Thursday, September 23, 2010

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From: Barbara Benstead <bbenstead@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 07:02:16
To: Kristian Martincic<kristian462@gmail.com>

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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Fw:

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-----Original Message-----
From: Barbara Benstead <bbenstead@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 12:33:01
To: Kristian Martincic<kristian462@gmail.com>

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We found an HL!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Test mobile blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting some work done


The nationals crew met up the other night to get the boat ready before the trip. Luckily nothing too major, but we did:

a pretty thorough checkover of lines, rigging, fasteners etc
a good wash/wetsand of the bottom (we've got some blisters, eck)
a clean/wax of the mast
rock shields on the trailer
padded the mast supports (designed to go 4 miles, not 1500!)
new tie rods belowdeck
some new bungees (the foredeck has been asking for these for a whiiiile)

so really just a checkup with a couple replacement bits thrown in. I also popped a dehumidifier in the boat. In an afternoon it pulled 5 gallons! I had to think this is mostly atmosphere, as the cover isnt too tight, but it's still a surprising amount of wet. Probably should have weighed the boat before/after but figured it was more important to get the work done.

A couple more jobs if I can get the time, then it's just getting it packed up and ready to leave.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peanut goes on vacation

Ye old Peanut gets ready for it's first vacation; Mystic CT for 2010 Shields Nationals


This week will be all about boat prep and fixing things, then next week we leave for the east coast.

Getting ready for Nationals


It's always a sad time of year when the boat gets pulled, and this year would be doubly so as Chicago's finally reached a humane temperature just in time for us to put 88 on a trailer. Would be, but instead of going into the shed, we're getting ready for Nationals!

This week will be all about fixing little issues and boat prep, and then next week we start the drive to Mystic. I'll be trying to keep the blog up to date, so we'll see how that goes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

video

day 1, race 2 (?)

Goal was to win the boat and then cover people left. This is the start and part of a ww leg. Not the most interesting thing to watch so I cut it down a bit. Liked our speed at the start, and really like watching boats slide away to leeward. Its a 170degree lens so it makes boats that are dead abeam look fwd, but otherwise it's pretty sweet for getting a feel for the cross.

Here is a photo of said start: it's funny how lens distort angles on the water. Perhaps it's a good thing video/photo isnt usually involved in the protest room.


We've got more of these, but some are chopped up from the battery dying. I haven't seen day 2 yet, and we've apparently got a full race.
video

Monday, August 30, 2010

Verve Win


We won the Verve with a 1 1 1 2 2 1

Great sailing weather, and lots of fun. The mixed fleets made for tough going, especially in the light air. Race 1 of sunday saw about 30 boats stack up at the single leeward mark!

Got lots of good start practice in, and feel very good re staring at Nationals.

Lots of new media stuff: we tracked 5 of the races, and Bam brought his GoPro HD video cam and stuck it to the back of the boat. THe videos are long, but kinda cool. Once I figure out how to edit them down to show highlights I'll post here.
A Start

A Tack
post set

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Verve Day 1

Day 1 of the Verve Inshore was the rare and perfect combination of steady strong breeze and pleasant sailing. The 54 one designs out sailing today experienced 8-15kts of breeze out of the southwest, with just a small chop. It was sunny and bright all day.

The race committee announced the intention to start 4 races, and they did a superb job of keeping the wait times low and the racing fast.

It was a boat speed day, as keeping speed up and powering through the short chop meant a win. Over the course of the day the breeze slowly turned left, which put a premium on being able to get to the favored left side.

The day ended with the fleet arriving en masse into Belmont harbor, and it was quite a sight as the local and visiting boats converged on the docks, as the race was on to make it to the party!

