Since I’m going to be a little busy tomorrow and I’m waiting out the Tropical Storm Debby deluge, here’s a pre-Wednesday edition.
Team Yost Auto has some powerful SI sails, maybe too powerful! They show a textbook pitchpole because they eased traveler instead of mainsheet. Keep the pressure off the bows boys! Yost was one of the sponsors of the Great Texas 300, and this vid shows a great view of the storm we narrowly escaped from on the last day. Apparently, there was more than one mine drilling capsize in this squall. Just replay the first 10 seconds over and over and it’s all good.
I had a quick sit down recently with Mainsailnews.tv about our local fleet, juniors in cats and F18 Worlds. Don’t bag on me too bad for getting hung up on the trap ring in the beginning of the vid…….Why do they have to put my one and only imperfect mark rounding in the video?? Yeah right…..Check it.
WW’s been on hiatus for a while, but let’s bring it back! This wipeout is from the Raid Revenge and the style is called the “Pitchpole to Pinata.” We all know a pinata is a Spanish paper machet likeness of usually a donkey filled with candy that’s strung from a tree and beat with a stick by Pavlovian drooling youngsters until it explodes and the horde rushes in for the candy kill. In beachcats it’s a little different. We have the popular ‘chicken line’ which is a line from the transom of the boat usually led to a cleat on our harness which keeps us from going forward if the bow pitches in. The term ‘chicken line’ really means the crew is scared of pitchpoling so they’re strapping their pansy ass to the back of the boat. Calling someone a chicken means you think they’re scared thus derived the term ‘chicken line.’ If you’ve chicken lined in, you’ve probably ended up in the familiar pinata pose, needing help from your trusty teammate to get down. I know I’m missing the accent on the ‘n’ in pinata like the crew is missing a stick to beat the strung up driver who pitched him in the water. Hey, they were rocking it before the stick. It’s tough steering in waves so on edge for sure.
Last weekend I drug the Cirrus R F18 out to Sarasota for a little training on the bay. Since we bailed on the Macho Man long distance race because of attendance and security issues at the host club, we decided to do a little impromptu training session. We made the decision to go on Thursday and still ended up with five F18s to train with in absolutely perfect 15 knot breeze and baggy shorts water. We were joined by three junior teams from the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program and Karl and Beth Langefeld on their infusion with Glaser sails. A big thanks to David Hillmyer for taking these vids on his i and setting up the short course for us at the end of the day!
Dalton and I upwind training fly-by
Our upwind trim
The morning session was just straight-lining with rig and sail tuning. With a three-mile fetch down Sarasota Bay we were able to work on our Cirrus settings some more, and the junior teams were getting faster. I’m really happy to help this top rate program (the only one of it’s kind for multihulls) get better and show the rest of the country where the new cat mecca is.
Karl & Beth upwind training
Ravi & Eric making adjustments
The afternoon session was some more straight lining and some short course racing. After racing, we had a debrief about everything top to bottom and I was able to answer some really great questions.
Dalton and I finishing the first short course race. Darn port dagger keeps slipping!!
Finish between Ravi & Eric and Karl & Beth
We all learned a thing or two Saturday and I’m really impressed with how the program is coming along.
Here’s a quick vid of DN Worlds. The first part is Daniel Hearn’s Gold Fleet start. The rest is my sail in with all my extra gear including runners and sail onboard, so I could only wind it up a little bit. I was telling the truth when I said I’d be wearing jackets over my jackets. I miss it already!
With only two weeks to go until our favorite race of the year, the Steeplechase, the curved foils were delivered and we got to work cutting on the all carbon Marstrom 20. You know, taking a sawzall to a perfectly good boat is never an easy proposition, but with the curved foils laying on the table just a few enticing feet away, we were ready to get choppin’. The new cassettes fit in the old board slits, but the old straight cassettes had to be cut out. After pulling the Nomex/Prepreg slivers out of the case holes like the game Doctor, we sanded, fit, measured, sanded and sanded some more to achieve the “sacred geometry’ for the new foils. A little epoxy and carbon strands and the new cassettes were solidly in place. Then we gawked at the sexy weapon like it was our first gentleman’s club visit.
