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.)
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.
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.
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. :)