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Spent most of the afternoon bobbing around like bath toys.  Sadly just enough wind to make you hopeful.  So only two races.  Second place on both races.  Had to go find the wind and stay away from the crowds and that really fed into our advantage.

Loosened the jib rigging to billow the jib as much as possible to catch the wind and sat leeward most of the time to help the sails fill.

Good day and happy with the results.

 

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Recently got back from the America's Cup in Bermuda.  What a great place to hold this event.  In case you've been away for a spell, here's a spoiler alert... Oracle didn't win.  Actually they lost soundly.  No fault of their own, they really busted their butts but Emirates just proved to be sailing far too perfectly to lose.  After a very rough start during the preliminaries for Emirates, they got the boat, the water, the crew, everything fine tuned.  So much so they hit the once thought nearly impossible goal of reaching 100% fly time.

Yes, 100% fly time during one of their races.  With that kind of perfection there is no catching them.

It will be interesting to see what the next America's Cup brings for both rules and location.  I'd like to think the crowds at Bermuda proved that you can have a destination location and the people will come.

The first day we sat in the Gosling's Rum Bar.  Great view, and really good food.  The next day during the finals, we sat in the grandstands slightly behind the announcers

Sitting in the Grandstands - Just behind the announcers

Sitting in the Grandstands was very much worth it.  Goslings was fun, but the Grandstands were perfect.  Met some locals who we made friends with by holding each others seats off and on while we got up to get drinks.

 

Now onto the boats!

On Sunday we took the ferry out to the America's Cup Village just as we did the other day, but today our Ferry Captain made a strange left hand turn and a heading we had not taken the day prior.  Odd we thought, but there was a lot of boat traffic and the Americas Cup boats were starting to head out so maybe it was a detour?

No.  We just had a great captain and brought us out directly onto the course so I could get a picture like this:

Team Oracle sailing by our boat

No need for me to use my zoom lens on that photo.  They were actually that close.  Will post more about the island another time, but I'll end with this gratuitous shots taken by yours truly.

The 2014 club racing season is over. The boat is home and ready to undergo some needed repairs and touch ups. I can finally fix up my sad looking blue stripe, sand and wax the hull and install the remaining lines and hardware that need to be changed out.

While that's in the works I need to still find a mooring cover for my 21' Utopia, I need to probably give away my old Tanzer that I no longer use and replace that with a more reliable and larger boat. I have my eye on a 30' 1995 Hunter. It's not exactly what I want though but deep down I know I need to make a few sacrifices on what I want to make sure I still have something reasonable. This next boat will be the stepping stone to my dream boat.

I had the beat up old boat to get my feet wet on a larger craft. It was good for what it was intended to do. Now it's time to step onto something that's a bit more modern, doesn't need to be rewired or reglassed and won't cost me more than it's worth. Right now I'm paying yearly to keep it in a slip more than it cost me to purchase.

It's up at the lake, been fresh water sailed its whole life and I can continue to keep it there until my name gets called. I have had my name in at a slip on Cape Cod for over 13 years now. I'm number 5 on the wait list. It's only a matter of time at this point. While I like having a large boat at the marina to sleep on the cost doesn't outweigh the benefit anymore. Aside from the money needed to keep it up, the cost alone of keeping the slip for the few times it gets used as a hotel, I could have stayed at one of the nicest places up there, gotten room service and still be ahead of the game monetarily.

Or I could get a nicer boat and see if that makes me want to hang up at the lake more often. Who knows... We'll see.

For the time being though, the windmill needs a winter home. I usually store it out back but due the work that needs to be done, I need a better spot. I'll have to rip though my basement tonight and see what I can brainstorm... Maybe if I can re-arrange my garage I might be able to find a home for it in there.

Anyone want a free Tanzer 26?

Well it's official. The racing season is over. Soft water sailing is quickly coming to a close up here in New Hampshire. Time to dust off the iceboats and sharpen the blades for another season on the ice.

I thought I had it all figured out going into this race. I just put down my "Sailing Smart" by Buddy Melges, worked on my TackTic and read up some rules and tactics.

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As you can see above, I installed my TackTic. The pole launcher line caught on it a few times so I might look into lowering it on the mast. All in all it worked. Sadly this was a race that had a course shaped like a diamond. There would only be a short upwind beat at the start and then at the finish after twice around. All that work and practice (afternoons working on beating the wind and rigging the boat correctly) and what I practiced for would only be 5% of the race. Figures.

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We waited for the race to start...

Now I should mention that this wasn't just any old start. This was a start that would incorporate every boat in the fleet (well, whomever showed up) but we would race on portsmouth ratings so the starting line was cluttered with the larger boats. I decided not to fight for the pin advantage and the grouping but in the end might have been my downfall. I hit the middle of the line on Vanderbilt style start. Just before I hit the line... my wind was gone. I mean completely gone. The larger boats stole nearly every inch of wind and my boat slowly ground to a halt. It was a depressing start. I watched half the fleet pull away before we got going.

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We finally moved around the boats, got into some good wind and picked up some speed. Caught and then passed a few boats.

The Tacktic never was really used. We knew the best tack, hit the layline and made our way around the windward mark.

Despite our best efforts there was no way we were going to catch up with the other dinghies. They are all great racers in our club and the only way to beat them is to be as flawless as possible. Our errors would only allow us to keep pace with them but not catch them.

We finished the race and were disheartened to hear that there would not be another one as planned. Due to there being about 20 boats and only two small docks, we decided to relax and take it all in.

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There would always be next year. I feel like I picked up a lot this past year. I went from someone who was constantly second to last. So someone that was solidly in the middle of the fleet. Nothing to truly brag about but fair accomplishment none-the-less. While this race we would end up 13th, a little worse than what we had been doing (we pulled an amazing 3rd place in our prior race with like boats), we would lick our wounds, take some new found knowledge with an open class fleet and put them to use for next year.

Off to roll up my sails and find a home for my boots and jackets and maybe grab a new tactics book and see if I can't gleam some new information I can put to use next year.