Mittwoch, Mai 21, 2008

Lost count of the sailing days...

Need a sail counter like Tillerman, Propercourse otherwise how shall I ever cope with the days out on the water. There are others who are counting their days and reporting and I think it is motivating oneself. Bora is doing it as well as Chris Maybe the two are playing psycho games as some others in the Moth class are doing. Psyching themselves up for the Worlds in Weymouth. All meant to be fun of course and though I will not get up to their level soon (or never), I like the way the communication in this class is working. Anyway K. and I had a nice evening cruise with our Bull the day after the horizon job. Communications on board gets better every day we go sailing together. I am taking up the crew job more or less and have to get into the groove, whilst she gets the hang of sailing the demanding Sportsboat.

On Friday evening I was fully dressed in my new Zhik gear, the Moth fully rigged as I had seen some wind out there but when I was ready to go, it faded away and never came back. I was so keen to sail on the Friday evening as the weekend had been blocked by family affairs. Actually I want to sail the Moth every possible day now to get ready for Kieler Woche. So, yesterday there was a window of opportunity. I knew before that wind from the North gives me problems starting out and coming home but I did not expect myself spending a good 30 minutes on the bank, (Wasenberg) trying to avoid damage to my foils. Thought that I would fly over it but the wind dropped and so did I. Jumped off the boat immediately, but still got a few bad scratches on my racing foils. Some filling and fairing with SPABOND 340 needs to be done. I prefer this Epoxy Adhesive instead of filler or putty as it is much stronger. Had some good times flying by my regular Bull crew Jan, (sailing on a Pirat dinghy) who told me to look up the International 14 website as they had just won the German 14 teamracing Championship event. They had started as Team CTM. Thank you boys!

Will try to do the "days of sailing" count later. Tonight we have another round the cans Wednesday evening race. Looking at the flagpole (see photo) in front of the office window right now, there is not much sign of wind. When it is light wind we are in for another top finish if I do not mess up the start. Got to go to the boat early and do some fixing of the running rigging.

Freitag, Mai 16, 2008

Horizon Job

A Horizon Job - I love those words and the meaning of it. Difficult to translate into German though a straight one would read: "Horizont Job". I doubt that anyone in Germany, bar a couple of experienced sailors would get the message.
Anyway our second outing in the Wednesday night race (this week) with the Bull was a success. A big one. The conditions were just right. Wind from the east, 2-3 Bft. A shame that K. had dates out of town on this lovely evening, therefore Jan and myself decided not to take some inexperienced sailor on board. Instead the two of us sailed the boat alone. We took the old mainsail with an efficient reef, just in case.

Before the start we had the usual problems. Tackline over sheet or under? We messed a little bit around and at the end of the pre-hoist we even put the gennaker in the drink... Anyone who has done this knows that it is building immediately some kind of a sealed net. Full of water. Heavy. We got it sorted, both pulling hard on the halyard and the mast not breaking.

The starting line not well biased as usual, I put the boat between a bigger one (H-35) to windward and an X-79 and got trapped. Slowed down, backed the jib. Tacked and got off on port tack which was favoured. Had to grind down the leading X-79 after a while, which worked, than falling into another one. Two more tacks on lifts and we were the first boat in the narrow "channel" between the markers, where the water goes shallow to about 1,20m on the outside. Didn´t hit the ground and first to the weather mark. Gennaker up and we pulled away. Our maneuvers were so smooth that I even thought about the pleasure of this evening sail later in bed. It does not happen often. At the end we had a lead of 3min 4 sec. against the 2nd boat, a X-79. The list.pdf. The four seconds saved us 1st place on corrected time. Later at the bar the usual talk like: "next time we have to recalculate your YS". But that seems common everywhere and is not meant to be harsh. Friendly rivalry. Hopefully with some more competitors next Wednesday.

Donnerstag, Mai 15, 2008

Days out on the Water

As I have promised myself to spend more days out on the water this year I should write the log ( about my activities to be able to recap later in the year or maybe in life.