-----

On Shields 88 we pulled 3 bullets in a row, which was due mostly to excellent crew work and spending a lot of time on tune. Race 4 we were OCS, but managed to claw back to a 2nd. The first 2 races we were at 800/200 upper/lower tension, but we added a turn on the lowers for 3 and 4. Our headstay was at 49.5, which we gradually shortened to about 48.75 Speed and height were great. We have a large upwind speed advantage, and a small edge downwind. I felt like we got really good starts (except that one...) and it was great practice for Nationals, as we won the boat in 3/4 starts.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Verve Pregame Wrapup

Around here you can tell the Verve Inshore is coming up when Chicago starts receiving some decent sailing conditions! Our one-design sailing season has consisted mostly of hot and light air, but once the tail end of August comes around the breeze usually picks up as the temps and humidity go down.

This year looks like no exception, as the last marine forecasts for both days are calling for a the pleasant upper 70's and 10-15kts out of the southwest. This is significantly nicer than the 3kts and 90degrees it seems like have showed up for all our other races. It would only be polite to have good breeze, as we have lots of guests from out of town in the J24 and Soling fleets. It's always fun sharing a course with unfamiliar boats, and every year we have some new or returning fleets.

The Rhodes 19 fleet is strong with 16boats who made the long and arduous journey from Montrose harbor. From more local waters we've got 11 Etchells, 6 Luders 16s and 6 Shields. Our aforementioned out of town friends are mostly in the J24s (6) and Solings (8).
---
Shields 88 will be enjoying its 3rd Verve cup, hopefully repeating previous years... This is a fun regatta for us, as my friend Bam Miller comes in from Oyster Bay NY for this. We'll also have regulars Jacob and Katie aboard. The boat will be going to Shields Nationals next month, so we're thrilled to be getting in as many starts and races as possible, although our cherry sails have been given a break for the rest of the Chicago season.

We will be tracking the races on GPS, hopefully along with 196, and will have some data to share later!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

beercan 8-25 video

video

Another 88 beercan, caught on video. No actual tune or sail trim info, mostly us drinking beer and scaring the birds at the pumping station.

It was about 18kts NE, nice big waves. 150 was out with Gabe K at the helm. The RC was asking if we wanted a mark set, but going to the crib sounded fast and fun, if a bit untactical (start on port, tack, return on stbd)

Nice night! As much as I love intense buoy racing, some of the best times on 88 are the easy sails.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hot week





Couple days of really difficult weather in Chicago. Glad the racing has been worth it, as it's been brutal to be outside with the high temps and humidity.

Wednesday was a rough day at work with the heat, and I was really looking forward to sailing. It seemed like the elusive Shields 150 was going to make an appearance, as they were at the dock cleaning and rigging. It's been a while since they've been out and the fleet is better off with them.
150 with the family big-boat in the background
On 88 we had me, Niki, Jacob, Katie, Mick (remember Mick? He helped 88 launch oh so many years ago) and Micks son Patrick. It was about 4-7kts out of the NNW.

Weierd downwind start saw us on starboard with a chute, behind 150 with no chute. We worked on them a bit downwind and rounded barely ahead, and exteneded on the next upwind. Apparently I was unpopular as a driver, as Patrick (age 13) relieved me at the helm, and continued to extend by quite a bit for a win. We had dinner plans so had to take off.


Today was 88's final series race of 2010 (sad!) but we did well.

First race was probably the most painful race ever, as it was sailed in around 3kts with air show traffic chop. I started badly, at the boat but about 15 seconds late. We got right of people, and looked to be ok until all of a sudden we caught up to the etchells fleet, who made life rather difficult, as we had to duck 3 etchells in a row, and went from looking good to being quite deep. It was an interesting downwind, where patience and control paid dividends. We caught up to the leaders, and rounded 150, 249, 130, 88, 39. Tried our best on the upwind, and were in 3rd. On the downwind we gybed early to attack 150, planted a couple on them and looked to be passing before splitting. They went left, we went right, which was pretty dead on the mark, feeling like it was going to pay with 150, but that we probably lost the right side boat, 249. We sailing into a surprise lane of pressure, while they got caught out in the light stuff left. We rode the pressue, trying to stay ahead of them, and distantly hoping to catch 249 who'd gone all the way right but seemed to have the same breeze as us. We gybed on their layline, a couple lengths ahead for the win. I can't recall a more intense (or slow) race in all our years of Peanuting. Probably the high point was the finish which was lots of hard work and some good luck. The low point was definitely sailing with the Etchells, as we got slam dunked hard by one for no reason, and while sailing upwind we had to go head to wind to avoid a couple of windward boats. Ouch guys! The Etchells fleet is notoriously rules/incident driving, but are apparently blind to colored boats... In all fairness the two KC boats we had to avoid were quite kind and embarrassed afterwards, but that could have turned out badly!


