Monday, June 8, 2009

Hoods and Reefs

It is Monday morning and it is raining rather hard here in Douarnenez. It woke me up a few times over the night but it looks like the sky to the west is lighter so we may have a break in the rain for a while.
I have pretty much recovered from the MAP. The race went pretty well although the forecast data I had was essentially completely off from what really occurred.
The race started with a ESE wind in the bay and getting out of the bay proved to be a little challenging. There was the shore breeze or S-SE and a competing sea breeze of N. I stayed in the shore breeze and this payed off pretty well as I was in the top group getting to the Raz.
The leg to Penmarc'h was partially upwind and then the North wind arrived. I was able to get around the buoys there just as the wind was dropping and the tide was building so this was likely a bit of a gate for the boats behind. The late night was a bit of a struggle as there was not much wind and the tide was not favorable.
As the sun came up on day 2 it was upwind to get around Groix. I do not think I did a very good job here as many boats worked hard to the NE and this seemed the better option. Once around Groix it was still upwind to Birvideaux as the wind had gone a bit more right.
Once around Birvideaux, I worked low to the south shore of Groix and this seemed to work well as there was a shift to the right came during the early part of the night which allowed me to get back to center heading to Penmarc'h. During the night there was a fair bit of rain and large shifts which made for a difficult night.
Once aaround Penmarc'h it was a beat to get around Chaussee de Sein. After looking at the current charts in the early morning I decided to work along the shore before a long starboard out to the buoy. The risk was that the breeze would go left and leave me beating more. As it turned out this was a good move and I was able to pass many boats that were further offshore. Once around the Chaussee de Sein, it was a long port tack fetch to the next buoy. Here was a fair bit of wind, I saw 26 knots of True wind for an hour or so with tide against the wind. I has 2 reefs in the main and one reef in the Solent which felt about right.
The next leg was a port jibe run at about 135 degrees. I put up my code 5 spinnaker but should have used the medium. Once around the last buoy it was a 100 degree reach which was great with the gennaker. I was having a great sail here with surfs over 10 knots and passed a couple of boats before the finish.
I finished up 20th in Proto and 33rd boat to finish. If I had been racing in the Series class which is my hope for the TransAt, I would have been 13th which is a result I am happy with.
I have a few things to work on the on the boat but overall the boat came through the race very, very well. The only item I broke was one on my water bottles that fell off the shelf and got punctured. This leaked about 4 liters of water into the boat which was not much.
I am going to get a look at the weather models but am hoping to leave for my Qualif. on Wednesday or Thursday.
I took a (hopefully) nice pic of the sunset on the first night of the MAP, I will try to get it posted later today.
The one thing that I think I will really take away from this race was how much I used the reefs in the sails and how much I used my hood on my smock. For most of the sailing I have done, reef points are something that the rules required but rarely if ever got used. This is not the case in the mini. The same could be said about hoods, I use it alot. However the reason I generally do not like them for crewed sailing does not apply to solo sailing and that is being able to hear the other folks on the boat.


gt said...

well done

Kurt Hoehne said...

Great job, Chris. Good luck on the qualifier, get 'er done.

TMilne said...

Nice rally Chris