30 May 2010

Sunday Practice part deux

Hi All!

Well, what a great practice!

We had quite a crowd for a practice, so we were able to delegate tasks and work on getting our team moving forward lickety split!

What a great day, what a great time (it was great, can you tell yet?) Winds out of the south-southeast at about 10-12, some lighter pockets, good sunshine, and fair temps.

We had our crew ready to go; Carly, Young David, and Princess on the Fore Deck; Megan, Ryan, Sandy, and Ute in the pit, Lynn and Abby trimming the 'chute, Sophie on the main, Don driving, and Jim, Whale and I floating and working out the kinks. Can it get any better? Now all we need is about another 15 feet of boat or so!

Everyone did a fantastic job on the water today. We added a few new tools to our arsenal for use during races, and brushed up on our technique to get even more smooth flow out of our tacks, hoists, douses, and roundings. Considering we were on the water for almost 5 hours, even at the end of the session, everyone still managed to get it all down, right to the last douse!

Looking forward to this season more and more... Hope you are all as excited as I am!



27 May 2010

Sunday Practice

Hi Gang!!

Well, we had a GREAT Beer Can prep on Wednesday; what a perfect night for sailing! Good compliment of people on board, both experienced, and inexperienced. We are starting to get that together!

Jim asked me how we are doing as far as personnel go this year, and I had to be honest; "We are very deep with shallow experience levels."

I said that facetiously, but it is true. We are coming along nicely; Princess was up rocking the bow with Young David, Andrew and Ute are cracking the whip on Ryan in the cockpit, Nicole is getting the main up and singing now... John can get the sails up fast, so that will be good.... Things are looking up nicely!

There are a few things I would like everyone to think about for Sunday. Maybe read up a bit, sail the boat in your minds, and picture how everything is going to work.

Our tacks are nice; crisp and clean. Ute and Sandy are doing a great job getting the jib around and in. I was not able to pay too much attention to the main, other than when we were going downwind. We need to mark out the car locations for the jib; put tape down there, etc.

We need to rig the twings every time we go out.

Jim and I chatted Wednesday night about moving the downhaul out to the end of the pole full time, the way we have it when we fly an asymmetric spinnaker. We are getting a little 'bound up' when we have to release the downhaul so we can raise the inboard end of the pole. This bring 2 things into play, and both are bad: 1) The 'chute can bounce around, causing it to lose shape, and therefore efficiency, 2) when the new sheet is"made," and the guy is pulled in, the pole comes aft as far as it can before the guy slides/runs thru the jaw to the donut.

By clipping the downhaul at the end of the pole as a proper downhaul, there will be no reason to ease that line any more than we need to for 'squaring the pole,' which is not terribly far back, anyways. In addition, that will free up a set of hands and set of eyes to watch the lines, etc.

Jibing is actually a fairly complicated maneuver. We need to execute it not necessarily with speed, but cleanly.

Our 'letterbox' takedown seemed to be working ok, but we need to get the lines straightened out as to when everything goes through. Running the guy over the boom worked well, and we are getting the sail in fast, but it is just not quite... snappy. I don't know, I am still mulling it over. I think it'll go quite a bit better.

For Sunday, we are going to do 'it all.' Eat a good breakfast, and be ready to do some sailing. It will be a learning practice, but it will also be race practice, so we'll have everyone on the rail HTFO, or ride low, or whatever we need for heel. A few of the maneuvers we'll be working on are;

Tacks (can't get enough!! Consistently smooth tacks win races.)

Mark Roundings
We have the BC marks out now, so we have no excuse not to pick a mark and use it as a race course. That will help crank
up the pressure, too.

Spinnaker Sets
I'd love to go through both our standard 'bear away' leeward hoist, and a jibe set. Jibe sets are great tools to have in the inventory.

Spinnaker Takedowns
We have the 'letterbox' that we just started using; it would be really good to be able to make a windward takedown and our good oldfashioned leeward takedown, too. The main difference-- in a leeward, the halyard is blown first. In a windward, the guy comes around first. Sounds complicated, but makes sense for where you want the sail to end up.

There is some good info here, but we sometimes do things a bit differently;

In addition to all of that (those of you who are still reading,) we will have a real rock star joining us for practice, and then for the COLORs and NOODs, (I hope!) Lynn races on Salsa, the big J boat, and is their Spin trimmer. She is more used to the A-sym than our runner type 'chutes, but she'll be great to have for keeping an eye out on us, and working our sail handling. We'll have a great time with her.

Anyways, send your questions to me!

We'll be doing some 'dock sailing' before we leave, so that we can go over the line handling that we need to do for practice. We've got some good ground to cover, but everyone has done most of this befire, so it should work out well!



p.s.. Lynn will kill me for calling her a rock star, but she can handle it. :)

25 May 2010

Section 1 Start

This is the Section 1 start, from Race #1 of the 2010 Abe Jacobs Regatta. Just a little R/C Eye Candy. Time to start is in the upper left corner....

