24 August 2009

Worlds Day Whatever: Worlds Race Day 1

Today was worlds race day 1. We have yet to meet our goal of finishing both races on a two-race day, but are getting further down that course on the second day before wiping out for good.

It's been a few days since I last blogged, here's what happened.

3rd and last day of NAs: not good. Flips, bad starts, slowness, strong words, etc. Plus, not being able to finish the last race. But we've moved on...

Next two days: free. Gareth off to SoCal to see friends, I was domestic: paperwork for worlds, housekeeping, saw a movie, etc. Went sailing with my friends Jeff & Danielle. You'd think I'd be done with that, but it was easy: hardest part was keeping one hand on the boat and one hand on my beer. It was a Friday night beercan race out of San Francisco Yacht Club, which is, oddly enough not in San Francisco: it's on the other side of the bay. Very beautiful place, if you get a chance to visit or sail there.

I thought I'd give a short picture essay of what's been happening.

Even though we have eaten a lot of food like this:


we've seen a lot of this:


That's the centreboard & bottom of the boat. Note the Sharpie marker for size comparison. Now imagine 2 x 200+ pound guys on it righting the boat. Scary. Because the blade is so high aspect ratio, it needs speed to work. If not, you just stall and go really slow. So the key is to bear off even if you think it's the wrong thing to do: you will go faster, the blde will work REALLY WELL, and you will magically start pointing higher and going faster.

At least we haven't done something like this:


or this:


There are several masts broken like that, including Mike Martin who won the NAs and race 1 of the worlds. So no-one is immune, but we are working on staying safe & sound ourselves. Between today and the first day of the NAs there are probably no more spare masts left in the boat park.

The good news is that there is only one race tomorrow, at 2pm. The bad news is that there is only one race tomorrow, at 2pm. The wind builds all day, until by 2 it's cranking pretty hard. So we will get to head out in the thick of it.

So, final synopsis of our situation is:

* Sometimes we can go fast upwind, enough to be in the top half pack, when there are boats around to keep us focused and honest and we aren't too tired

* We have good starts 2/3 of the time

* We have a lot of downwind work to do. At least we have decided to remove the spinnaker halyard/ram puller concoction, and I can actually pull up the chute right away. That eliminates a lot of time in the 'death zone': running downwind in waves with the tiller between my knees.

* This event is physically grueling.

* We are having fun, even if we feel like we've been in a salt-water washing machine

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go Fresh!!!
You are on Sailing Anarchy this morning in a movie... such a celebrity!