17 August 2009

Worlds Day 2: now we are sailing (and measuring)

The plan for today was simple: show up early, do some minor boatwork, measure in (as much as possible, given I don't have a class registration sticker or measurement certificate), and go sailing in the afternoon.

Mostly, that's what happened, although running around for the measurement was a bit stressful. Probably didn't help that we started the day off going the wrong way down a street -- that's why that guy was beeping at me! The coffee just hadn't kicked in yet.

We got the club shortly after 8, popped out the rig, put on transom flaps (poor man's style with plastic & tape, not the carbon fibre ones everyone else has), chafe-proofed the trapeze lines -- they are basically day-glow string that is as strong as wire -- and put the sails in line for measurement. I also sent Gareth off down the beach with the boat for it to be weighed and have the spars measured.




We are sailing off a beach next to the club, which is OK, but it's basically wide open to the public, and a 10-minute walk from the club.

Anyway, the boat was 2 kilos underweight (with 10 in it already!), so we have 2 kilos of lead we need to bolt on tomorrow. Also, we are missing a paddle, so add that to the shopping list tomorrow morning.

By the time we got through all that, put the boat in its correct spot by the beach, and got the rig in, it was time for lunch. More boatwork, Gareth tweaking the spin halyard blocks, I was busy putting shock cord on my mainsheet, taping on the tuning guide, etc.

So by 4 we were ready to go sailing -- by now it was super windy with the classic SF Bay wind pattern ramped up to max, and we were both a little nervous. Would something blow up? Would we be able to handle it? How many times would we flip, etc.

We did not get off to a great start, sitting on the beach with the sails up but no vang or cunningham attached. We were tweaking that with my new 3DL mylar main flapping away at full speed, adding years to its life -- that wasn't pleasant. But we launched without any incidents.

It was sweet. Because the tide was coming in with the wind, the water was quite flat, and after going upwind for a bit, we popped the chute and jammed downwind. It was like riding in a limo -- hardly any waves, and moving quickly. I think we even managed a jibe or two without incident.

Of course, between the tide & reaching under the kite, it didn't take long before we needed to head back upwind. Which took about 80% of our sailing time... We were raked about 3/4 of the way back, and spent most of the time with the main out to the corner, or with the top totally inverted. But the boat was flying upwind, and I was working on not pinching, and not being afraid to let out the main to stay flat. Of course, it always feels good by yourself, so the test will be when we are lined up against other boats.

We capsized twice -- once on a tack where I didn't get the main out, and also on a spinnaker hoist. Trying to steer the boat between my knees as it accelerates down waves, while hoisting the kite, is obviously a technique I will need to learn the finer points on.

We only were out for an hour, as the fog seemed like it was coming in, and we didn't want to beat ourselves up too much, but that sail made up for all the other BS. Enjoying a frosty one at the club bar after, we could watch the sun set behind the Golden Gate bridge. Magnificent.

Tomorrow: shopping, picking up boat parts, boat work, a sail, and a relaxing night!

No comments: