Tuesday May 19, 2015HEAVY WEATHER JIBE
What a great spring we have had for wind! This night was no exception. As we left the harbor and got close to the start buoy, it was apparent we needed a reef with 21 knots of true wind. We had over 10 boats out for the fun with about 9 taking part in the race. We established course 1 with a start time 6pm. With this much wind, the longest course seemed appropriate: Start, Wharf,Mile, Blacks finish.
On Pair A Dice, we approached the start line on port tack and tacked over onto starboard tack just in front of Diver Down. We came very close to lee bowing Diver Down, but she was too fast and just rolled us. We tacked over to port with Makani closing the gap behind us. When we both tacked over on to starboard we were so close we could have shared drinks with each other. What a sight to be so close to a 34 foot boat with it’s rail buried in the water. When they finally got ahead of us, we tacked over on port again. The next time we crossed we barely cleared ahead of them, but just before the mark, we had to duck them.
Meanwhile Diver Down rounded way ahead of us all. It is quite a complement to our Catalina fleet, having such an accomplished sailor as Homer Lighthall sailing with us. Diver Down is certainly a very fast boat, but with Homer at the helm their lead over other boats becomes incredible. I wonder if Jimmy Spithill would be interested. J On the way to Mile, Diver Down was way in front followed by Pacific Spirit,Makani and finally Pair A Dice with Perfect 36 just behind us.
The rounding of Mile was rather interesting being a heavy weather Jibe. Several of the boats rounded up right after the jibe making an interesting spectacle. On the way to Blacks, Pacific Spirit and Makani took a higher line and we took the rhumb line straight toward the mark. Diver Down was way off in the distance. Makani Rounded ahead of us and we rounded with Pacific Spirit. Since Pacific Spirit had an inside overlap, they were entitled to “room at the mark” which we freely gave them. Right after rounding, we tacked back out for clear air to get away from Pacific Spirit’s bad air. Ultimately the inside tack was preferred and their lead over us extended. At the finish: Diver Down, Makani, Pacific Spirit, Pair A Dice, Perfect 36, Aeolian, Kicks and Sea Quake.
THE HEAVY WEATHER JIBE:
This maneuver is correctly accomplished differently on different types of boats. For the heavier Keel boats, like Catalinas, the key person on the boat is the main sheet trimmer. In lighter winds the mainsheet is released as the boat passes from a reach to dead down wind, then as the stern passes through the eye of the wind, the mainsheet trimmer quickly sheets in and releases out on the other side. In heavier wind, it is critical to be sheeting in as the boat heads dead down wind. The helm person can stall momentarily in the DDW position to give time for the mainsheet to come in. The critical point is when the boat finally is on the new heading is to NOT CLEAT THE SHEET! If the sheet is cleated you will surely round up. It helps for the helmperson to ease into the new heading to allow the main to ease out. Taking the turn too rapidly with the sheet uncleated creates tremendous force which you do not want to slam into your aft shrouds. These are my thoughts on heavy weather jibes. Any comments from readers would be appreciated.
RACEQS A VERY COOL ‘APP’
This app is very cool and free. Download it onto your phone and mount your phone in the center of the boat, set the start time and it tracks your boat. It gives valuable feedback on your steering technique, tacking technique and many other features. The cool thing is that you upload to their website and everyone can download to your computer and watch the replay on your computer at home. We already have 4 boats in our fleet using it and I watched the replay of our whole race showing how well all of the boats were being handled. It would be very cool to have an upload from all of the boats. Download it and use it!
NEXT TUESDAY IS BARBECUE NIGHT AT SCYC AFTER THE RACE. BRING YOUR FAVORITE FOOD TO GRILL, AND GREAT FELLOW SAILORS.
!*PLEASE NOTE: SCYC BAR WILL BE OPEN. DO NOT BRING DRINKS. TAP BEER AND MIXED DRINKS, A PERFECT WAY TO END A NIGHT OF SAILING!*****
See you next Tuesday,
Sailing Pair A Dice