Getting Ready for the NAs

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Getting Ready for the NAs

Postby cguthrie » Wed May 29, 2013 2:01 am

The excitement is starting to build, only a couple of weeks now until I'm on the road to South Carolina.
The winter was much longer than I wanted it to be and because of my work situation couldn't make it to North Carolina for New Year's with the dragon run in Oriental and the Fred Latham Regatta at Blackbeard.
I had sailed the last couple of races last fall with upper side stays that were turned as tight as the turnbuckle would allow and still the leeward stay flopped loose in even a light breese. I took them off when I put the boat away and sent to our local rigging guru for a little shortening. They sat in the boat since well be Christmas.
This spring the rain just kept coming resulting in our lake flooding early. The jib cranes on the sea wall standing in four foot of water. During the winter the Corp had contempleted holding the lake level high to provide water to the Mississippi in late January when it was at record low levels. Then the Corp decided that they wouldn't need our lake water and started releasing it and actually got it down to normal winter pool just be for the spring rains filled it to 9 ft above summer pool levels. They have come through and this past weekend we hosed and brushed all the mud from the lot. Seeing a 12 broom conga line going across the lot in perfect formation is quite a sight.
I took my boat to the lake yesterday, Memorial Day, and started setting it up. Reattached the upper side stays and stood the mast. Well, I tried to stand the mast. It seems I did a double change and didn't calculate things quite right. The stays are just a teenie bit short. A shackle will fix the problem but I didn't have any with me yesterday. So, the mast is standing by the lower stays and I won't get to sail until next weekend which will leave only two more chances to shake out the cobwebs, re-tune the boat and practice with my crew for the NAs. My brother is teaching this summer so I've recruited the owner of the J-29 that I crew on to be my crew.
There's just so much to do and so little time.

Cal Guthrie
Yellow Juan #360
cguthrie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:18 pm

Re: Getting Ready for the NAs

Postby cguthrie » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:17 am

Well, the side stays have been extended and tightened. The boat finally in the water on a cool and cloudy day for club races. All the parts appeared to remain in formation without any leaks. My brother and I left the dock early to check out if we remember what it was we were supposed to be doing. Keeping the pointy end going forward was a major concern. After a slow reach out of the harbor we hardened up and did several beats while checking rigging, sails, lines etc. Getting far enough upwind we turned and popped the chute. Well, at least we tried. I sure though we had all the lines straight; but, they were not only tangled with themselves but the twings and jib sheets. Fortunately, we weren't racing, this was practice time and felt no pressure other than mild embarrassment. After untieing and re-rigging the hoist was flawless and we ran down the lake doing about 5.5 knots. After a couple of jibes and a take down we sailed back in to the harbor, made a few last minute adjustements and were ready to race.
In the first race the line was heavily pin favored and the wind had back so port tack was also the way to go. The SJs start with the Lightnings in our club races and they all saw the same thing I did. Lightenings pull up to the line and just stop. Do you know how frustrating that is with a whole gaggle of Lightnings just sitting on the line about 30 yards from the pin. With multiclass courses you have to be adaptive as to what is an optimal start which generally becomes more like how do I stay away from all the boats I'm not racing against. We managed and rounded the weather mark about 2 boatlengths ahead of the only other SJ out racing yesterday. This time the spinnaker came out right the first time and we sailed in the lead the rest of the race. For the start of the second race the wind had gone right just before our start; but, most everybody missed the shift and started on port at the pin again. We started midline on starboard and made all the Lightnings duck or tack. We rounded the weather mark again as in the first race and the rest was the same.
So, now there's two more weeks before I'll have to pack up the boat to get ready for travel. A new crew to practice with and dutiful dad stuff to attend as my son is BBQing for Father's Day.
Oh, and all the storms that went throught St. Louis on Friday night dumped enough water that the lake is going back up and we'll have a foot of water on our lot by Tuesday.
cguthrie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:18 pm

Re: Getting Ready for the NAs

Postby cguthrie » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:48 am

This past weekend saw no wind on a beautiful Saturday and plenty of wind and the threat of rain on Sunday. Club races were a persuit format or reverse handicap race. The course is set and every boat is assigned a start time based on their handicap rating. We started with portsmith/PHRF several years ago and have tweaked since then. I started right on Steve Kemper's SJ transom, split tacks and beat him by several boat lengths at the windward mark. The send leg was a beam reach where we hit 6.9 kts. After rounding the 2nd mark and heading back to the 1st the wind started to die down a little. Once we rounded the 1st mark the 2nd time and headed down wind to the finish it was obvious the winds were definately down as all the white caps had disappeared. We popped the chute and hit 7 kts going to the finish. I think we were first to finish in 1 hr 7 minutes on a 7.5 mile course. The next closest finisher was a Hobie 17 at least 2 minutes behind. Steve in the other SJ was a full 5 minutes behind. One more weekend to tune up before the NAs. I hope the weather is good on Father's Day.

Cal Guthrie
Yellow Juan
#360
cguthrie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:18 pm

Re: Getting Ready for the NAs

Postby cguthrie » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:11 am

Well the last chance to practice before the NAs was a bust. The weather was rainy but with a promise of clearing. Problem is the clearing wasn't going to happen much until the wind, what very little there was coming from the east backed around to be coming from the west. It did happen but not until much later in the day than those weather people said it would. We packed up the boat and drug it home so it's ready to go early Wednesday morning. Mapquest says it's 748 miles and should take right at 12 hours driving. My brother and I used to do 500 miles in 8 hrs but there wasn't any hills or twisty roads going from here to Wichita. I think it will be closer to 14 hrs but who knows.
cguthrie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:18 pm


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