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

Monday, May 30, 2011

For the Greatest Generation . . .

This group is trying to get 50000 views of this video by Memorial Day. It is pretty poignant and moving. You need to view the whole thing to be counted. It will take just a couple of minutes of your time. Then, if you could link to a few friends, your two minutes will count for more.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Weather! Always the Fooking Weather!

I hate to cancel a racing date on the strength of mere weather predictions, but the balance of my Crew's Sunday is at stake.

Based upon what I knew at this 0849hrs this morning,
and wanting to maximize fun & minimize risk to all, I felt I had to call it a day as far as racing at that point. I wanted everyone to enjoy the rest of their day.

But now at 1149hrs, closer to when we would otherwise be going down to the boat, how much as the predicted weather diminished?

I'd have to say it would have been quite doable. Damn it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Funny "Fun" Race

Today's race was not to count in any series. It was the buffer between Spring and Summer series. Appropriately enough it offered us atypical conditions: heavy westerly swells with a light and shifty easterly. Many felt afterwards that it was like sailing in a totally unfamiliar venue.

I continue to marvel at our evolving crew: the team seems complete. It no longer bothers me to have [quote]too many aboard[unquote]. Today we had seven aboard, and everyone had plenty to contribute. Picking the right moments for gybing was critical in confusing air and sea conditions.

We finished 3rd out of twelve boats. (That's an aside, just for the record.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dry Wednesday for Us

Ducked another race. Northerly winds gusting 20-25, but the cross angle made in problematic getting in and out of slip.

It was the last race of the Spring Series. I'm in 8th place? Not motivated to risk bodies or boats. Not me. Now if it were the first race of the Summer Series, I can't say what I would have done.

Well, yes I can. We would have gone and done it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Velux 5 Oceans' Final Leg

Velux 5 Oceans - Sprint 5 Sets off today from Charleston SC towards La Rochelle, France. There are just four boats, ECO-60's, in this 3,556nm leg.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Now? Over Early???

But still managed a 4th place out of 14?

Got to give credit to a freshly re-constituted crew and a boat which never loses (much!) in 15knts. There was a small matter of an errant dousing which was captured on cam by visiting Cuz from Colorado. But I had that good ol' feeling that our 38ft Laser was finally back on her feet. Hopefully, no more crew members enjoy themselves so much that they go off the reservation and buy their own boats! Again! What's the answer for that?

Cuz wasn't all that familiar with my camera, but he did capture some sounds!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Memo: Never Schedule a Race on Mother's Day...

Because It Just Provokes Mother Nature

We didn't reef from the get-go on this 11nm race and we were penalized by not being able to ease off. Steady at 27 knots with gusts to 40. We could have finished the race, but we could not have saved our time. And I wanted to save my rudder. Seven out of only nine starters finished. Another DNF is the cost for my dogmatic insistence on not reefing. However, the good news is that two new crew were discovered, baptized by the spray, and proved their mettle!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I lose a protest because a picture is not worth a thousand words.

I sail every race these days full of myself and full of confidence that I know the rule book, Racing Rules of Sailing. Not that I know it from dint of hard study. Nothing can be more boring, even on a slow afternoon than reading a rule. I only look things up a little after a race where situations come up. Situations like this illustration from my autographed and well-thumbed copy of Dave Perry's book are always happening for me. And I sail with this picture in mind and not necessarily with the RRS rule in mind, which reads like this:
18.1 When Rule 18 Applies
Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a
mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone.

18.2 Giving Mark-Room
(a) When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the
inside boat mark-room, unless rule 18.2(b) applies.
(b) If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone, the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give her mark-room.

Here's what happened to me, tonight in a beer-can race.

Four boats in the same class were approaching the leeward mark, three on port, one on starboard. Red Boat (me) senses there will be a problem hails Green early enough for Green to take Red's stern. Green Boat, clearly outside the zone is approaching a a hotter (higher) angle than are the port tackers, thus is hailed at Position 1 by Red Boat clearly inside the zone. At this point Green Boat calls "Starboard" at Position 2. Red Boat hails that starboard-port does not apply inside the zone at a leeward mark. Green continues, and in the congestion from other boats, there is extremely minor brushing between Red and Green.
(This diagram expands when clicked.)

The Protest Committee Chairman drew a line 90o off Red's stern in position one, and declared that Red and Green were overlapped at the point when Red entered the zone.

The PC Chairman also read from RRS Definitions:

Clear Astern and Clear Ahead: Overlap One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat’s hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They do not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies or both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind.
Here's another diagram and comment from Perry:
Remember that .... when Rule 18 applies or both boats are sailing more than 90 degrees from the wind, the boats are considered overlapped even when they are overlapped even when they are on opposite tacks. This becomes important as boats approach the leeward mark on widely differing angles.... For instance, say that both boats are reaching on opposite tacks to be left to starboard. When the starboard tack boat O reaches the zone, the port tack boat I is five lengths from the mark, but based upon the angle of O's course, I is overlapped on the inside of O. Therefore, I is entitled to mark-room from O under Rule 18.2(b)...
After this experience, I guess I will have to pay attention to Perry's dotted lines.

And, as a result, I am depressed. I had no idea an overlap could occur between boats on different tacks. The Red Boat's protest was thrown out and, there been minimal contact, Red Boat was disqualified.

I am humiliated.

Wait! What is this?

This chart is from Dave Perry's own
100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes, which is updated for the RRS of 2009-2012!

Yes, this scenario covers a course with a starboard rounding. But what's the real difference?

Perry doesn't draw a dotted line from the transom of the inside port tack boat. If he had the outside starboard tack boat would clearly be ahead of it.

I am not humiliated. I am confused.