Second race we had Jacob drive, and it was mostly a match race with 130 from the start. They were just to windward of us from the beginning, and it was a battle with a couple lead changes. We thought we had them after they leebowed us with not quite enough lead, but the patience of the father-son team ground us out and we followed until the very end of the last leg. We were outside on starboard, they were inside; even with about 5 lengths of lateral seperation. We were working hard on keeping speed on, but eventually had to gybe for the finish, and had a loose plan to duck them and try and roll. Instead the gybed with us, and we were able to shoot ahead for the win. Again we had problems with a non-shields, in this case it was a TTen who sailed over and sat on us. Argh.


One of the many many boats not racing us that nevertheless liked being as close to us as possible.

Boat setup was in our light air range. The forecast for more breeze, and we originally had 5 ppl scheduled, so I'd set the boat up for lots of power. This worked ok, as we had less breeze, but only 4 crew, totalling around 610. We started with lowers around 200, but for the second race eased to slack. Headstay started around 49, but eased further again. The first race felt good, we were reasonably quick but tended towards a low and fast mode. Second race I didn't drive, but since the breeze came up to around 10, I felt like we were stuck in a high mode and couldn't accelerate quite as well. When I'd try and straighten the headstay with backstay, it would over flatten the main a bit.

We've got a lock on the season, which is good since we can't sail the last 2 series races due to Nationals. We currently have 12pts, where second (tie with 249 and 196) have 30. Really getting excited for Nationals, as we feel like we've got a new light air set of gears which was lacking last year. Wish we had more racing in Chicago, as this years felt abbreviated from weather. We had a nice little dinner at CYC after racing to close it all out. Already looking forward to 2011!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Racing 8-7

Another good day for the Peanut, with a 1-1

Best sailing weather so far, with about 6-15kts out of the WSW. Had Andy H on main, Jacob on jib, Katie on pit and Niki up front.

We had decent starts, and focused on different modes of speed. One thing we played around with today was building speed or height before working on boats next to us. At one point we a bit behind and to windward of a boat, and worked high for a bit, with soft backstay and tight sheets, before bearing off to first prevent their tack at us, then roll over the top with a good fast forward mode. We did the opposite at a start, where we were the sandwiched between 2 boats at a start. First we did some speed building in a fast/normal mode, and once we had a bit of speed to burn sagged the headstay and climbed through the boat to windward. I think modes like that are going to be really important at crowded start lines at Nats, and it's nice to be able to deal with nearby traffic.

First race we got off the line near the pin, and were able to pick up enough speed on the first beat to control and round first. We had great communication today on pressure and other boats, so I could focus on speed and strategy. The team did a great job finding breeze, and we were able to execute the plan of always being in breeze, with competition outside it. I found angles were less important than pressure today, and good chat made it possible to be in the good stuff.


Second start we had 130 (normally a footing boat) to leeward and 249 (normally a pointy boat) to windward. This gave us time to try modes. I pulled the trigger a bit late so we had to go quickly to do well in the first third of the beat, so first we put the bow down with 130, and were able to climb over the top of them. This was great until we looked to windward and realized that 249 had gone from even and 1 length to windard to 1 length back and 5 lengths to windward! With plenty of speed though, we could burn that into height, again with softer backstay, and climb up and through that line until we were free to tack.


