We went out feeling pretty good. We grabbed a second place in our 5th and final race of the Shilshole Bay Yacht Club’s Snowbird series. It was a great day for a winter race. Good wind, great course (we went over to Blakely Rock off of Bainbridge Island), the rain was very light and the competition was good. We had a good start although it was dicey being on port tack with the big Beneteau coming in on starboard but in the end the Bene was in a no win situation and all of us port tackers won out. We played it conservatively at the Rock turn and let the Dehler 39 Deltane get inside us. That allowed us to have fun all the way downwind to Meadow point where we were side by side most of the time. They pulled ahead but we slipped inside at the leeward mark and made it to the line a bit ahead. The crew all did well today and it shows we are starting to click and get smarter as a team. Thanks to SBYC for putting on the series. A big thanks to my friends that show up for the fun and games.
Next up another Blakely Rock race with my club STYC. We know the drill if the wind is the same! Here’s nice pic from Sara’s cam with me trimming for a change. Jacqui on the helm dueling it out with the Dehler 39 about 50 feet to my back.
This, our third attempt at a Snowbird event, was a bust. Blown out this time. A gale no less. Not just a little too much wind. Way too much. I figured it was still a good day to practice reefing and to see how the boat handled in 30 knot conditions. After all the plan is to enter some events where this kind of wind is entirely possible. Getting out was easy. The wind was a solid 25 knots with gusts to 30. Raining like mad. We headed down the breakwater to find some shelter from the gusts and hoist the main. After an aborted attempt because of some fouled reefing lines we came around for attempt number two. I felt the wind increase and looked down at the meter and noticed the wind was now pushing 30+. Visibility was dropping. I could swear the tops of the waves were blowing off. One of those times where you just know the squeeze is just not worth the juice. Wrap it up. Let’s get the heck out of here.
Well after looking at the West Point wind data I guess we made the right call. Pretty sure we out there right about 11am.
Well we got the new A2 spinnaker and it’s a beauty. What a difference it makes to our downwind legs. Our first outing was a real ‘practice’ in the middle of a race but I think we will sort it soon enough. Ballard Sails did the design and build locally which is something I wanted to do this time around. So far I’m very happy with the work and the service. This sail is right at the max allowed for us and really puts a good amount of sail out in front of the boat which the old Hood sail did not. It is more of a challenge to trim than the AP kite and that is to be expected. We also need to band this one in any kind of breeze but that’s OK by me because it is less likely to get away from us on the hoist.
After our challenging live practice in the SBYC Snowbird race 1 we put in 2 solid hours of practice. Gybe after gybe working on the timing of the outside gybes, something we’re learning to do. The new MLX spin sheets seem to work well too. Now I just need to fit some secondary winches to cut down on the gymnastics at the back of the boat and we will be in a position to start sailing a lot closer to our rating.
Above is a sneak preview of the new A2. Didn’t have a chance to get any full shots of the sail. Here’s Jacqui in front of the A2, she’s the person we have to thank for the cool color layout. Next time out hopefully we’ll get a full image of the sail.
We got out last month for STYC’s last event of the year and Jan’s Marine Photography was on the water taking photos. There were several good images of Kinetics available but I liked this one the best. Many of the good ones were closeups of the crew at work. Thanks Jan. Can’t wait to get the glossy and frame it. Hoping we get some sunny shots with the new A2 kite from Ballard Sails next summer.
Another benefit race but more serious from the sound of it. We’ll give this one a try. Seems more like our kind of course than the windward, leeward thing that tests our stamina on the winches and spinnaker hoists. Hopefully the weather will hold and we will get the benefit of a decent day.
At last Kinetics is ready to get out on the race course again. This time for another of the Northwest’s benefit events, the Pink Boat Regatta. It has been taken on entirely this year by our own Sloop Tavern Yacht Club after the original guy behind it packed up and left the country. We really like to participate in the benefit events and I’m happy the boat is able to make this one. It is still a bit early but we need some more boats to enter and support this event. It’s tough to draw big numbers this time of year but hopefully the turn out will improve as the calendar ticks down to August 17th.
After months of bad luck, mistakes and other strangeness the new main sail from Island Planet Sails is on the boat and working well. The whole experience was an interesting one. Some of the problems were mine, most were not. In the end I have a sail I’m satisfied with. Now we shall see how it holds up and performs. I will continue to leverage the huge savings I got by investing in other things needed on the boat and to offset my current travel expenses. That was the plan from the beginning and now I can finally put it to the test. The main is built using older tech called Structural Tape. An early version of the Tape Drive most people have heard of. I opted to go with an additional singled sided poly material on one side which makes the sail look different from port to starboard. While odd to look at it will increase its life span by quite a bit over a mylar only sail. The boat now prefers to be photographed from the starboard side!