Friday, August 30, 2013

Finally getting the hang of this

Wednesday night we had an incredible race, the wind and weather was just about perfect for a sail with a steady breeze out of the South East at 15-20 knots.

We started about in the middle of the class D fleet, it seemed like everyone was a little late over the line but we were able to quickly move to the front of the fleet and were able to round BP ahead of the rest of the boats in our class.

The second leg was downwind and a bit more challenging for us from a boat speed perspective. Several boats were able to gain ground on us. Kamikaze rounded the mark ahead of us and Pied-a-Mer was right on our heels.
 Once we rounded G27 we were sailing very close to the wind to make the mark without tacking. Some of the other boats fell off a bit to pick up speed but it didn't appear to pay off for them.

On the last leg we slowly caught and then passed Kamikaze, crossing the line about a boat length ahead. Although this wasn't our best finish of the season, it was very satisfying to be first across the line.

We took a leisurely sail back to the marina, enjoying the beautiful conditions.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Charleston to Savannah Race

We were rushing to get ready for this race. During the Georgetown race we needed to keep running the engine because we didn't have enough battery capacity to keep the running lights on all night. For this race I upgraded from a single 100 amp hour battery (the second one died earlier in the season), to  a 100 amp hour  starting bank and a 200 amp hour house bank.

Unfortunately we had several cancellations among the crew during the last week and even on the day of the race. Although this made for less crowding below, we were a little short handed to run watches for an overnight race with a stiff breeze.

Everyone was aboard on time and we had a very good start, contending with several of the C class boats out to G25. As we started out the channel the boat became over-powered and hard to keep from rounding up. We muscled up the channel with about 18kts apparent wind and then had to drop out of the channel to avoid shipping traffic and then had to fight back to windward to round G15. Once we'd rounded the mark the finish was dead downwind. We angled offshore a little to keep the sails filling and improve the boats motion.

After hearing a weather warning, I checked the weather radar and saw some significant weather ahead. After discussing with the crew we decided to withdraw and head back to Charleston. We put a reef in and started heading back up towards G15 and then back into the harbor.

We weren't alone in our decision, as a result we tied for first with the other boats that withdrew -

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer racing series goal achieved!

Great work crew!

Last week (August 7th) we accomplished one of my summer goals! We finished a race in a position above last place.  This may seem like we were setting the bar low; however after several DNS (did not start) and a few last place finishes I was wondering if we would ever move up in the standings!

We started out with some bottom of the fleet finishes during Charleston Race Week, then had a DNS for our first offshore race. Then a last place finish in the offshore race to Georgetown. We followed that up with a few DNS and last place finishes during CORAs summer series II. Then we had the the good fortune to have two races abandoned, one due to lack of wind and one due to thunderstorms.

During the 5th race I finally pulled off a decent start (thanks to much prodding from Jim Wilson) and we were ahead of our fleet by the first mark. We lost ground after the first mark but were able to pull off a 7th place finish in an eleven boat fleet.

Hopefully the practicing we've done in the Wednesday night series will pay off during this weekends offshore race to Savannah.