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.
This year, the Charlotte Harbor Regatta was all about learning. We had a new boat and Dalton and I hadn’t sailed together in almost four months, so we got loosened up an down to the business of learning the new Cirrus R F18.
Friday there was a blustery easterly breeze careening down the shoreline and through the bridge and condos which made for shifty and puffy conditions over the dark blue chilled water of Charlotte Harbor. The first thing we learned on this cool sun laden day was even though the Cirrus R has a very flat forward section it goes through waves really well against the chop, albeit a little more loudly than most cats. Right out of the gate we had boatspeed and pointing ability. We were certainly not off the pace. We were stoked because we knew she had more to give; we just had to find out how to make that happen. Figuring out a new design is something special in sailing.
Downwind it handled really well. Most F18s have a little leeward helm, but the Cirrus was really well balanced and responsive due to the high volume and rocker forward of the crossbeam and the flat bottom section of the hull. Oh, and it planes for sure. There is always a debate if catamarans plane. This boat has really put that to rest. The R is a big F18 and it feels big downwind, crashing over and through waves like Banque Populaire V. It has virtually no pitching. The balancing point of the boat downwind is well aft, and the forward rocker acts as a huge bow which slowly comes down at a low angle off wave crests. It’s like driving an Escalade over a speed hump. The bow decks are shaped like BPV so the spray shoots straight up off of the inverted ‘V’ shape of the deck, which makes it look like smoke trailing behind the boat. And there’s plenty of spray.
From what I heard from all the naysayers about the ‘R’ is that it doesn’t perform in light air. We won plenty of light air races including the last race of the regatta when it was extremely light. We were able to roll the fleet for a going away win with both hulls in the water the entire race. Myth Busted!!
After the weekend we were content that the boat was so fast at the bottom of the learning curve. Since Charlotte Harbor we’ve figured out a few settings and a style of sailing the R that’s been successful. We had majorly exciting conditions at the NOOD regatta recently also where we definitely became stronger as we progressed and ended up with really great speed and angle all the way around the course.
Here’s a vid of the second day we sailed the boat at Charlotte Harbor. Upwind we were learning settings and…er..found out that going up the middle wasn’t the way to go. But downwind………fully turned on and extending. Enjoy. Please watch in HD. Cheers,