Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Friday, April 17, 2009

Platform Grace Race 2009

I see now why I'm losing my shirt and taking it in by shorts simultaneously in VORG: I haven't done enough distant racing.

In last Friday's 17-mile race we did miserably. Helene's Intuition won it despite almost missing the first mark on the course. (Go figure: sail that far out of your way and still get a bullet certainly brings into question the validity of the handicapping.) Cheryl Anne (right) took second. Zephyr, sailing high to get some speed out of the light wind, lost her time to us. But Jules found wind below us and passed to leeward. In the end, we captured an unnoteworthy 6th out of nine starters. Looking at the times, my 90-second late start - though inexcusable - was not a factor.

There was not enough wind to sail rhumb. My crew knew it. I didn't. When I went off watch, and later when I went forward to fly the spinnaker, they connived, conspired, and sneakily heated the rig up. It was emblematic of the major on board debate in almost every race, even the short ones. Crew wants speed; I want direction.

Would a GPS at the helm resolve all conflicts by rendering constant VMG? I don't know who on my crew I can trust to give me a good ROI to justify it!

I do not want to be the one whose eyes are always on the GPS. MVP is already multi-tasking.

Bubbles relieved me from the helm, so I could stretch my legs (in a horizontal position below) and join JJ is flying the spinnaker. Mark worked his magic, as usual in flawless spinnaker sets and drops.

We didn't really get our wind strength until forty minutes before the finish. Which meant that we got all the fresh cold air in our faces and driven through our bones on the way back.

Everyone was cold and tired when we returned to the harbor. I pushed us to try a backing in. Two attempts were insufficient and we gave up for the day and nosed-in to slip. Later, Captain Helene opined that what I encountered was 'prop swing'; she said, as I re-construe it, was to line it up, directly up wind, gun it in reverse and immediately shift into neutral and drift in stern first. Worth a try: it's the key to icing Wet Wednesdays, guaranteeing a start regardless of the wind strength.

No comments:

Post a Comment