Skandia Team GBR

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cruzin' Along

Well it's been too long since my last post, but the distinct lack of BIG events for me this year (See Open Meeting Vs. Club Racing) means that I'm just Cruzin Along, going sailing when I want to, care to, have time to....

So what have I been upto...?

  1. Boat Tuning
  2. Work
  3. Family Time (Baby girl is growing fast, smiling, laughing developing her beautiful personality)
  4. Sailing

I won't bore you with the work stuff, basically I've been "strategising"! Family time has been great...

So, sailing, well me and Steve-O Graham from Pinnel & Bax rocked upto the club, two weeks ago to give "Miracle or Jedi Mind Trick?" a bit of a speed boost and make some fundamental changes I felt were necessary:

  • A new Selden boom, he just brough the "tube" so we had to rig it there and then, but it work a treat, stiff and responsive! (although it has now meant the kickers crap and I need to re-do the kicker-rigging to get the right level of purchase...)
  • New Rudder Stock - a decent CV stock, had to pad the crappy rudder to fit, but man having a proper stock and tiller has made a world of difference to the feel of the boat...
  • Stuff for SoulSailorCrew:
    New jib sheets (blue and white), actually they were Chessie-babes sheets from Steve's old Ent, they worked for her, they'll work my boyz....
    Added new Spinny Blocks - Put rollers on the shrouds and added a well positioned cleat inboard for positioning the windward kite-sheet (we can both do it now) + when I grab the sheets for a gybe or drop, it uncleats...wicked!
    Spinnaker Pole Triggers - Steve's fixed Triggers to the ends of the pole which means my SoulSailorCrew just grabs the end of the pole to attach to the sheet or mast and the end opens automatically... it works a treat!

So now the sail-shape and responses are great with the new proper boom, the boat is responsive and feels "proper" with the new stock and extension, and SoulSailorCrew is much happier with the spinnaker system changes! Yay! Thanks V Much Steve-O

So sailing, been out a few times, last week we did the 3rd race @ Draycote, unfortunately we were the only Miracle out, fortunately the wind was awesome, a great F3-F4, perfect for trying out the new kit... it's a mast start and we held the Solo's and most of the rest of the fleet well up the beat, downwind things were good, we had a problem with the kite with a little minor "jamming", but got it sorted, my dad was out in his Solo and for the first lap we stayed ahead, he passed later on in the second lap and then retired! But it was a great race, with some quick blasting with the kite up and close reaching without it... we came 9th out of 18... happy with that...

Then tonight me and youngest crew (5 year old self named Kamikazee-Crew) legged it after tea, got our wetsuits on at home and drove (wet)suited and booted to Draycote to have a quick sail and maybe race a bit... there was a nice decent F2, pleasantly warm and a decent amount of boats getting ready to race... in fact no less than 9 Miracles joined the Wednesday night race!!

So we rigged up as fast as we could and by about 6:45pm we were on the water...Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew had a bit of a helm out towards the race start area, winding me up by holding her steady and then hardening up to windward fast to make the boat heel! Then I took over and he sat straddled around the mast watching the waves and boats roll by.... once in the race area he started to shout jovially at all the boats that dared come near us, it made me smile to see him having so much fun... so while he messed around I checked out who was out... one of the Huett brothers (the guy we bought our boat from), Marthy Lewis (Fireballer and current Miracle Midland Area Champ) and a few other rock-solid club Miracle yachters...this was gonna be a good test of our speed!

So we had a good start, port biased and we were port-side of middle, clear wind and right on the line, Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew really worked hard in getting the jib in tight and away we went.. good boat speed, port tack, smiling... the fleet split 50%-50% heading for the port and starboard lay-lines... we made our way port, had a couple of headers and tacked across to starboard, on our own, but the boat feeling good and Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew still enjoying himself! We crossed the leader of the starboard pack by about 5-10 boat-lengths..all good... continued across to the starboard lay-line, tacked and got a decent breeze upto the windward mark...looking agood and we ended up first Miracle round the mark, Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew was really pleased, although dissapointed that we weren't allowed to hit the mark as we went round! So tight reach down to 'J' infront of the fishing-lodge, bore-off to a run and popped the kite up, passed the tiller extension to Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew to steer while I popped the pole spinnaker pole on and set the kite... he did a great job.. so, Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew sat admiring the sailing-life and running his hand through the water while dad stood in the boat, playing the main-sheet and spinnaker (just like the old 420 days!) managed to gybe the kite, Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew doing a bit more helming while I swopped pole-ends and suprisingly we were still in a decent position, in first Miracle place... the rest of the downwind legs were uneventful, except for a quick impromptu water-fight for a few seconds and other general fun-stuff, the last reach of the lap was fairly close, we dropped the kite, but the next Miracle didn't.... we held them off to complete the lap in first place, I was so pleased that the boat performed so well, we hardened up and headed for shore... time for Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew bed, it's a school night don't forget!!

So back to shore Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew jumped into the water and had a little swim, he was cold, but seemingly very happy... boat packed away with my dads help, double-quick time...smiling, sailing done, first time I'd sailed with Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew this year and he did awesome... Happy days, great evening, great boat....bed...goodnight...


Think we'll (me and SoulsailorCrew) do the pursuit race on Bank Holiday Monday and maybe me and Soulsailor-Kamikazee-Crew might sail again next Wednesday... we shall see!



Tillerman said...

Wow. Winning a race with your 5-year-old as crew and in the process beating the area champ... it doesn't get any better than that does it?

Ant said...

It absolutely doesnt!
Except for the fact that we retired after the first lap, cus I needed to get the little-lad home to in the morning etc etc...

Anonymous said...

Aaww Da-aad! We can't stop now we're winning!

I bet the temptation to risk the wrath of Mum and finish was big for both of you!

Great story, thanks for sharing!

Ant said...

Absolutely Simon!

But he's only little, schools important... but if I get back from workl quick enough this Wednesday, kids are off school.. full race definately!!

Anonymous said...

School or race...... hmmmmmm- :-) Sailing is such a cool family sport. I found a great book about a family that went on a sailing adventure.... trust me you won't want to put this one down.... It is a GREAT FAMILY BOOK!