SBYRA Winter #1 2007

In anticipation of the light winds for the winter SBYRA races, we purchased a used Express 37 150% (which equates to a 144% for Mist) to add to our inventory for the winter series. Keith and I manage to sneak out of our weekday routine and went to the boat for a test sail of the new 144% on Friday. We checked out the shape of the sail and also experimented with the fairlead to see where it might be best for light air conditions. We felt we learned a few things about how the new sail needs to be trimmed and what makes the boat go better in the light air. Both Keith and I were pleased to have this new 144% as our winter suite of sails. We showed up on Saturday morning and immediately began working on a couple of to-do’s before the race. Read more…

sbyra winter#5 2007 seqyc

The final race for the winter program was on March 3 and the weather was nearly in the 70’s. At the last minute, three of the crew bailed on Mist because of work commitment. So instead of seven crew, we had total of four! Despite the shortage of crew, we decided to race anyway because it’s such a nice weekend. We headed out the harbor and prep the boat for the race. By the time we arrived at the race venue in the south bay, the water was flat as glass with a slight ebb.

The RC set a line that is a port reach to the first mark. I set up for a starboard start nearly parallel to the starting line but felt I had arrive too early so I headed down and then tried to come up. But due to the light wind, my speed had dropped off quite a bit and now we are being over-run by some of the Sequoia YC boats as well as Paradigm. By the time I reached the pin end of the line, I need to tack to port to cross the starting line! But I had a slough of starboard tackers coming towards us. We tacked, trimmed in the sails to gather a little speed, then had to tack back to starboard again because Sail la Vie was approaching on starboard. We set up just below them about 3 feet apart. We held our own to leeward of Sail la Vie for about 3-5 minutes, then Sail la Vie tacked to clear her air while we continued on port for a little while more to gain some separation between Sail la Vie and us and position ourselves more favorable to the ebb current that is building on the course.

We arrive at the starboard layline behind Paradigm but we had overstood a bit because we didn’t compensate for the ebb current enough. So we bore off and set the chute. Calvin did the foredeck and mast while Denise and Ray cover the pit, main, jib and chute. I steered and helped as much as I could with the lines. But through good crew work, we manage to set the chute and once things settled, we flew the chute all the way down to the next mark nearly catching up with Paradigm by the time we rounded Mark #12. We manage to douse the chute and unfurl the 140% for the close reach to the final lap of the first course… In the mean time, Paradigm power reached with their asym chute and pulled ahead by 2 minutes when they cross the starting line for the second lap. We continued on the second lap pretty much in the same order with the exception that on the run, the wind lighten up more and we had a bout with the spinnaker hour glass. Calvin and Denise worked to unwrap the hour glass with Ray working the pit. We finally unwrapped the chute and ghost down the bay to Mark#12. We rounded Mark 12 just behind Paradigm intent on flying the chute on a close reach, but found that we couldn’t carry the chute as high as Paradigm’s asym chute, so we took it down and reached with our 140%, finishing about 5 minutes after Paradigm. Corrected, we still finished 3rd in the race despite severely short of crew – Denise, Calvin and Ray did a fantastic job!