Sunday, May 3, 2009

Greetings from La Rochelle

Has been an insteresting and somewhat stressful few days. On Thursday night I sailed from Pornichet to La Rochelle with a group of other Mini sailors. Overall was a very nice trip, took it very easy as my rudders were both loose, one more than the other and I did not want to unduly stress them.
Before I left Pornichet I wrote up a posting that I was not able to post, so here is that:

Yesterday the guys from TEEM arrived with two brand new batteries and another fuel cell. The fuel cell is an older model (140) that I will use while mine is sent back to the factory for repair. The one I had originally was the MaxPower 130 which is a brand new model, an evolution of the 110. It turns out that the methanol pickup was changed on the 130 and there have been numerous failures of the cap, resulting in the unit shutting down.
The batteries are ElecSol 100 carbon batteries and both were replaced as one or both were also defective. These batteries are a fair bit lighter that the typical lead-acid batteries but not in the league with the lithium batteries. However, these batteries also are not nearly as expensive as the Li-Ion ones either.
Today it is windy and raining here in Pornichet with the wind from the south-west. The weather pattern is alternating days of good weather and stormy weather. Tomorrow the forecast is calling for, in the wake of the front, sun and medium north-west winds which should be good for the delivery to La Rochelle. Ugrib is the program that most people seem to use which is generally pretty good. It sounds like most of the mini fleet will all be sailing to La Rochelle tomorrow en masse.
There is a Mumm/Farr 30 regatta here in Pornichet this weekend with ~20 boats. Most teams practiced yesteraday and it looks like almost all will be on the water again today. This appears to the be tune up for the Tour de France a Voile later in the year. The level of sponsorship/branding for these teams is unlike anything one sees in the USA in sailing. I think the boat whose graphics I like the most is the one sponsored by New Caledonia. Also here in Pornichet is a fleet of J80s as club boats. For a club boat this seems to be a pretty good choice, is simple, durable and still offers enough performance to be interesting.

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