeward, we continued our chase after Dale Andar.
Unfortunately didn't quite catch her as the pin end of the line came up, but knowing she owed us time and knowing we were very close, I was pretty sure we might at long last in this series, get a top spot.
But sadly almost right on the line, as the 44XP finally broke through and surfed inside us to finish half boat ahead, a Division C yacht, coming into the line on port, simply ignored our shouts and left us no option but to luff away from the line, go around her stern to avoid a collision, before we too could bear away and eventually cross.
That port tacker was a real bummer - we learnt later that on corrected time we had missed out on 1st place by 2 seconds! The offending Dutch yacht crew said sorry in the bar and bought us some beers but afraid it didn't make up for the trophy loss!
But a great day again on the water in warm winds and bright autumnal sun. Our crew of Sue, Kevin, Edo, Eric and Rob were brilliant all day. Top jobs all round. It was me who buggered the start, and me that ducked the Division C boat. Sorry chaps. Should have rammed him.........