This was the most breeze we've had in a while (depressing!) and there were lots of boathandling errors in the fleet. We tried to keep roundings and manouvers simple, which always makes it easy on the crew. Everyone did a really nice job, and I feel we're sailing at the highest level of speed and communication ever. Working on carrying this into Nationals, and really looking forward to it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The non-beercan 8-4

I was really excited for sailing yesterday, as the 130 guys were coming back out to play, but I may have been the only one... There was a bit of a conference call between Niki and Steve S where it was decided that despite the rain, lightning and lack of wind we were going to go to CYC anyway.

When we got there there was good and bad news: the good in that Gabe K was going to sail 150 for a whopping 3 boat total, the bad in that there was zero breeze. The RC called it off, so we went to the fantail to consider the prospect of sailing anyway. There was a great 2kt puff for a while, but that faded and we decided drinking beer was the best use of our time. Eventually Skip Schink motored by in his 36.7, and the group hopped aboard for a motor down to Navy Pier and back. This was quite fun, and crowded with Shields sailors from 88. 130, ex90, 39, 249 and 126. A good way to roll with the forecast.

Saturday racing again this week, which is quite sadly the second to last day of Chicago Shields series racing for us. The good news is that while we'll be missing a race day, it's because we'll be sailing 88 at Nationals in Mystic. Yeehaw! Looks like 3 Chicago boats are going, with 30 entries rumored.


The pregame wrapup. Note Challenge SS50 in background, the Teborek family boat that got 1st in section and 5th overall in the Chi-Mac.
The view did not suck
Jacob, Katie, Matt, Steve and Niki
Skip, Tim, Rob
our helmsman was not able to see over the crowd, and was steering by compass. He did a fine job , especially considering the multiple "you see that boat/jetski/city, right?" calls he was receiving

Sunday, July 18, 2010

7-17

David Sincox photo

Another super sketchy forecast for 1d racing, but we got in 2 races without much delay. Even got to go swimming! Predictions were all over the map: Sailflow said 4-6 W, NOAA said 10-15 E. Onboard was Jacob, Katie, Niki, and the last minute addition of Steve Schwartz, plus his little boombox and the most stuffed cooler of all time. Sailed out in about 8kts NE, then parked it up after an abandoned Etchells start. All of our latecomers were welcome: we had a great brunch of blueberrys, zucchini bread, Steve's still hilarious, and his Phish filled Ipod played what I believe was 1 long song for about 45 minutes....

Finalled filled in aroun 105 at 6ish, and we got a decent enough boat end start and led the rest of the race (iirc) We played around with our new light air modes. Tried 1/2" shim behind mast, around 200 on lowers but with a slightly tighter headstay to see if we could trade some point for more speed. Still pointed high, seemed faster than other boats. I think we were slightly better off last week with the headstay at our "3" setting, which translates to around 49.5" after a remeasure. This week we were at "2.5" on our turnbuckle, which is probably around 49.25". Second race we won the pin, but had a tack too late in the sequence so started slow, but were able to accelerate nicely with eased sheets and saggy headstay, trimmed on and pinched of 249, which is a tough boat to outpoint. Extended and won at an upwind finish.

Things that worked well: tune was good, I felt pretty good on the helm. In light air we've been really rolling the boat hard in gybes and tacks, which feels great and is hopefully fast. In light air gybes I've been coming out hotter, which we learned on our Etchells field trip this spring. We had a ton of info feedback from the crew yesterday, and got good at calling pressure and competition.

If we get more of this light air with flat water, I'd like to try even more shims behind the mast, as our main still looks a big deep. We talked about trying it in race 2 yesterday, but the chop had come up and Jacob liked the depth for accelerating. Worked well to get another bullet at an upwind finish. Croquet in park followed by Raiders of the Lost Ark in another park. Good day! Nice way to destress for the continued Mac race workweek.

Continued experimentation with shims aft+soft headstay seems like a good idea for working on light air speed, but I don't feel like we're deficient in what used to be a weakspot for us. Hopefully we don't forget how to work in big breeze and waves, which has been hard to get this year.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shields sailing 7-7. 7-10


2010 so far is the year of bizarre sailing weather in Chicago, it's been all storms, light air, massive air etc.

