Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gold Cup 2007 - Kerteminde, DK - Aug. 15-18

The following is an email I received from Ditte Andreasen about the 2007 Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup will now be in Kerteminde next year, august 15-18.
Kerteminde normally attracts a big fleet - it's relatively easiy to
access from the whole country as well as Germany, and known for
arranging good races. And it would of course be really cool to
have American participation there, so spread the word!

Take care,

After the experience I had this last summer, I highly recommend this event.
Kerteminde is on the island of Fyn and the location of Erik Andreasen's Folkboat
factory... the mecca of all things Folkboat. It would be a tremendous opportunity
to see a beautiful country, stay in touch with friendly Folkboaters from all
over Europe and see where the best Folkboats in the world are built. Maybe even
pick up a few spare parts to bring home.
I'd like to go again, so if anyone wants to put together a U.S. team to represent,
and this time break the top ten, let's go!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Single Handed Race 2006

Last year Peter Jeal made a clean sweep. The Wednesday Evening Series, the Season Chamionship, the SF Cup and the Single Handed race. My hats off to a truely awesome
sailor, gentlemen and freind. He's an ambassador of our fleet and a tremendously talented person, kind and easy going with a bounce in his step. But this year I wasn't going to let it happen. I had to do something, take one of the events or prevent him from getting them all.
Well, I couldn't catch him on the season or the Wednesdays, but I went to two international regattas in Scandinavia and basically wrote off the year as a really fun, not so serious race season.
So all that was left was the single handed race. I did my homework on tides, wind, scouted the waters the day before, scrubbed the bottom of my boat as clean as I could and got out to the race course early to practice tacking, setting the jib leads and setting the pole by myself. I put myself into the right frame of mind that if I could just bottle that concetration I don't think I can be beat.
The starting sequence ensued and I positioned myself to own the pin at the start and pinched out Tom Reed jr. He had to go around and I thought I wouldn't have to deal with him for the rest of the race. Peter was ahead and to leeward, but was headed for shore and so was Chris, Bill and Rich. My research said hit the pin and tack out immediately and that's what I did. I wasn't going to second guess myself this day and was happy to see them all sail off into less wind and worse current. I got big time headed well before what I thought was a lay line, but decided not to take any more losses and ended up tacking on the sweetest lift/layline... one tack to the mark is always a plus when you didn't think you were going to make it and you didn't pinch to get there. Peter tacked under me to leeward by a lot... enough for me to have clear wind from him at the rounding. I make my rounding 1st to the mark, run forward set the pole and try to settle in to a shore hugging downwind leg to Blossom. To my suprise Peter gybes out to the middle for I guess is the last of the flood, the cone of Alcatraz, but I know better and go to shore. Chris follows Peter and I look behind me and there's Tom Reed jr. not as far back as I thought he should be. He positions himself to disturb my wind. We couldn't go inside Anita and the wind was more due west than usual and we were DDW the whole way. I didn't trim right, made a bad gybe and he was just fast. He passed me somewhere around the wave organ and deflated my optimism for dethrowning Peter the great. We jumped out into the building ebb at the end of the break water and made a run at Blossom. Tommy made a excellent rounding and mine was less than perfect and he was much farthure ahead than I'd liked. We made a few tacks to stay in the heart of the current and I felt like I was making up ground on Tommy, but with little hope now of passing him before the end of the race.
To my suprise Tommy rounded X and headed back to the harbor. I blinked a few times and thought I must be dreaming. Why is he giving me this race? I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth so I round A and head down to 6. Peter and Bill were duking it out behind me, but then the thing that always seems to happen to me happened... again. I sailed into a hole, but Peter and Bill didn't. Peter went inside and was coming on fast, Bill went outside and was over taking me. I just started shaking my head in disbelief. I gybed out to avoid Bill sneaking in for inside overlap and luckily caught a puff before either could get me. I made my rounding and headed out into better wind and better current. I settled in, found my layline and finished... 1st.
It's not the way I would have wanted it, but I'll take it. I've been the boat that has gone the wrong way and ironically against the very boat that should have won. Tommy was the better sailor on this day and we should all be concerned about him next season... he's good and fast. I love how competative our fleet is. We have a lot of guys who on any given day can win a race. I'm happy for Chris who has really become good this year... maybe having kids helps. It was also great to see Rich bring out his new to him boat (56) and give it a go. He did just scrape off all the barnacles, but what a great looking boat. So, Tommy went the wrong way and bailed, Madison went inside Anita Rock and was DQ'd, so Peter got 2nd, Chris got 3rd and the weather could not have been better for our annual single handed race. Thanks Chris for organizing it. Thanks John for being race committee.

