Scatchet Head scratcher

OK that didn’t go as planned. The weather was somewhere between great and wowza. Started out blowing in the teens and low 20s under cloudy skies at the start, which was nice. No rain made it even better. We were late to the line but given this was a long race I wasn’t too worried about the 15 seconds. It kept us out of the frenzy. We hit the line moving well with the #3 up on starboard on a broad reach. It was gong to be a 13 mile run downwind to Whidbey Island under some pretty decent conditions. Except things didn’t go as planned. The photo below from Jan’s Pics tells the beginning of the tale. A bit short on crew and new people in new positions with the breeze up and things went wrong quickly. Right after this photo the kite wrapped the headstay and eventually rolled up with the #3 for a real puzzler that took us nearly all of the run to Scatchet Head to sort out.

Scatchet Head Jans Photo

I was nearly certain we were truly screwed until one final desperate attempt managed to get the two sails untangled and allowed us to drop the kite. We had only a short distance to go so we just bagged the kite and sailed under the #3. We were happy to just still be in the race after that.

The ride home was a blast with the wind building to 30+ over the deck and plenty of sustained gusts to 40. About halfway home the 3/16″ stainless steel cable outhaul parted with a bang. Fortunately everyone responded to my “duck” command and the cable didn’t make contact with any flesh. We dropped the main, wrapped and taped the cable and rehoisted to the first reef and were off and beating to weather again. Guess that was the boat’s way of telling us we should have reefed a bit sooner.

Despite all the delays and problems we didn’t finish dead last! Broken but not out. Overall, another day of learning for everyone and some more things to sort out on the boat. The kite will be getting a new banding solution from Ballard Sails so hopefully our hoists will be better and the new outhaul should be good for another 30 years.