This last week we went out for the beercan race, which was quite honestly the strangest bit of sailing I've ever done. We had me, Niki, John H (from Etchells and Farr40) and Niki's newlywed friends Dan and Liz. Kind of an eclectic mix, as John spent a lot of time as a pro sailor, and is always focused on speed, and Dan and Liz have both done some sailing but no racing, but it worked out really well for us, and we had a blast.


The oddness was all in the weather. Once we got out of the harbor it was about 15kts ENE, then we started our sequence and it was 5kts NW, we got our best pin start ever (shame its on a beercan) with 130 way down the line. Upwind we were laying the mark on port, then on starboard (no turns) we rounded, and started looking around for weather. There were lightning storms to the south. And the north. And uh, also to the west. All with rain and thunder, but our little corridor off Belmont was clear. On the run we saw NE breeze die, and about 30seconds later fill in to a strong SW. Feeling a bit lucky to have made it that far dry, we chose to retire after the leeward mark, as it looked like rain coming. We made it to the dock just in time for some monster puffs to roll through the harbor and _almost_ made it in dry. The weather was really spectacular to see, and I'm glad we went out (and then came in pretty quick) The crew mix was a blast, as Dan was really into trimming jib, and John was coaching him the whole time. I don't think we've ever had a beercan thats required quite so many adjustments, but we managed to balance it out with copious visits to the cooler. What a fun strange night!

Series racing on Saturday looked unlikely again, as all the forecasts had 3-4kts out of the west. Given our record this year (3 out of 8 scheduled races) it's easy to be pessimistic about sailing right now. Nevertheless we had a good crew lined up; me, Niki, Katie, Jacob and Jen W. Once we got sailing the breeze seemed g reat, being about 10kts WNW. As we sailed out the RC the breeze dropped and dropped though, and once we made it to Carrier (who was about 4mi offshore) there was little breeze to speak of, and what there was shifted around like crazy.

Eventually though, the breeze settled in to around 130 deg at 5 kts, and everyone started chomping at the bit to go sailing. Big pin favor so we tried a port tack start, but got hung up with 130 who was trying the same. Ducked a bunch of boats and made it far right, which seemed like better pressure. Crossed back ahead, but then fell into a hole on the left side, and then made it worse by doing 2 tacks trying to escape. Sailing to stbd layline it looked like we were behind the lead pack of 67, 196, and 45. gained a bit on the way and were able to leebow 196, and looked solid on layline... until we werent. Followed them on a tack out right, and got back on layline, and again slid down. Took us a while to figure out there was a pretty dramatic S-N current running, which was proved by the markset boat drifting into the mark! A couple more tacks and we finally made it around, behind 67 (go guys!) and just head of 45 and 196. had good speed downwind, and made up lots of ground on 67. in the final third of the run, we got to try something neat: we were on the port layline, 67 was just ahead and on stbd, soaking to stay ahead of us. We put the pole on the headstay, and ducked their stern, then layed it down while they gybed, putting us inside and ahead on the layline. Always wanted to try that! After rounding with 67 tucked behind, we saw a cool DW luffing match between 196 and 45 coming into the mark, which turned out to be not so good. Sailing upwind, we couldn't figure out why 196 sailed past the mark. As it turned out their bowman had gotten hit in the head, and was out cold. Skip from 39 is a doctor, and sailed alongside. Last we heard Chris was getting released with clear tests. Great guy and we all hope he's back out there soon.

Race 2 we wanted the boat, and were there, but had started a bit late as 196 luffed to shut out 45 just ahead of us. Here we discovered a new mode for the boat. Sailing with a ton of rake, with a pretty tight rig made us point like crazy (duh, but this is the first time we've ever been pointy in light air) and we able to lift over 196 without too much trouble. Tacked on them and sailed out to the stbd layline with them tucked underneath. Called the current right, with a couple tacks to lay, and extended for the finish.