Ever since I bought my boat I've been on a mission to get my name on all the same trophies my father has his on. Without realizing it I got my name on the 2004 season 2nd place trophy my dad won many years ago and now 26 years later I'll have my name on the same wooden rudder trophy my dad has his name on. I'm stoked for that. Check that one off the list.
Now the season is officially over... everyone please do you rain/snow dances I want to go snowboarding.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's more fun sailing them than fixing them

It's a beautiful day and there's nothing I'd rather do than work on the boat... not. I'd rather hike on Tam, read a book, go skateboard, sleep... but once I get started working on the boat, I don't want to stop. I made the mistake of only putting 4 coats of varnish on my rails in April 2005 thinking they'd look ok through the Fall... nope. A month later thay look haggard. I was so busy fixing up 116 that I totally neglected my own boat. This last summer I found myself busy again or the weather wasn't right or it was, but I had other plans... the list is probably familure to most. I've been dreading this because of how long I've let things go, but Mike Peterson lent me his pressure washer and suggested a quicker plan.

First, Jasco what varnish was left and let that prduct do it's magic...

Kill it with the pressure washer in nice even strokes...

Looks good wet, but don't all boats?

Looks 100% better than it did dry too! Now all I have to do is a desent sanding and I think I'm just going to use teak oil and rub it in regularly.

A clean boat is a happy boat... and a happy boat is a fast boat. Since I had the pressure washer I just went over the whole boat with it. I have to buy one of those things... Put an electric pump in the bilge and go to town... inside and out. I finished the handrails and the rails around the deck in less than 2 hours.

IYRS/Spaulding Wooden Boat Restoration School

Mike Peterson calls me up kinda last minute to tell me about this IYRS event thinking I might be interested and I'm at a loss as to what this organization does. Mike gives me the low down and it sounded interesting. The International Yacht Restoration School - / Spaulding Wooden Boat Center - - was having a fund raiser to promote their up and coming vocational school. I walked in not knowing really what I was getting into, but found a nice spread of food and drink and walked in on Terry Nathan (IYRS president) giving his speech on the value and need of such a facility. I was intreged by his passionate words... he clearly believed in what he was doing. He was so convincing that I had to meet and talk with him about what I could do to help. I'm not a rich man, but I do have resourses and since Nordic Folkboats were mentioned as a candidate for restoration my interest was perked.

This is Terry Nathan, president of the IYRS.

The IYRS and the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center are attempting to create an accredited career vocational school to promote the restoration of indigenious wooden boats such as IOD, Knarr and Folkboat (specifially mentioned in his speech). The two nonprofit groups have come together dedicated to education and the preservation of maritime heritage on the Sausalito waterfront, just steps away from West Marine. The two year program will be designed to train boat enthusiasts, at risk youths and emplyees of the area in the skillful art of wooden boat restoration. After talking with Terry, the opinion is that the Nordic Folkboat is the perfect 2nd year project for their school. So is the Knarr and IOD. As the only pure Folkboat representative in attendance and current secretary of the fleet, I am so happy I got off my lazy butt and went to this. In about a year when the financial resources are acquired this school will need a project boat and I intend on getting them a Folkboat to work on. It's time to rally the Folkboat troops, find a messed up old wooden boat and bring it to them... once the boat is there someone will put up the money to fix her up. I can think of two boats off the top of my head that would benefit form this school, but we have time. I got so excited about the prospect of keeping wooden Folkboats alive and well here in the bay area I couldn't help but think of my new friend Anders Olson in Sweden who is currently restoring the 2nd Folkboat ever built (See the rest of my blog for details under "Adventures with Anders"). He's written a book about the intricacies of restoring a Folkboat... problem is it is in Swedish. But what a resource that would be to this up and coming school! When I mentioned this to Terry he got just as excited as I did because I basically presented him with an expert in the field with a how to guide book. If I get my way, Anders will be brought in as a consultant... wouldn't that be cool? Or at least an inspirational voice. Imagine being an impressional young wood worker and having the likes of Anders Olsen come in and talk about the wooden boat you are restoring. Now you have to read about Anders to know what I'm talking about... It's like all of this was meant to happen to me. To be the glue that binds all these pieces together. I'll gladly take the role because this is really all I can offer, I'm not a rich man.
Although I feel the Folkboat class was excluded from this and I only heard about through a Knarr sailor and after asking around no Folkboater was invited, I feel as though our fleet must make a serious effort to get involved with this organization and keep Folkboats in the same light as Knarrs and IODs. We can start fundraising, get our guys together and keep our stamp on the bay as a long lasting, high quality racing fleet with functional, race ready wooden boats. My hope is this project gets off the ground and fulfills the vision already created by Terry Nathan.

