Sunday, July 29, 2007

WSC Overnight Race

Early this morning we finished the annual WSC Overnight Race. We only had 2 boats in the non-spinnaker division, but after seeing the finishing times of the spin class, I'm kind of happy that we sailed in the cruising class.

J.R. fixes the masthead light last week in anticipation of the race. He didn't crew this time around, but we appreciate his work!

Crew Lee

Crew Janel

The weather threatened all night, with a stationary line of thunderstorms hanging ominously just inland from the CT shore. Fortunately, the weather held off and we were rewarded with a full moon rising just after sunset.

The start was at 5:10 PM, from the Gulf, and first mark was Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground. We beat into a SSW breeze that ranged from 15-20 knots apparent, and made the mark by about 7:30. Then we started the downwind leg to New Haven, but about five minutes after rounding we saw all the Class A boats ahead of us dropping their spinnakers. The wind clocked around to the ESE, turning the leg into another beat.

After the wind settled down, we found ourselves on the lay line for the next mark, and made decent time against the flooding tide. The sun set and there were flashes of lightening over CT, and we could see fireworks from places on both shores. The moon soon made it bright enough to see perfectly.

There was a minor equipment failure during this leg - the last three inches of our tiller handle broke off right at the fitting for the tiller extender. I was sitting there nice and relaxed, steering while leaning back against the lifelines when suddenly I heard a snap and was left holding the extender with a sad little chunk of wood on the end, while the boat started rounding up. I taped the broken end of the tiller and continued the race sitting uncomfortably straight up.

The sacrifices we must make for a distance race!

We got to New Haven around 11, and after dodging a couple of tugboats/barges, we sailed an easy reach on the final leg back to Milford. We crossed the finish line around 12:30AM, after sailing a roughly 33 mile course.

Great work by the RC, including Fleet Captain Steve Hackett. This year's inclusion of a shorter cruising class race course made it a very enjoyable race.

Friday, July 27, 2007

...and of course, here's the Video!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fun race tonight!

Light winds at the start, but they built from the SW and made it a great race night.

John and Celeste from Witchcraft were RC tonight, and they chose to make it interesting by sending us downwind from between Welch's Point and Charles Island to the channel marker N4. Three times.

It was a slow downwind run to the first mark, but things got exciting after we rounded. First time sailor and political activist Beau ( joined us, and took all these photos:

Beau (Spazeboy) Anderson

Traffic jam around the mark

Close quarters

Closer quarters
Um, can you fend off over there?

Shhh! We're trying to concentrate!

Post race, the sunset puts on a great show!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Port Jeff Race & Rendezvous

Joyce and I were Race Committee for the third year running, and unlike last year, we did have some wind. Not a lot, but enough.

We mounted the camera on the stern rail pointed along the starting line, and left it running for the entire 41-minute pre-start and starting sequence, beginning with Wind Rose and ending with Secret. Then I edited out the bits between the boats, and speeded up a bunch of shots, leaving me with a roughly 4-minute video. Enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Some rain, no wind

Last night a few showers were in the area, but after a brief drenching around 5:30, the weather cleared up and a few boats headed out.

No race committee showed up, however that wasn't a problem because soon after the sky cleared, the wind dropped to nothing for roughly an hour. If we had started a race, they probably would have called it before anyone reached the first mark.

J.R., Lee, and Janel relax during the calm

Our crew deserted us by going swimming; J.R. and Janel took the plunge. J.R. ranged over to Schock Therapy and was rewarded with a beer. Then he swam over to Sentinal and scammed another. Luckily, he got out of the water just as the wind freshened a bit.

Joyce and Derek

Baby ducks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our July sailing odyssey

Eight days on the boat. We had a bit of rain on a couple of them, but for the most part the weather was great!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Woman at the Helm Race II

(NOTE: Video from the vacation will be delayed a while; I'm very busy)

Here's some photos from last night's Woman at the Helm race. We had a bit of a screw-up at the start and hit the starting pin, so we lost our advantage on what would have been a great start. It was a short race in light and variable winds, so we didn't have time to make it back up.

Crew was J.R., Derek, Lee, and Janel. Joyce was the Helmswoman, and I was the seldom listened-to tactician. I'm pretty sure we finished DFL, but it was fun anyway!

(Click on any of these pictures for hi-resolution goodness!)

Before the start

Joyce at the helm

"Paikea" on a reach

"Pale Rider" close hauled

Some boats

After the race

Joyce and the ducks

Sunset over Milford Harbor