Monday, June 30, 2008

SF Bay Litmus Test

Oh sure, it looks all calm and peaceful in this picture, but it's early in the morning and the Westerlies haven't filled in yet.
Just a nice little skip down from the St. Francis the season's boat project list has grown due largely in part to strong wind conditions and rough and tumble crew who in their mad dash efforts to keep me happy, broke stuff on the boat.
I love this rounded teak on the cockpit combing, but the jib sheet snagged in it and ripped a piece off... nothing a little epoxy can't fix.
This "old man seat" must have been used for a hand rail one too many times... it split open, but nothing a little epoxy can't fix.
The aluminium booms from DK are great, but the internal purchase system got all fouled up and Panda went in and re-worked it so that won't happen again... he put on this sexy fruity colored line and has it leading almost straight down... the little black plastic thing that keeps the line from chaffing popped loose... nothing a little left over epoxy from your other repair projects can't fix.
Now this might be a little more involved. Has this happened to anyone you know?
I assume it happened when the boat was lifted out by the straps and somehow the attachments were out of balance and well, it spider webbed this beautiful cracking pattern on the cabin... What's the protocol for fixing this? Oh, and mine leaks... do they all leak? I'm not complaining, I knew what I was getting into buying a 27 year old boat from Denmark.
I love the painted green mast... so Danish, so hidden are the potential problems that you don't worry about it... as much until you start to see vertical cracks.
Could be a little de-lamination, huh? I guess I'll let it ride till after the season is over then make a nice little winter project out of it. I'm not anxious to see what is under all that paint. When it's time to re cover it, should I paint green again? Or White? Or do like Peter Jeal did with his stern and paint it a faux wood? If I do that I'll have to do the boom the same way.
Oh, Annika says, "Hi."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Annika Goes Swimming with Daddy

Annika may only be 10 months old, but she has now had 4 swim lessons, two with her mom and two with her dad. She loves the water. All I had to say was we were going to go swim swim and she got all fired up.
That's her swim teacher behind us, Jon. The second she gets in the water it's all about how much she can splash about. She really tries to jump away from me a swim... but she doesn't know how yet, or at least I'm too scared to let go and find out.
We sing songs and blow in her face right before we submerge her and she laughs and splashes all the while. She's usually the first one on the pool and the last one out... kind of like I used to be.
Lucky me, I have a daughter who loves the water.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jo-jo - the 2nd Folkboat Ever Built - Restored!

In 2006 I travelled to Sweden and Denmark for the Swedish International Championship and the Gold Cup. After the SIC I travelled with Anders Olsen to Stockholm and there in his barn/garage was the 2nd folkboat ever built. He bought it off some guy in the north of Sweden who really didn't understand what he had. Anders bought her and began the resoration process. In an archived blog entry to can see the restoration process roughly half way started/completed dependingon your perspective.
Well, now that process has come to a conclusion with the revival and Launch of Jo jo - SWE 2.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Woodies Invitational - 2008

Congratulations Mike Goebel - 2008 Woodies Champion! Let's not forget the crew Tim aka "Beefcake" and Peter aka "the plumber". With all that meat on the rail it was no wonder Mike was sailing so tough.
2nd Place - Peter Jeal!! He had different crew each day, but that never phases this guy... great performances in race 1 and 4.
3rd place - Us. My crew of Kurt Hemmingsen, Patrick Morgan and Will Patton had a very good showing. We all worked really well together and I'm stoked to finally have guys I can count on to race with.

For more pictures click on the link below... sorry if there only seems to be the same 4-5 boats in the pictures, little Annika requires a lot of attention and well, Cassandra only had a limited time to take photos.

For race results. click on the following link:
This year's Woodies was a knock down drag out fight to the finish... I'm spent. After Friday's race Peter was in the lead, Chris Herrmann was in 2nd and Bill Dumullen was in 3rd. We were a disappointing 7th. Yuck. After the 2 races on Saturday everything changed. Mike and Peter were tied for first with 9 points and Don and I were tied for 3rd with 10 points. The 2nd and 1st we had made up for the previous day. Today's races were tight and hard fought. Shifty winds gusting to 25+ and a serious flood tide made for some hard core city front tacking duels. Not to mention having to navigate though IOD's, Birds and Knarrs all racing a the same time and often getting in each other's way. For much of Saturday and Sunday it was a death sentence to get too far away from shore. Peter won race 4 and we inched out Mike at the line for 2nd... the toughest 2nd place I've ever had. Well, it must have sharpened Mike's resolve because he came out guns blazing and won the 2nd race and put two boats between him and Peter. So, in the end Mike had 13, Peter had 14 and we had 15. Don was right there in the mix with 17.
On another more important note... Tommy jr. - you were very much missed out on the race course this weekend, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Crew Night - June 18th

