Archive for September, 2008


Crazy 8 course

September 30, 2008   

On Sunday I had a great time racing on Astra doing bow at the CYC Season Closer which had a pursuit race (we started last being the fastest) and a course which allowed you to go either way around the course. First mark was Little harding then alcatraz, angel and little harding then back to finish at CYC. Lots of jib changes from the light to the medium and finally heavy and two spinnaker runs. We needed 1/4 mile more and we would have got first as it was we had to settle with the 3rd place. It really was a beautiful day on the bay. The crew on saturday had the pleasure of watching Maltese Falcon enter the bay clearing the Golden Gate by only 20 feet.

Farlonnes Race on the Quest

September 21, 2008   

We had perfect conditions yesterday for the Farlonnes Race. Intially it didn’t look so promising with a 5-10 forcast and it was gray, overcast and cold out. It turned out to be a beautiful day with a lot of wildlife including a pod of whales – two breached right in front of us in unison and we also witnessed about 100 seals feeding on a school of fish. Marin side of the channel paid going out with a large 40 degree shift to the right meant that we rounded next to the 78 and 56 footers in the class above who started 5 minutes ahead of us.

We only had one boat an Express 37 ahead of us in our class and pretty quickly after hoisting the spinnaker we managed to climb over them. However, the Olson 40 came on strong and passed us a few miles west of Bonita. We managed to get them back in the bay and finished first over the line in our class and first in class. Annabele enjoyed her first sail (she was a little bored at first as it was a long time going upwind) and the wildlife and looked like a veteran in her sailing gear. The enterance into the bay was one in a million completely clear with 10-15 knots, spinnaker up and the lights of San Francisco looking beautiful in the cool crisp night. Another late night but a very enjoyable race.

See more photos click here

Just another rant – the Olson tried to luff us up after dark us with a spinnaker and them with a jib. I wish people would read the SI’s and NOR’s and realise that the RRS are turned off after dark and the COLREGS are in effect. So although windward has to avoid a collision with a leeward sailing vessel leeward can’t luff you up.

Cold water diving and miniature golf

September 19, 2008   

On Friday I did a PADI specialty course on Dry Suit Diving. All the diving I have done up until now has been warm water i.e. Indonesia in a light wet suit. There was no way I was going to take to the cold Pacific water without wearing a dry suit so I needed to learn how to use one. Off I went to Aquarius Dive School in Monterey and after an hour in the swimming pool we rushed over to Point Lobos (only 15 dive teams are allowed per day) in Carmel. It is an amazing dive site you walk in from the boat launched and then swim quite a distance trying to not get tangled in the kelp forest and then drop down to 70 feet. I had a bit of trepidation seeing as I hadn’t dove in 53F water before and hadn’t dove in kelp however, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. In the dry suit I wasn’t cold at all and as long as you dĂ­dn’t fight the kelp it was fine. The first descent I got really tangled and told myself to calm down and finally made it underwater. The kelp rises 70 feet from the sea floor but down low it is just like a tree trunk with not too many branches so you can swim through it without a problem. I played is an anemone and also a star fish decided to attach itself to me for a while. I actually decided the kelp was great after it saved me from a feet up ascent. With dry suit diving you pump air into the suit not a BCD so if you get your feet over your shoulder while swimming you end up with lots of air in your legs with no way of venting it and then you lose positive bouyancy and start going to the surface. If you feel it like I did you either kick yourself head up and then vent or you cheat and hold on to the kelp and pull yourself upright and vent the air from your shoulder vent!

After two dives I picked up Myles (my brother) and his girlfriend in Monterey and we headed to Santa Cruz to the boardwalk which much to my amazement was not open on a friday night. We found some miniature golf which had a pirate theme and I got well and truely schooled by both of them in golf. Got home late and straight to bed…


September 18, 2008   

I took my little brother and his girlfriend to Yosemite on wednesday we left early in the morning and got on the hiking trails around midday. Myles showed me how unfit I was and what a difference 9 years makes to your body! We hiked the Mist Trail to Nevada Falls stopping for lunch at Vernal Falls and then took the John Muir Trail back down.

We stayed the night at Upper Pines Camp Grounds after having hor deurves at the beautiful Awanhee and then heating up some spag bol at the camp site finishing off with smore’s on the camp fire and an early to bed. I used my tent that goes on the back of the truck with the very comfortable blow up mattress in the back – Gucci camping!

On Thursday we got up and drove to Monterey it took a while to get out of the valley as they were doing a managed burn of the undergrowth. In Monterey I had to get set up for some diving while Myles and Annabelle walked around Fisherman’s wharf. Then it was off to 17 mile drive to see how the wealthy live and a long drive up to Los Gatos to stay at Mary’s house overlooking Silicon Valley.


September 16, 2008   

This last weekend the winner of the J105 fleet at Big Boat Series was unfortunately DSQ by the race committee on an alleged infringement of Rule 9 of the COLREGS. This made me realize how little the recreational sailors actually understand about the COLREGS. Most know not to get in the way of a frieghter but I think racers in particular need to learn them as well as we doing the RRS. I didn’t use to think this believe me – I justed stayed out of the way of big boats 🙂 It is important though as between sunset and sunrise the RRS are turned off in most SI’s and what you have to comply with is the COLREGS – so take the time to learn them as well as you learn the RRS.

BTW It is the law that any boat over 39 feet has to carry a copy onboard the vessel. You can download them from

Lost my virginity!

September 9, 2008   

So the Moore Nationals were great fun. We didn’t do as well as hoped due to boat set up – the new rig is a lot different to the old one and with work and travel I haven’t had time to sail the boat and work it all out. The crew was the best I could hope to get – olympic and america’s cup experience and then of course my little brother on the bow! Saturday and Sunday it blew and we were 135lbs light so that didn’t help upwind boatspeed. We had a beautiful new spinnaker with lovely large shoulders allowing us to storm downwind 🙂

End result is that I have a long job list:
– increase the mast rake by 1.5 inches
– increase the throw of the backstay
– become a better helm!
– recut the number one as the leech is way too long
– recut the main as there is way too much luff curve making it baggy and impossible to depower

Myles learnt to take abuse from our Frenchman on the boat as did I and we both learnt a ton. There is nothing like getting your ass kicked in a small boat!

Now to the reason for the title of this entry… I have a secret to tell. I hit someone when I was helming – a first – I was on port in 5th place at the top mark and had to duck a boat on the starboard layline. I ducked hard letting my main off and then as the crew yelled up up up I pushed the help away and came up too much and too fast. With the crew on the rail you can’t see where your bow is and I hit him on the transom port side. All I needed was an inch more! The good thing is I do the repairs for a living and just in case someone had a problem I had the repair parts in my truck and did the repair over night all it needs is a LPU coat. It was just filler that fell off and there was no damage to Flashman.

Vicky the class president put on a great event and it was fun to see the Moore family at another event. Can’t wait till next season when hopefully I will be around more and get better results.

By the way the saying that winning the start wins you the race is not always right! Flashman is the blue boat with the carbon jib 🙂