Archive for August, 2009


Packing up

August 30, 2009   

Nothing exciting to report this weekend. Last week I was running around like my head cut off trying to finish up peoples boats before I leave CA for 8 months. This weekend I started packing my house and organising the garage to take all my furniture from the house I have rented out while I am gone. I did have some fun at a friends pool party which I took my newphew to and also at a neighborhood BBQ. This week is more of the same finish up all those jobs, last wednesday night of match racing and last friday night race then a weekend of moving. It was odd to pack up all my sailing gear and put it in deep storage usually I am packing it in my bags to take with me. Have a great week.

Wednesday Night Match Racing

August 26, 2009   


This summer when I was at home I had a really great time going match racing at the Lanes house in Paradise Cay. We had many top match racers coming in as guests including Dave Perry the rules genius. Thank you so much to the Lanes for creating such an amazing forum for practicing match racing in such a fun environment. The J22’s are great boats and many thanks to the Maritime Academy at Vallejo for providing 4 of their boats for our use as well as the Lanes boats. Check out the Lanes team brickhouse.

505’s, camping and finally my divemaster

August 23, 2009   

I had a busy week last week with the 505 North Americans happening at StFYC. I did a few overnight repairs – relaminate a rudder, fix cracked bulkheads, build a new mast! etc. The fun continues next week as it is the Worlds at the same venue.
On thursday night I took my nephew Henry camping to Angel Island which was a lot of fun. We went over on the ferry next time we will take the boat.
We walked around the immigration station after putting up the tent on East Bay site 3 which happened to have a great view of all the 505’s racing in the Olympic Circle.
He needed me to carry him on my shoulders 1.5 miles up the hill in the afternoon as I picked the time to go to the island that he would normally be napping – bad idea! It was quite a load with two sleeping bags, two sleeping mats, a tent, campstove, food, Henry’s cloths etc and Henry on my back. It was all worth it though when his eyes were the size of saucers when I offered him a Smore! I don’t think it quite believed his luck – marshmallows, chocolate and graham cracker all at once it was at least a weeks worth of desserts all in one! He was fully sugared up and bounced off the tent walls for two hours before finally falling asleep.

Today was my last sent of exams for divemasters and I am now officially done with the course and am a PADI Divemaster. It took quite a lot of work. My instructor Bruce from Aquarius Dive Shop in Monterey is really a very good teacher and I am now all ready for my next lot of training next month in Scotland.

Half Moon Bay Race

August 16, 2009   

I had a great time on the Quest 33 going down to Half Moon Bay this weekend. We rounded the mark ahead of some much larger boats and it took them the whole way down the coast to catch us up. We went rhumb line and lost 1st place at the very end when the wind died even more to 3.6knots and went dead behind. All the depth we had gained by sailing deeper than everyone else we lost as they pulled their poles back and headed downwind while we had to heat it up to keep us moving due to the swell pushing us around. All in all a beautiful sunny day on the water ending in a 3 place with first and second correcting out exactly the same only about a minute ahead of us.


Sailing Elliott 6m

August 14, 2009   

I got back from Sheboygan yesterday where I took part in the US Olympic Match Racing Team training session on the new Elliott 6m. This was the first time these boats have been launched in the US the first 8 out of the factory are in Europe. The boats are a massive change from the J22, J24, Catalina 37, Sonars etc that are currently being used in match racing events throughout the country. They are keelboats that act like dinghies and have to be sailed like dinghies in order to be sucessful. The narrow foils mean that it is going to get interesting for the teams when they get into down speed maneouvres and will put a large emphasis on boat handling. The boats slide sideways until the flow attaches to the foils to create the lift. There is no backstay and the main is very large the spinnakers are relatively big and the jibs are small. The weight limit is 450lbs and the team has to be at weight and everyone needs to be able to hike hard.

It was interesting to get back into match racing after a 6 year hiatus and see how the discipline has changed maybe as a results of it becoming an olympic class. The average age of the women sailing is a lot lower and they almost all come from collage sailing backgrounds. So I was straight away at a disadvantage having stopped sailing dinghies when I was 12 years old!! They can roll tack like no tomorrow and seem to have thighs of steel when hiking out! The boats are very powered up requiring full on hiking using the hiking straps in 8 knots of wind. After a few days of sailing them I put together a few notes on things I would change on the layout side of things and hardware choices which I am sure will not be looked at but I always enjoy trying to dream up easier layouts etc.

I was sailing with Genny Tulloch who was very patient with me and really enjoyed learning from Dave Perry and Vince Brun. The guys worked very hard at the sailing center to get the boats out of customs and their containers and into the water so they could be sailed. Believe me I know how much work was involved in just putting the boats together. So all in all a great learning experience and now it is time to concentrate on my next adventure which kicks off it 3 1/2 weeks.