This was the captain for Crew Night... oh wait, that's Patrick from Sponge Bob Square pants. Wrong Patrick.
Here is the minor damage Patrick did to the boat hitting the steel windward mark buoy.
He nailed it and dragged it along the hull, made a deep thumping sound as it hit, but you can hardly tell. Nothing that can't be buffed out. Brock was very quick to point out that we hit the mark as if we had no idea. I was like, dude, of course we hit the mark thanks for pointing it out as if we were total rookies who don't know how to take penalty turns... I mean really, do I look like the kind of guy who isn't going to take the penalty? Anyway...

Last evening was crew night, which means you are supposed to give up the helm to your crew. Danielle gave it up to Dan, I gave it up to Patrick and Brock gave it up to... Mickey Waldear! Tom jr. gave it up to Tom sr.! Ok, Former season champions racing in the folkboat fleet is great! I love the fact that we're bringing guys back from the Knarr fleet and putting them in Folkboats, that's really cool, makes me feel real good and also for some seriously good competition too. Goebel drove his own boat, so did Peter, they had great starts... we didn't. Chris didn't give up the helm to either Rich or Mike Cole... I would have let Rich or Mike Cole drive my boat... meanwhile, as the race moved up course, a few boats tacked too early in the flood on the windward mark layline and a few went too far, we split the difference and well, I would have fetched the mark, but young Patrick didn't quite understand how to "shoot the mark" and well, we hit it. Just a minor flesh wound. We would have passed Mickey in USA 121 if we could have pulled it off... there was a lot of flood at the mark. After that we sort of settled for the middle of the fleet and just sailed the course and got 7th. Tom sr. didn't need much practice and won, Mickey took 2nd and Mike Goebel got 3rd.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Last Wednesday/ WBRA races #9 and #10

It started out like any other Wednesday evening race, 15-18 knots of wind, flooding on the outside and a building ebb on the inside... so, naturally you'd want to be the inside boat. But this time was different. The wind stated to fade right at the starting line. You could see it blowing well up course, but it just wasn't reaching all the way down the water. We started and 107 got launched, Peter was on his hip and moving well, Tommy and I were up at the pin thinking because of the better pressure outside we would get to it first and ride the wind line up the course. Oh, and Wilson was dead in the water in no wind, ha ha ha we thought.
107 and 113 had better positioning and current, but then the wind just died for all of us. Oh, and Wilson was over early, ha ha ha we thought.
As the wind died, I figured Tommy and I were in the best position to pull out of it and lead the race. Peter looked poised to jump out as well. Oh, and Wilson was stuck back at the line with no wind and fighting to get back across the line, ha ha ha we thought.
Tommy pulled out of it first, took off and it was quite a while before we did, so I thought we were playing for 2nd place. And Wilson had finally restarted.
It seemed like a dumb idea after seeing him tack even closer to shore as we pulled away in steady pressure and he was seemingly destroying any chance he may have had at a come back, but that Wilson guy is pretty smart... smart ass too, but that's a story for another day.
From this shot you can even see the wind line and he's no where near it!
Other boats in the middle of the starting line are still floundering...
This is Wilson tacking on what turned out to be a perfect lay line. See the darker water up above and to the left of Anita Rock (the little buoy)? Private wind and plenty of it, so much so that with the combination of favorable current he ends up 2nd to the windward mark and we were in 3rd. I couldn't believe it!
We all rounded together at the leeward mark, Tommy was still up course, but I made some silly tacking decisions now utter perplexed by the Wilson voodoo magic and slipped to 4th letting both Wilson and Peter get by. They both passed Tommy so Wilson got 1st, Peter 2nd, Tommy 3rd and well... we got 4th on a night that was basically a crap shoot from the start.
I can't complain, though. We have 3 firsts, a 3rd and a 4th and still lead the series...
With that said, the races today had a different twist and I'm psyched on the results. When Richard, Don and I raced in Bogense and performed quite well upwind, passing many each time, some Danish guy said, "If you'd get better starts you'd be dangerous." A backhanded compliment at best. Today in the first start, Tommy wouldn't give us any room at the boat end of the line and we had to spin around and start late. It must have sharpened my resolve because we were flying back up in the mix quicker than I realized. AS we got closer to shore, I felt like we were on a lay line and despite my crew's wishes I tacked way before anyone else. I was right. Everyone over stood by a ton and we nailed it. We were first to the windward mark and won the race. Tommy was 2nd, Peter was 3rd and Wilson was 4th.
In the 2nd race the "I" flag was displayed and we were over early. We blew the sails, rounded the committee boat and restarted way, way behind. Again, stiffening my resolve, we weaved our way back up with the leaders by the end of the first down wind leg. After the rounding we cleared our air, banged the corner at the shore where the up numbers kept coming up and the current was favorable. We tacked on our lay line and found ourselves leading at the 2nd windward mark. Held them off downwind and won that race too. Peter and Wilson over stood the finish and let Mike sneak into 2nd, Wilson was 3rd, Peter was 4th and Tommy almost got Peter at the end, but was 5th. Next weekend, the Woodies Invitational.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

