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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Shit happens. Bad start. Tried too hard to compensate for my poor position by cutting the corners at the 2nd mark. Clipped a back stay on another boat. Broke my spinnaker boom in half. Good news: no one on either boat was injured and nothing on the other boat was damaged. The latter was able to finish the race and I was able to speak to the skipper afterwards. Bad news is that my self-confidence is shaken to the roots. And ugly will become the task of replacing the boom.


  1. You were lucky. This is what you might have to call a 'lucky break'?

  2. I don't know if it'll make you feel better but my sailing coach used to tell us that if we didn't capsize once in a while (in our 420's), that we weren't trying hard enough on our tacks.

    Plus, I bet you that boat lets you go first the next time you guys get ready to round a mark together. Consider it an intimidation fee.

  3. You know what they say about a broken spinnaker pole? Time to get a new one.

  4. Actually, Charley's got three to telescoping. They're in the trailer at Beaton's. It's not locked.

  5. At least it wasn't a carbon boom ;-)

    PS: Love ur little Sozadee story.

  6. Baydog, actually Charley's "trailer"
    1) isn't his
    2) isn't on Beatons property
    3) isn't unlocked anymore

  7. Take a cue from Rodney Dangerfield and tell the other skipper, "You broke my boom!"

  8. At least you were on the water the weekend.

  9. With the spinnaker pole in pieces, I was not motivated to sail on Sunday. Crews' reaction, bless their hearts, were divided. Some appeared to be genuinely disappointed. Others shrugged it off; they seemed to have other alternatives with their families.

    This Wednesday is another thing altogether. I can't be competitive without the chute, so why bother?OTOH, I need to get back on the horse (that I have abused.) The current Plan (A) is to assess the pole locally and attempt a bulletproof repair. Damn the weight.This 18-ft, double-ended, Garry Hoyt pole is not standard on any boat currently in production. Used poles are impossible to find.

    Plan B: I always said a carbon fiber pole is what I wanted. The weight of my stock aluminum pole was such that I was reluctant to take on the spinnaker whenever it was left to me to deploy it. I always thought if I ever managed to break my original pole, I could justify the added expense of carbon-fiber. However, knowledgeable people now point out to me that loaded in the center as my pole is, carbon-fiber would be a risky choice. Nevertheless, my long held curiosity entices me to explore this option.

    In any case, I am either temporarily out of action or forced into a sub-competitive performance. The soccer or hockey equivalent would be playing a man short. Living through this current interlude can be an instructive experience. I stand to learn that:

    * I am not racing a 38ft Laser out there
    * Given my competitive instincts, maybe I'd be better off racing a 13'10" Laser
    * Given my age, maybe down-sizing to virtual racing is all that I am up to.

  10. Down-size to virtual racing, hehe. In virtual racing no booms break, and an alu boom weighs the same as a carbon ditto. (Price is the same too). For what it's worth, virtual sailing puts a smile on my face, whenever real sailing isn't possible. No chute, no problem. Just beat them upwind, loose them downwind, and beat them upwind again. Hopefully the finish is upwind...

  11. Here's one way to look at it, Noods: If II had damaged the other boat, like bringing down its rig, I would be in for more damage to my wallet to make things right. So, why not spring for a little more and make a bullet-proof carbon pole. People at Hall Spars seem to think they can build what ever strength is needed wherever it is needed. And they tell me, the price of aluminum relative to carbon fibre has gone up. I like their pitch. If I listen to their pitch, I may come to feel that this is expense is just a necessary alternative to trading in this 20-year old treasure for a brand new Virtual Yacht.

  12. No need to trade in your real boat. Virtual sailing can be done absoutely for free.