Sporty sailing but Delightful wins the series!

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Every year, one of my sailing highlights is participating in the freshwater Goosebumps race on Lake Union here in Seattle. It's six weeks and six races, giving you that crucial something to look forward to during the darkest parts of January and February. Last year we did well and got 2nd place in the series, and this year, we did even better!

The first three races were 0-wind drifters. We managed to finish while a lot of other boats didn't, but we understandably didn't fare well against a bunch of well-sailed dinghies, and two much lighter, racier boats in my class - a Laser 28 and a J30. However, our usual competition is a well-sailed Catalina 30 named Necessary Evil, and I think the results speak for themselves on our rivalry:

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We had one week where we beat Necessary Evil by literally one second in a photo finish, and they kept us on our toes every week otherwise. It's super fun to have such a closely matched boat.

The final race yesterday was wild - super gusty, with the winds frequently puffing into the high 20s and low 30s. Maybe 12-15 sustained most of the time. Here's a good example of why cracking off on the main is important, and this was with one reef in already. Behind me you can see Tipsy Gipsy, a Soverel 33, whose previously splinted mast came off the boat yesterday. Everyone on board was OK.

(might have to click it to see it animated)

And here was the finish against Necessary Evil - they were right on top of us, with their mast over my deck, but a fatal puff rounded them up and they autotacked away from the finish. I bet there was some profanity.

(might have to click it to see it animated)

Ultimately, yesterday's conditions being what they were forced the Laser 28 to retire early, the J30 broke their tiller, and the 505 couldn't get off the dock and out to the race (probably a good thing, ultimately) so that clinched 1st place for me. I'll take it!

At the end of the day, I love racing this thing in beer cans. It's such a good time.
 
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nquigley

Member III
Well done! It was pretty tight for second place, but you were well ahead in first, with consistently good finishes across the season.
You sure squeezed off that pesky Catalina nicely. ;-)

Looks like you might have reduced sideways slippage in the puffs a bit with some active traveler work - but that's a hard job to get it well-coordinated with the helmsman, and our travelers are not well set up for quickly hauling them back to weather after a dump like they are on 'racing-designed' boats like the J's.
BTW - do you have any Holder 20s or similar in your fleet? We have a small fleet of them - they go like the clappers in a breeze like that!
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Well done! It was pretty tight for second place, but you were well ahead in first, with consistently good finishes across the season.
You sure squeezed off that pesky Catalina nicely. ;-)

Looks like you might have reduced sideways slippage in the puffs a bit with some active traveler work - but that's a hard job to get it well-coordinated with the helmsman, and our travelers are not well set up for quickly hauling them back to weather after a dump like they are on 'racing-designed' boats like the J's.
BTW - do you have any Holder 20s or similar in your fleet? We have a small fleet of them - they go like the clappers in a breeze like that!

Agreed that traveler play would've helped all day, though the main was doing the full-batten equivalent of flogging most of the time anyways. One challenge of the winter races is my crew wasn't consistent from one week to the next. I might have someone who knows how to do the main one week and someone who's never sailed before next week. It's a good test of my teaching skills (and patience sometimes, in crucial moments). I'm pretty much doing constant narration of my thoughts out loud / fine tuning / encouraging the crew during the race... nothing like a captive audience.

No Holder 20s, though I'm not sure what all the boats are - looking at the top finishers list there's a Laser 28, J30, Catalina 30, 505, San Juan 27, two Santa Cruz 27s, a Martin 29, and some other dinghies I'm not sure what they are.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Thanks for a Fun video! Actually the buff-shape of the Catalina bow is not very efficient, and of course slows it down as sea height increases. While poor sail shape might have contributed to his roundup, his hull shape is not optimal either.
You might want to get your person standing up to sit down when going to weather, if possible - human 'windage' will slow you down. That said, closeup crowds create the need for more lookouts! :)
Gotta wonder also if a reef in your main would have sped up your boat, or was that just a puff?
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Thanks for a Fun video! Actually the buff-shape of the Catalina bow is not very efficient, and of course slows it down as sea height increases. While poor sail shape might have contributed to his roundup, his hull shape is not optimal either.
You might want to get your person standing up to sit down when going to weather, if possible - human 'windage' will slow you down. That said, closeup crowds create the need for more lookouts! :)
Gotta wonder also if a reef in your main would have sped up your boat, or was that just a puff?
I had a reef in the main :) the C30 was small furled jib and no reef in the main, and I had a slightly larger (110% maybe) furled jib and my first reef in.

I think an actual purpose built #3 jib would’ve helped us get more height and then dumping the main.. but it was challenging out there. Something like 12kts sustained gusting to 30+. A challenge to get momentum from those and not just get knocked over... though I admit I have much to learn!
 
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