It had been a hectic day to get the Bull ready for the first Wednesday night race on May 7th. Lucky me that my brother was able to help me and to organise some welding on the pulpit, to do some epoxying and to work away other jobs from the to-do-list. He also got two boat trailers through the MOT in that same week. The racing went well, we were leading the mixed keel boat fleet until 200m from the finish, (after the long upwind leg) when our friends in their brand new X-34 passed us. On handicap (Yardstick 96 for the Bull) we scored a 2nd. Worth to mention is that my brother (who crewed us this evening) has not made as many tacks as we did this evening during his Atlantic nor his Pacific crossings. Actually he told us that he did sail from Hawaii to NZ on one bow.

The Whitsun (Pfingsten) holidays were coming next. Tradition in this area is to do the launching ceremony for all new boats at Schleimünde. A little natural harbour on the mouth of the Schleifjord. A place which you can only reach by boat. No street up there to protect the nature. 3 boats where on the list this year. A big party and BBQ had been organized. Date: Sunday 11th. This gave us some time on Saturday to take out our wooden canoe (for the very first time) and the rowing dinghy. The canoe is definitely not for me. K and I used it on the way to the planned picnic place abt. two miles across the Schlei, through a bridge into a beautiful bay where there is a Viking museum. (It is all about Vikings in this area). On the way home I changed boat with my brother and his spouse and felt much more at home in the classic style rowing dinghy (carbon/sandwich DIY many years ago).

Sunday 11th, the four of us sailed (cruised) for 7 hrs to Schleimünde with the Bull now changed into full cruiser mode with upholstery, outboard engine, water etc. We came a bit late due to the light wind and me underestimating the distance and the time to spend in front of the bridges when missing the opening. There are 2 bridges, two miles apart which open once every hour. The party was great. Two X-34 and a Drabant 38 had been christened. My bro had a tent with him so it was just the two of us in the comfortable front cabin of the Bull.

Monday 12th we cruised home or better to say, we had a schlepp home most of the way due to very, very light wind. It was also time for my brother to pack up and drive home to Hamburg. The above picture, showing the Bull7000, had not been taken during this weekend.

Dienstag, Mai 13, 2008

Shifting Gears - The Group Writing Project

Tillerman from the "Propercourse" blogsite called for a group project and I felt obliged to contribute. A good day last week as I was homebound with a cold. Otherwise, I think I would have liked to go out for more learning experiences and finding out about them in my latest love for speed sailing. The Foiler Moth. The Bladerider. OK, now you are already informed that this is not about cars and shifting into sixth gear on the German Autobahn. No, it is about sailing and the importance about "shifting gears". Many of you might have read about it in the "thousand books" about sailing. It is the importance of getting your boat going. No matter what kind of boat. If you stuck your boat into a big wave, if you bring her to a halt during a tack, you need to start in the lowest gear possible. Otherwise she won´t go where you want her. This is the experience which I made through my keel boat days. And there are mainly 4 ropes responsible other than the all important sheets. On my keelboats the OUTHAUL together with the CUNNINGHAM always played an important role and than the BOOMVANG. And the BACKSTAY. OK, if you forgot about the VANG, to ease before a windward mark rounding, it is possible to break your boom. All this I seem to have inhaled well and it sticks in my memory.

Last weekend, going racing with the Foiler Moth I made the experience with myself that I did not even think about the above. The basics in sailing. There was real light wind at the start of the series, lot´s of wrinkles in the luff and the sail as deep as possible to get me going. OK, I played a little with the downhaul (CUNNINGhAM) which has an 8:1 purchase. But not really enough as I should have done. When the wind picked up later and I got up on the foils, more than doubling the speed, I kept going with the same profile, I was up in the air, so exited that I did not have a disadvantage against the top sailors in the class due to weight or other issues... I was inhaling the thrill holding my breath and trying to keep her going on the foils. Racing in a new class. New mates. Than the other boats kept moving away from me. Going faster and faster. At the end one or two guys lapped me. I was puzzled. Could not get to grips with it. Asked around in the evening how about them doubling their speed again when already foiling. Carlo said to me more or less: You must shift gear! "Du musst Dein Segel anpassen..." it struck me only than. Yes, I had forgotten the basics. If I go racing, there is no excuse not to built on your experience. All you have learnt is counting on whatever boat you are sailing with. You have to use it. I will make a note on my boom. Next to the LiveSailDie sticker.