End of the regatta start of training

August 9, 2009   

Yesterday we raced the sonars and ended up only finishing two round robins for the event with no time for finals or petite finals. We were given the opportunity to come first when one of the other teams beat the Brazilians who led us by one point. All we had to do was beat the Brazilians..

We gave them a penalty in the pre start and held them off till the last 1/2 of the last upwind when they got past us and were able to clear their penalty. We had some exciting matchs with some close finishes the leads changed due to large shifts on the courses. The fog line was about a quarter mile away so generally when the wind was shifting left you would feel cold air from the lake and when it shifted right it was warm air.
So we ended up in second place for the regatta. Now onto training with the US Olympic Team on the new Elliott 6m’s which are being launched for the first time in the US. There is an amazing line up of coaches – Vince Brun and Dave Perry with all their experience and great coaching abilities.

See Team Brickhouse website for Kristen Lane (the skipper I sailed with) write up on the event.

Day 2 – fog, rain, wind up and down

August 8, 2009   


I guess the pictures says it all. We have been here since 8am it is now 10:45 and the fog has thinned and thickened. A 35 knot squall came through and blew the tent down and now it is back to 10 knots. Everyone is watching youtube, working or playing on facebook…. the waiting continues.

Next assessment at midday. We are now watching Morning Light… Genny is cringing in her seat!

We never got out on the water so we ended up playing volleyball at the collage we are staying at. Tons of fun followed by a great dinner at the Kohler Art Center.

Rainy and no wind….

August 7, 2009   

spoonsWaiting for wind

We are all waiting for wind here in Sheboygan – we had wind and blue skies for the clinic days but now clouds and a wind lind that is not filling into the race area. People are catching up on work on their computers and playing cards. There is a live webcam of the race course when we do start at for the first round robin we are hull 4 and the second we will be hull 5.

We were sent out for an hour and half with no wind and large swell ended up anchoring and getting suffocated by the fumes from the two strokes. Then some sea fog came in and we were towed in for lunch and more playing of spoons.

Finally we went out and sailed further south down the coast and there was some wind. At the start of the first flight the rain came in and it stayed all afternoon. Right now it is 5:45pm and pouring with rain. We got all out races done and had a bye the last flight so we came on home. The rest of the boats are out there two races behind us – after our flight racing was abandoned but everyone was to stay on the water. There were large wind shifts happening out there. So at the end of the 1st round robin we won 5 and lost 1 race.
The fleet finishing off racing in the rain and low lying sea fog.

Kohler Country

August 6, 2009   

I am in Wisconsin at the moment doing a match racing clinic and some racing with Kristen Lane and her crew. Next week I will be training with Genny Tulloch who is part of the US Olympic Squad. I am looking forward to next week with some great coaches (Dave Perry and Vince Brun) and sailing the new Elliot 6m’s which look like big dinghies. They are currently being put together – the keels are not yet on the boats and the masts are in racks being rigged.

Terry Kohler whose boat I sailed many years ago in the Mac races funds basically the whole deal and there are a lot of places named after him – credit unions, villages. He is the Kohler who makes the faucets on most of your sinks and the toilets in your bathrooms. He has set up an amazing facility in the middle of Sheboygan.

We are staying at a collage in the middle of the countryside about 30 minutes from the sailing center. The halls of residence are much fancier than anything I experienced at university and I don’t think they have ever been used as they smell of new paint and carpets. The kitchens and cupboards are spotless the only problem is the lack of kitchen implements to we have to eat out. The Northern Lights event is well funded and provides us with a great breakfast and lunch everyday.

We arrived yesterday and today had a morning of chalk talks and then rigged the boats and did boat handling practice for two hours. I got a little too close to Genny’s elbows in a spinnaker drop and ended up bleeding from a split lip and my nose for a good 20 minutes. I couldn’t stop laughing at the situation which just made it bleed even more! Liz Baylis ended up going back in and getting me an ice pack for my face and nose once it stopped we started up again. It is fun to be back in a small boat where the result of your crew weight positioning is so obvious and the short courses put a premium on boat handling.

After lunch and watching some video of the morning session it was back out on the water for some windward and leeward mark approaches following by another classroom session. A long day 9am to 6pm! Time for bed and some rest before another long day tomorrow.

The Gorge

August 3, 2009   

picture-010It was an epic weekend of sailing at Hood River. It is 3:30am and after a 11 hours drive home. Top speed of 15.4 SOG against the river current it really was a blast.