Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fleet 13 Members Win Windy City Team Race, Qualify for Hinman

Team "Fair and Balanced" had a great weekend of Vanguard 15 Team Racing in the first annual Windy City Team Race hosted by Chicago Corinthinan Yacht Club. The win qualifies the team for the 2009 Hinman Trophy, US Team Race National Championship. The team was comprised of 505 Fleet 13 Sailors JB Turney, Ned Turney, and Craig Thompson. Sailing with them were Megan Bartley, Colleen Cozzens, and Jamie Shepherd.

It was a fantastic weekend for racing. Saturday was 5-10 kts out of the ESE which was perfect team racing conditions. The chop from the powerboats and refraction off the seawall made the conditions tricky. Sunday was an amazing day; perhaps not ideal team racing conditions but certainly a test to endurance and heavy air boathandling. The breeze was 15-25 kts with gusts that had to be close to 30.

I will post some pictures of Sunday's racing when they become availible. Here are a few from Saturday courtesy of Louis Parks:

Monday, June 8, 2009

June Training Session: Day 5

After 3 days of mediocre breeze and bizarre Chicago weather, Sunday provided a great day of two boat training. The wind was out of the NNE with velocity anywhere from 9-18 knots. The breeze was light when we first left the harbor but steadily built to the 14-18 knot range.

We sailed for about 4 hours and had lots of good straight line testing with many opportunities to try different settings. The breeze was very dynamic and it was good to practice changing gears on the fly. It was very important to be able to make quick adjustments yet not loose focus on actually sailing the boat while doing it. Jib sheet adjustments we found to be very crucial.

One thing JB and I have focused on is getting our boats calibrated in the same fashion to allow for easy on the water discussion about settings. After yesterday, it was evident that we need to invest some time into a common calibration scheme for the mast ram.

I find that the standard Left-Coast/Glaser calibration for the ram is flawed. If you use a linear scale on the ram track, the geometry of the strut(tube length, deck fitting location, track height) must be IDENTICAL for you to assume that the same setting on one boat matches another. Also, whose idea was it to make the base setting at number 7?

I agree that the standard "base setting" for the ram should be when the mast is rammed straight with 25 lbs of rig tension at 25'8" rake. I have talked before with Ethan Bixby about using a linear scale on the mast gate instead of on the track. The only downside is that you cannot see a scale at the mast gate very easily. I think that marking the corresponding points on the mast is a good solition for this. Note that these corresponding marks will not be a linear scale.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June Training Session: Day 1

John Loe is in town from June 3-8 and we will be training out of Montrose Harbor every day that he is here. John had an article in the most recent Sailing World. Disregard the bio inside the back cover: It is my 505, not his.

Last night was a great day of sailing with 18-20 knots out of the Northeast with 4-6 ft. waves. John and I were sailing 7346 and JB and Ned were sailing 7611. The water is still in the 50's and the air temperature was unseasonably cold. After 3 hours of sailing in these conditions, it was very evident that fitness is going to be a major issue in preparation for this summer's worlds in San Fran. Here are a couple of notes we discussed yesterday post-sailing:
Wed. June 3, 2009

-Both boats have almost identical setup: Glaser sails, Proctor Cumulus mast, Waterat Blades.

-We were raked anywhere from 25'4" when we first left the harbor to 25'1" where we eventually settled in at. For the most part, when the breeze was up, the 25'1" setting felt good. I would say max puff was 21 knots, windy but not smoking

-If the board was down more than about 1" up from vertical the boat felt awful. In this condition you need to try raising the board a bit at a time to find the position where the boat feels balanced. The danger of this adjustment is that if you go too far, the boat will feel fine and you will be fast forward, but you will "fall of the cliff" and have not pointing ability.

-We had the gybe-stopper down 100% of the time on 7346. This felt good especially since it was really choppy. Downwind the gybe-stopper was necessary as JB and Ned said they were having trouble staying in control without one. From our perspective they still seem very low and fast without it.

-Flattening reef was on 100% of the time on both boats.

-I gave John an full elbow shot to the temple while trimming the jib coming out of a tack. This is a sub-optimal maneuver.