wingssail image-fredrick roswoldMiller Time
Today we had a couple of IRC Races and the race committee set short courses which were perfect for the Laser keel boats but they were difficult for us. Each race was a start followed by eight legs each about 3/4 mile long. It made for busy crew work on Wings. We had a three weather legs, three spinnaker sets, two jibe marks, three jibes, three takedowns, and a finish, all in about an hour. Then immediately following the first race we had a second. This was no leisure sail.
In the first race we did credibly and would have got second except that by the time we were ready to set the kite after the last top mark we were approaching the finish line, and we didn't set the kite. So...third by three seconds. Gordon, the race officer, chastised us afterwards for not setting.
The second race went worse. I blew the start, putting the boat in irons right below the committee boat at 30 seconds to go, then, when we did get across the line and up to the top mark, we had problems on the downwind leg. First the wind had shifted and the leg was heavily biased to starboard jibe, and we waited until the last minute to jibe the kite and set the jib for a normal rounding but when the jibe was completed I looked up and saw the leeward mark already abeam. We headed up with the kite while the fordeck struggled to get the jib luff into the feeder, which didn't happen. Finally we went around the mark bareheaded and I went forward to help with the jib.
Finding the luff tape too badly damaged to ever get in the feeder, I made the call: "Retirement".
We turned down wind and informed the race committee.
Let's consider the day: It was hard work, we learned a lot and we learned some lessons; one of which was that these short courses are brutal for a boat like ours. The marks come around too fast. But that's OK. So we don't win. Maybe we can't even finish. But we got in a practice in the the kind of demanding conditions which you can expect in racing. And we'll have to fix that genoa so it never happens again that the fordeck can't get the luff tape into the feeder. Time to get the sewing machine out once more.
Back at the dock we relaxed before putting the boat away. Tessa showed up and we all went to the the clubhouse for some food.
And in racing, like in cruising, you win some and you lose some.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore
for more photos including the crew for the day.
Labels: crew, racing, sailing