I welcome your comments.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Season is Over and...

It would have been great to take 3rd away from Mike Goebal and after the first race of day 2 of the Fall Classic we were tied for 3rd in the season championship. Forget the regatta, all we had to do was stay ahead of one boat for one race and boom! We had a good start... I thought we were going the right way... I should have held my controlling windward position on the fleet, but I went the direction I thought was best and he just flat out beat me and claimed 3rd for the season. Good for him, he deserves it. He's put a ton of blood, sweat and tears and money into his boat and it would have sucked to come up blank. I look back at this season, the one I went to Scandinavia and raced in two international regattas and didn't haul my boat out to redo the bottom paint... all the differenct in the world on those light days like today. Ah yes, the excuses begin.... nope. I got 4th this season. Now I do my snow dances and wait for there to be enough to go snowboarding!!!! (my other passion). As much as I love the sailing and racing season I am equally happy for it to be over. A break from sailing is a good idea because it is in my family history to be obsessed with it and well... I have other interests. I haven't joined a bowling league in a few years... I do like to fly kites and I've always wanted to learn how to windsurf. Kite surf? Nope, just a little to hectic for me... I'm sure I could do it, but do I really want to screw up and get dragged across a parking lot or sandbar or rocks? Get sucked out the Golden Gate, swept down into the piers? Not without a chance to paddle out on the board. Maybe I'll just work on the boat to get her ready for next season.

Chris Herrmann exiting with very little wind. He won the first race of the regatta.

Rich and Bill hoisting the sails... hey guys, the fenders?!

Rock Star Peter Jeal did his imitation of Chris Perkins and motored his boat out to the race course, ankored his skif for the day and returned to it to tow the boat home at the end of the day... it took just as long as it did us to get back to the harbor and he had to fend off the Coast Guard from seizing it. Oh, and the "I'm only running on one cylinder" excuse prevented him from towing anyone else. We all see how it is...
Nice job fending off Don Wilson for the season Championship... again.

Little Caden Fuchs wanted to see the boats... He's 2, but he now knows how to say "laser", "505" and "Folkboat". I didn't mention the word Knarr.

Who says Knarr owners and Folkboat owners can't be friends? Mike Peterson owns Knarr 115 and is worthy. Knowedgable, friendly and giving... all the qualities of a folkboat owner, but with the wrong boat!

Next to us is Ditte Andreasen, Erik Andreasen's daughter... you know, the guy who builds the best folkboats in the world? She raced with me on the first day of the regatta and is welcome back anytime she's in the area.

The usual suspects... Madisons, Wilsons, Bill Dumullin, Mike Cole, Jen Fuller, Susan Parker... Mai tai's are strong, yacht club brats under tables, running around on the lawn... All's right in Belvedere.

Bill Madison makes his enterance after the racing.

The end of the season is bitter sweet. I love it and hate it. Yes, I'm slightly conflicted, but the people are what makes it so great and keep me coming back for more. The friendly banter, the drinks at the bar talking about close calls or good/bad decision making on the race course makes it all worth it. Yes, we are a kind of family and it's nice family to be a part of it. We host a fabulous international regatta, race and have fun together. Yes, next year I'll be back, my boat will be faster and I will be one more year smarter so bring your "A" game becasue I always intend on winning.