Dienstag, Mai 06, 2008

A Must See for Sailracing Enthusiasts

This should not be all about Moths. There is other racing going on at the level I am interested in. Farah Hall pointed me into the direction of Racing in Hyeres through her blog, which you find at Windsurfing towards Beijing on my first link list on the right.

High Quality sailing on film, which has taken place in Hyeres mostly with strong Mistral winds. The reason I had to abandon most of my Moth training in Le Levando, the place being close to Hyeres and staying there during the same time. Watch the day 2 of the RS men or women. Great Sailing!
On the home front today: Getting the boat trailers through the MOT with the help of my brother. Rigging up the Bull for the wednesday night races which are starting this week. New EasyRigging to put on the mast. Hope we can make the first race.

Montag, Mai 05, 2008

Racing brought lots of fun

Not much time for a big report as I have to travel a bit. But for the ones who are eagerly waiting here are some more short cuts and photos:

OK, Sven won the regatta at the end after 2 very interesting races on the Sunday (6 races in total) with lot´s of foiling possible due to some nice gusts. Carlo had it in his hand to win but there was a moment when he tried to pass Sven, he got caught in the wash (turbulence) of Svens sail and capsized to windward. Sven won the regatta in typical style. He does the best Veal heel, he has control nearly all the times but with Carlo we have another real good sailor coming. I came 7th out of nine regulars, 10 participants all together which was totally OK for me. Tons of fun and learning from the top guys who are giving tips and encouragement to keep improving. Going to races is important as in every game but some small tricks I have to practise at home.

Something I reflected on the long journey home: Being really into trimming sails and set up of boats I totally forgot about the most important things when getting into foiling mode: To change the sail shape from full to flatter. Being exited about doubling (and more) the speed and passing other boats I forgot the basics of sailing. To shift gear! Like a beginner. Something I have to work on immediately. Full result sheet and a German report will be on the German Moth homepage. German Moth site

Agenda for the photos: My sailnumber on the Moth is not the usual "99" but GER-3170
Top picture is showing the Moth mess at the start line in very light wind.

The second picture is taken after last races start: Not the usual scene, me in front and the winners battling it out in the back. Sven in typical Veal heel style (white boat) and Carlo (1058) tried to block him out unsuccessfully. They had already caught me at the windward mark. Next time guys....

Third picture and rare scene: Me getting a gust and up to foiling and passing a competitor.

Samstag, Mai 03, 2008

Today we have sailed 4 races. Carlo is leading and Sven is 2nd. Wind in tne first three races good for the lowriders. Some gusts which have the "Lightweights"some airtime. The 4th race had wind hp to 4 Bft. All the Foilers had good tun but there are some who have more.

Donnerstag, Mai 01, 2008

Not a good Day...on the Moth

Favourable wind on the Wednesday afternoon let me leave work an hour earlier. The Moth needed some attendance with the new boomvang and some minor adjustments on other parts. At around 18.00h I was ready to go out and the wind had increased. White caps all over the place (should take the anemometer, I know) Had a good start with wind from the left, which is my favourite. Upwind, hiking hard and sailing from the flat water to the more choppy zone. Suddenly I realized that the vang came loose. I pulled more until there was nothing to pull. The blocks were blocked. Now with a lot of power on the sheet and the mainsail twisting a lot the fun of sailing the Moth faded away. I tried some downwind but had spectacular capzises over the bow. The boat digged the bow deep into the water which made me slipping to the front of the tramp which made the digging worth. Lots of swimming and I was fed up for the day. Has it been my bad knots or what caused the problem? For sure one of the ropes had slipped.

I fiddled with the ropes again today but despite there had been some good conditions out there my bones are feeling tired and I want to do the regatta at Stienitzsee on the weekend. Therefore I packed it in, put the Moth on the trailer, everything ready to go and will leave tomorrow. First we will drive to Hamburg. We have an invitation for a boat launch ceremony. A old beauty has been restored (with lots of epoxy of course) and there is a christening tomorrow in the old port of Hamburg, The ship is called “Artemis” You can find information here: Kreuzeryacht ARTEMIS

For the regatta I have lowered my goal after the disappointing last sailing. Have to do a reality check and want to see how the other Mothies are doing. Will report after the weekend.