messing about in boats

Wet And Windy

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 28, 2009

Don’t think much of the weather for this Sunday – plenty of rain and over 20 knots of wind. Not ideal conditions to make up some ground in the Autumn PM race series. We’re currently leading the AM series by a decent margin, but people seem to actually race in the afternoon and the heavy weather a few weekends ago put the Tornado and other Inter 18 firmly ahead of us.

Fingers crossed the bad weather blows itself out on Saturday and leaves us with a beautiful force 3 and unseasonally warm sunshine on Sunday. Well, one can dream…

A Mixed Bag

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 19, 2009

Yesterday’s racing was a bit of a mixed bag. Not much breeze, but it did fill in and there were a few gusts lurking around – one of which caught us unawares as Rich was hanging off the leeward side of the boat and I was too far forward to get the mainsheet off in a hurry. Over we went, right in front of a very disgruntled Laser fleet who’d been kept back after a general recall. Oops…

The lighter breeze earlier in the day saw some really nice windward legs. There’s a warm sense of satisfaction from watching a bunch of people crouched in the bottom of their boats while you zip along flying a hull. Unfortunately with the absence of a kite sock (Which arrived this morning! Woohoo!) we had a go at bag launching it. Would have been fine, but the bag got ripped off on the first hoist and sank before we could get back to it. Bugger. That was a nice bag.

Mega thanks to Stu at Alverbanks for making us a new sock, we’ll have it on the boat next week so I’ll take some pictures of his handiwork. Apologies as I’m really bad with cameras – I can use them fine, I just forget to take any photos.

Starboard

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 12, 2009

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a brown trousers moment as approaching the windward mark in yesterday morning’s race. The wind was picking up and gusting force 6 at times, which is blowy, but not unmanageable (even with our relatively light crew weight for the F18). Fine, til it swung round and our course overlapped with the downwind leg of the RS500’s open meeting course. There’s a group of 3 or 4 boats steaming downwind on port tack while we’re heading up on starboard. The usual rules of sailing would dictate that we should hold our course and they should give way, but with very little distance left between us and them and a gap closing fast it seems we’re expected to post an 8′ wide cat through a 6′ gap in some boats moving fast across our bow.  Not cool. Bear off, aim for a gap, watch the bows dive under the water and scramble backwards (and upwards!). Thankfully the cat’s really well behaved in a crisis – she stayed upright, didn’t pitchpole and nobody got a slice taken out of their hull or their ribs. We got a rather flustered “Oh, sorry!” from one of the boats as we breathed a sigh of relief. What would have been nice was not having to adjust our course or fear for our lives, but I guess that’s a bit too much to ask sometimes.

Anyway, rant over. Sailing should be fun, so remember to keep your eyes open on a busy bit of water and keep safe!

Weather Forecasts

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 8, 2009

I’m keeping an eye on Sunday’s weather for the racing. Since we missed the start of the Autumn PM series last week due to catastrophic kite sock failure it’d be good to get a result in this week. We’ll win, of course, unless some other bugger turns up, which they will I hope.

Anyway, the weather. Yesterday it said force 4, today it says force 0. That’s guesswork for you…