After a week of anticipation we arrived for the start of the Steeplechase, a race from the west side of Key Largo, out to the Atlantic, around the southern tip of Islamorada and back to the west side of Key Largo, about 100 miles total. Only one problem, forcast of no wind. We were between fronts and there was no land effect forecasted either. Since this is the only cat race I know of that allows paddling, of course the paddles came out in half the fleet right at the start in Barnes Sound. After a couple minutes of watching the fleet paddle by, I broke out our big paddle and kindly requested Bret to steer a course straight to the filling breeze on the west side of the sound. Since the M20 weighs in at only 250 lbs., we had an advantage on most of the fleet. We paddled straight to the front, tacking in the left shift and tracking straight to Card Sound Bridge in 5-6 knots, flying a hull with me on the low side, sometimes even hiking to leeward to get the hull out C-Class style. It was working. We were able to pull away from our main competition on the left side, the ARC 22 and the Nacra F20c.
There was one boat we were thoroughly worried about though. The only boat to truck to the right side, our sistership sailed by Mike Phillips and my long time crew Kenny ‘Monster’ Pierce. We positioned ourself on the left side fleet well, but when we converged the other M20 came flying out of the right side and entered the Card Sound Bridge with about a 200 yard lead on us. After the bridge, we stayed to their left and led them to the next shift, which put us back in control. Here is a short vid of the section from Pumpkin Key, through Angelfish Creek and out into the Atlantic.
Even though we captured the lead, the 50-mile downwind run wasn’t without drama. With every pressure wave from behind the ARC 22 was gaining. They also found more gradient outside and passed us under kite with about 20 miles to go. We turned the tables when we bounced outside. They committed inside at Rodriguez Key which was the major changing point of the race. On port, going out to sea we were running 160s all day and we started to get lifted. I said when we hit 140 we gybe back onto starboard. With that shift we took the lead back and they gybed on our hip heading south. Then the breeze shifted more left and increased. We headed into the sunset double trapped with the kite at full speed straight to the finish at Anne’s Beach in Islamorada. With it’s huge sail area, the ARC couldn’t hold our line and ended up too far outside when we dropped the kites to start reaching for the finish in 12-14 knots true. We finished right at sunset with Mike and Kenny less than four minutes behind with the ARC on their heels. It was a long day punctuated by a beautiful reach for about 10 miles.
I’ll let this video explain day two. In short, it’s a lemans start through a couple miles of shallows, then a beat to the Channel Five Bridge. The rest of the race was mostly boatspeed downwind through shallows and mangroves. The boat performed brilliantly. The vid is a bit long, but it tells the story. Hey, what else do my friends up north have to do right now but watch videos and make babies?
I love it when a plan comes together!
During the last couple years Sail Innovation has put more sweat in their compaign than any other F18 team. Not only do they make their own sails designed by Alex Udin, they changed aspects of the boat including the daggerboards, stripping the foam off the decks of their Wildcat, using different foil/rig/hull combinations using the Capricorn, Wildcat, Shockwave, etc. and the list goes on. They also put in their time on the water, traveling to F18 regattas all over Europe to train leading up to the 2009 World Championship. It all culminated in victory.
This video is an account of their championship. It shows the determination and steely demeanor it takes to win. Yes, it’s in French but I don’t think language is needed to impart their feelings of desire.
My buddy Mischa de Munck sent me this vid of the first training session in Muiderzand at our club. Although I wouldn’t be too keen on the jazzersize, I’m looking forward to training this winter when I get back from Dubai.
Here is a quick pre-teaser from Sail Innovation. In the end, it gives you a tiny taste of what is happening with their teams in France, and what the next video will contain. Really good video quality as well.
Also, on Catsailingnews there is a really good interview of Alex Udin of Sail Innovation. It shows Alex’s breadth of knowledge about sail design, and the lengths he has went through to bring leading edge technology to small cat sails.
So, I’m more behind from the last month or so, but I’m early for this Wednesday! You guessed it, it’s cold and I’m inside a little more often. Here is a vid of Jorden Veenman and Mischa de Munck last winter on their Hobie Tiger with a little dip with the bow!
This cat, built by LeBreton Yachts, is my kind of carbon cruiser! This is a nice vid to watch full screen.
I arrived a few days ago, and coached on Sunday in the frigid green waters of Muiderzand, east of Amsterdam. The cat sailors here are pretty serious, training in the winter in preparation for next year. I was also impressed by the junior Hobie 16 teams. They are very organized for training. I’m finding out why they enjoy their summers so much too! Here is a quick vid of some of the action from Sunday. Some mothies joined in the fun, and boy are those birds quick!
Here’s a vid of us going downwind in 20+ knots of breeze during the windiest part of the day. My finger is in the way through part of it, but I’m driving at the same time, and we were a bit on the edge. I use a waterproof Olympus camera, and this is my first time with video and helming, so it can only get better.
I HAVE VIDS! HMM…WHAT TO ADD NEXT? Trey and I agreed this is our Tybee Theme song. And yes, I’m on a boat b#(%^&!