Late Start & Fluky Wind

This morning things started late. Actually, I started late because I woke up late. I aim to be at the club at 9 ‘o clock and I woke up at 9:25! I could hurry and try to make the first race, but I would be too stressed and I decided that I would only do the second race.

I arrived at the club and rigged Bubble. Since I had plenty of time, I started looking at little things I could improve. I replaced the shackle that holds the cunningham to the kicker with a snap hook. It is quite big for the job, but this is what I had handy and I used it. I also spliced the two ends of the outhaul primary control line. I really took my time in doing these changes and I was looking at the wind. It was quite shifty although it was looking like it would pick up, it never did.

It was time for the second race and I went to the startline. I was aiming for a good start but I got stuck in irons 12 seconds from the gun. I was on port and Steve was coming on starboard and as I wasn’t moving, there was no way for me to get out of his way. Unfortunately in my effort to get moving as soon as possible I was doing all the wrong things that resulted in me still being there and Steve stuck to my leeward. He was obviously pissed off and I managed to mess up both mine and his start.

After I got off the line, I set my sail, trimmed my boat, and I started beating trying to recover the lost ground. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and most probably I wouldn’t even be able to recover the lost ground. As I was going upwind I was getting closer and closer to Brent. It seemed like I would get to him but as soon as he rounded the windward mark he was gaining on me. I tried to stay close and when we got to the downwind leg he was further ahead. At some point it looked like I was getting close to him, obviously because I picked up a gust. I continued with it and as I was getting closer, it reached him and he accelerated. Being lighter than me he managed to gain on me again. The first two laps went like that, but after that everybody was quite far ahead and it wasn’t interesting. It was very fluky. The shifts, the gusts and the lulls made things difficult. I finished 8th out of 10. Not happy really, but somehow I enjoyed sailing.

At some point, I saw James struggling because he had let his mainsheet too much out. Later on I realised that he hadn’t rigged the mainsheet properly. It wasn’t going through the aft boom block, but from the traveller block straight to the fore boom block. This way he had much less purchase but the whole thing wasn’t working properly. He had capsized 2-3 times already and I told that he should better go in, because that was the cause for his capsizes. When I went in, I showed him how to rig it properly, but I also saw that the ratchet of the mainsheet block was turned off. Later in the afternoon we had a look at the boat that Pete is going to be using the next season. It doesn’t look bad, it only needs an XD pack an XD kicker and a bit of TLC. It even has two sails and the worst of the two is better than mine.