23 May 2010

Race Committee

Hi Everyone!!

What a great day to be on the water!

Don, Chrystal, Ute, Abby, Mary Ellen, Rich O'Connell, and I made up the R/C contingent, with our good friend on Dark Island acting as mark boat at the high end of the course; they had Judi, Tom, Matt, and Dennis on board.

Good teamwork got everything together before we left the dock, so when we got out to the race course, we were all set to go. The wind cooperated, blowing a fairly steady breeze of about 14 kts the entire day. We saw some 16s for a while, but it was mostly out of a 160 for race #1, and 120 for race #2.

Dark Island did a fantastic job settting a great course, and we even got to call boats over early! That was fun, and a new experience for some of our crew! In fact, here is Matt, on Dark Island, during pre-race prep, but soon to be starring in "Matt and The Giant Peach:"

Coming back ashore, we ran into 90F weather, and a couple of us could not resist, and took the plunge into the nice chilly lake. Water temps are about 53F in the harbor right now, so it was a brisk jump, but well worth it to get the heat off. A few fizzy lifters, the reconcile the race times, and then the close of the day.

How sweet.

See you all on Wednesday for the Beer Can Warm-up!


20 May 2010

Gear, and stuff

Hey all!

Well, just a quick post about gear;

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate gear. So, here are some things you can pick up to make your life better;

This is a great sale price on what is essentially the foul gear coat I have been wearing for almost 10 years.

Here are some good prices on gloves.

These are really good convertible shorts/pants. Look for them on sale.

You can simply drive down and pick them up from Crowley's!

Hope all is well; more to come!!



16 May 2010

First Practice!

Hi Gang!!

Well, we had a great sail today. The wind was a little bit strong for the start of the practice sessions, so given our skill levels at this point, it was more important to simply get the sails up and down properly.

We had a great pre-sail chat, and then hit the water (and the water hit us!) Hoisted the main, got the #2 up, reefed the main, and then started practicing in earnest. Lots of tacks; Andrew and Ute working the pit like mad; Nicole doing a great job with the main. Lots of good working out in the off season gives good results when the season comes around again!

No flying of the 'chute. We got out on the water, and the 16-20 kt breeze was a little bit much for this early in the season. We did have a short packing lesson before the race, and everyone was able to take their time and start checking out the boat again.

Beercan practice is this Wednesday; We'll probably be gone for a short time. Hopefully, the weather will continue to cooperate (that is the forecast,) and we'll be able to get a spinnaker up and down and around a few times.

Had a great time!!



13 May 2010

Although the Weather may look nice....

Hi Gang!!

Although the weather may look nice right now, the lake is still quite cold, so be ready for practice on Sunday; dress appropriately. We will all need to be there at 1100, and be ready to be off the dock at noon. We're going to try to get everyone on time from now on.

We've got a good crew for practice, and we can get a lot accomplished in very little time, as long as we are ready to go! We'll be rigging the boat for the first time the season, so everything will take a little longer.

I've added links on the right, the 3rd section, right below "upcoming events," called "Learning Center." There are a bunch of good lessons from Sailing World's "From the Experts" that we can incorporate, and for some of you who have not had a chance to spend time on the water, this is a good way to get familiar with some of what we will be doing.

Hope all is well, and see you on the water!!



08 May 2010

Maria's (Kinda) Surprise Party

Hi All!!

Well, we did manage to surprise Maria, and the party went off well. Good job Jess on getting it all together!! Thanks to everyone who came, we had a great time. Oh, and the Blackhawks won!

Just about got Don convinced we need to do the Colors Regatta. We need a good turnout for the practice sessions, though, so we can be ready for racing.

See you all soon!!


07 May 2010

Ready for the Season?

Hi Gang!!

Well, our intrepid (decrepit?) crew sallied forth, and lo!, a Maskwa was delivered unto Burnham Harbor!

The delivery went well; a number of our group got to drive, sails were set, and fun was had. A few of us repaired later on for cocktails at Andrew's new venue, The Shady Lady [That would be a great boat name,] and had cocktails and explored some of our option for the season.

Personally, I am looking forward to this season more than I have in quite a few years. We have a really go-to core crew, and the newer crew members are ready to step up to the plate and dish it out! [enough metaphors yet?]

Once again, for those of you who have not gone there, please check out www.crewsignup.com, and click on Maskwa. I am keeping that site up to date with info we need for racing, etc, including boat call times, who is bringing lunch, etc. I will also attempt to keep this blog up to date as we get further into the season. I would like to add information on the sidebar with show times, and other general information. Maybe race results? Please give me some feedback and let me know how you think I can make this a better location for information.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!