NorCal Sailing Spotlight

The guys at Nor Cal Sailing were kind enough to give us a little press... just thought I'd pass it on to anyone interested.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Races at South Hamton Shoal - Always a Bride's Maid, Never a Bride

My camera's battery died, so no pictures... sorry.

The races at South Hampton Shoal are usually dreaded because we float over on and flood and slam back through the usual wind and ebb... and fog and crossing the shipping channel. Makes for a good test of your equipment and your courage. Last time we went over to that area we were heading back in such conditions with 35 knot winds and when we got to Point Blunt I made an executive decision and turned around and go through Raccoon Straights, which looked way more civilized. Preserve the equipment to sail another day. I had other reasons as well, the boom kept slipping down the track on the mast, the vang attachment points kept slipping forward because I didn't drill the holes through like Panda had warned me about and the crack in the starboard chain plate mounting bracket wasn't getting smaller... those things just don't fix themselves. Tom Reed jr. was to leeward of us and about to dive into the fog when we turned around. It makes sense that he didn't no where we had gone. We also got stuck in the lee of Angel Island and floated along for a good half hour before making into the straights. Once we got there it was just as it looked; calmer, flatter and rather peaceful. We reached across the channel and made it back in one piece a hour or so after everyone else had returned. I guess we were missed because Leann called the Coast Guard to look for us since the chain plate things was known and they lost track of us at the toughest point in the return trip... it's nice to be looked out for and that's what I love about the Folkboat group, safety in numbers. My VHF is going to be returned to West Marine... as soon as a drop of water gets on it, it doesn't work! So, I couldn't communicate that way and my cell phone was in the car.
Anyway, this time the situation was very different. We jammed over on a flood, so much so that for the first time ever racing over in this area I had over an hour to get ready and talk teamwork with the crew. The racing was great, 10-20 out of the south west with interesting shifts in the middle of the course. The first race we had a sick leeward rounding in traffic in went form 6th to 3rd and on the last beat snipped Peter for 2nd place. Wilson took 1st. In the 2nd race we were 1st to the windward mark, just barely missing Tom jr., Goebel didn't fair as well and hit the mark and fouled Tom. We went deep to the left to protect our inside and Peter and Wilson pursued. We gave up 2 positions with this move, but after the leeward rounding we went right and everybody else went left and as much as I thought we were going to get dogged is as far ahead of the rest of fleet we ended up, kinda surprised me. We pulled up to the windward mark in 2nd and achieved inside overlap down wind, but the separated too much and Bill D. had better wind and moved ahead by several boat lengths. We tried to catch him, but didn't. So, two 2nd places on the day and Wilson and Peter were behind us with boats between us.
In the return trip I found good company as most decided to go through Raccoon Straights. It was a very nice sail, more like a parade and many other boats were just cruising around. Some rookie in a Hunter was floundering around trying to fly a spinnaker, we all steered clear. Goebel went to usual way and beat us, but I think the rest of us had more fun.