Thursday, June 20, 2013


JUNE 18, 2013


The turnout for this Tuesday night was a little light with only 3 boats showing up. It seems the heavier winds keep many of the boats from coming out, even though our heavier cruising sailboats are made for these conditions. At the start mark, we were seeing in excess of 20 knots and there were rumors of 30 knots out at mile buoy. We all opted for a course that would keep us all inside in more protected waters. We decided on course 3, even though the wind was more from the north and I was told, "you know we can lay the mark with no tacks!", I thought it would be ok. The Participants were Sailing Pair A Dice, Pacific Spirit and Aeolian. Two Catalina 32's picking on a lonely 30: Game ON! Start time 6:15. I am still trying to get the horn signals down, so some of the signals were missing. It makes it interesting, trying to sail a boat in 20+ knots of wind, tracking time and where did I put the horn!?

We got off to a start with PAD ahead of the pack, but had to stall so we weren't over early. Both Aeolian and Pacific Spirit hit the line running and it was quite a jog to Wharf, our first mark. Two minutes before the start, we on PAD decided to put a reef in, but as we sailed toward wharf, it seemed to be a mistake. The wind was coming in gusts, separated by sections with very little wind. Aeolian, the only boat without a reef in AND flying a 110 jib, had a distinct advantage in these conditions. Of course their excellent boat handling didn't hurt them either as they passed both PAD and Pacific Spirit. Aeolian was the first to round Wharf.

As we approached wharf, we noted that the mark was right in the middle of light wind (those transitions zones will get you every time) and we had a reef in. We shook the reef out before we rounded wharf. Pacific Spirit shook their reef out as they rounded. Having our reef out gave us a huge advantage and we romped on ahead of Pacific Spirit. By the time they got their reef out, we had a substantial lead on them, but Aeolian was taking us all to school, teaching us how it should be done.

Aeolian rounded Blacks way ahead of PAD. Pacific SPirit could never completely close the gap on the lead PAD got rounding Wharf. Then it was the short beat to start, with Pacific Spirit rapidly closing the gap on PAD. The course was just short enough to prevent them from overtaking us. Aeolian got first (AGAIN!), Sailing Pair A DIce got second and Pacific Spirits, breathing down our necks got third. And yet another fantastic, exciting Catalina Tuesday.

At Johnnies afterwards, it was decided that the course should have been more inside, like GOV, Blacks finish. Oh well, Aeolian sure showed us how to sail on this night.

_/) _/) _/)

-I should have looked at all of the courses when selecting. Since the wind was from the North with a little West in it, I only cosidered the Northwest courses and should have looked at the North Wind courses. This left no room for tactic, it was all sail trim and boat handling.

Next Tuesday, after sailing, we will meet at Santa Cruz Yacht Club. The club will not be open, but we will be using the Barbecue to cook food. We must all bring our own burgers and buns. Any salads or other dishes people want to bring would be good. It would be good to have a good turnout. This would be the perfect venue for some people to see what the club has to offer and a better setting to meet and greet fellow sailors.

There is some interest in exchanging crews between boats. When some boats are out of commission for some reason or other, the crews want to participate in Catalina Tuesdays and would like to get on other boats. I have always found it interesting sailing on other boats. It's all about sharing knowledge. You may get on another boat and know more than anyone else on the boat, or it could be flipped, where you are the one learning. It's what makes Catalina Tuesdays so much more fun than Wednesday night: the opportnity to learn. If you would like to share crew or want to sail on any other boat, respond to the comments below. If you need to contact other boats and don't have contact info, call me on my cell 234-0322.

See you next Tuesday.

Barry L Keeler

Sailing Pair A dice


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