Settings started at 49" headstay, 800/200 shrouds, then when the breeze came up in race 2, we tightened up the lowers. Good day racing, as we figured out a lot about light air, which has been an 88 weak point. I took a camera with, so here are some photos:
edit: David Sincox photos below:






Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Race B1 and B2



It was another dubious forecast for last Saturdays racing, and lots of people were wondering if we'd continue the trend of cancelled sailing, but Saturday turned out to be a pretty nice day! We got in 2 races in about 4-8kts of breeze. 88 didn't do so great, but it was very good racing.

We had me, Jacob, Katie Niki and new guy Andy. The initial forecast was for more breeze, but once on the water it looked pretty light. We tried 1/2" of shims behind the mast, plus a headstay at around 49". All this was to get the 08 main flat enough, as it's got an ugly looking knuckle otherwise. I think we got it pretty flat, but may have overdone it, as our acceleration was bit pokey, although final speed was fine.

The first race was pretty much decided at the start, as I gave us one of the worst starts ever, as we were at the boat (good) but about 30 seconds late (bad) and dead astern of 150 (worse!) Two tacks to clear and we were back into it, until we got leebowed by 63 and had to go all the way right. Pressure was nice right, and we seemed to go pretty well, but rounded behind 150 and never got close enough to attack. Our strategy this year is based on some tough assumptions: 196 is gunning for the season, and will do whatever they can to get points on us, 150's not going to make all the races, so they're out to win every race, and pretty much everyone else likes tacking on us, so it's kind of a multi front battle.

Race 2 both 150 and 88 wanted the pin end, with 150 trying the old port tack approach, and we tried to reach at the pin. We did win the pin, but 150 made out lots better ducking people (and pretty incredibly getting ducked by stbd boats) and going right. We got pinned by 130, and when we ducked to get back right we got both tacked on and pinched off by 196 and 249. Ouch! Another clearing tack put us past port tack layline, in about 5th. We got by 130 and 249 on the way to the mark, and then rounded behind 196 and 150. Stayed that way with only small gains on the downwind and rounding, and pretty much got covered upwind. The final downwind saw us 3rd, watching 196 and 150 joust up ahead. 150 went left and lost a spot to us, and we tried to chase down 196, and almost got them by the finish (big almost). The big mistake of the day was when we were finishing, we were inside boat with 150 just outside and behind. I told Kevin we'd need room, but then he reached up over our transom, and coasted in front of us at the boat when our spin collapsed. Definitely a shut-the-door moment if there ever was one, or (less desirable) a protest, as we definitely didn't owe him room. Brainfade on my part gave that one away. D'oh!

No racing for 2 weeks, but will have at leasat one beercan race coming up. In the meantime enjoy some of Dave Sincox's (130) photos. He seems to take these every weekend, and at this point I look forward to the Monday morning email of photos. Keep up the good work Dave!

Race B1 and B2



It was another dubious forecast for last Saturdays racing, and lots of people were wondering if we'd continue the trend of cancelled sailing, but Saturday turned out to be a pretty nice day! We got in 2 races in about 4-8kts of breeze. 88 didn't do so great, but it was very good racing.

We had me, Jacob, Katie Niki and new guy Andy. The initial forecast was for more breeze, but once on the water it looked pretty light. We tried 1/2" of shims behind the mast, plus a headstay at around 49". All this was to get the 08 main flat enough, as it's got an ugly looking knuckle otherwise. I think we got it pretty flat, but may have overdone it, as our acceleration was bit pokey, although final speed was fine.

The first race was pretty much decided at the start, as I gave us one of the worst starts ever, as we were at the boat (good) but about 30 seconds late (bad) and dead astern of 150 (worse!) Two tacks to clear and we were back into it, until we got leebowed by 63 and had to go all the way right. Pressure was nice right, and we seemed to go pretty well, but rounded behind 150 and never got close enough to attack.

Race 2 both 150 and 88 wanted the pin end, with 150 trying the old port tack approach, and we tried to reach at the pin. We did win the pin, but 150 made out lots better ducking people (and pretty incredibly getting ducked by stbd boats) and going right. We got pinned by 130, and when we ducked to get back right we got both tacked on and pinched off by 196 and 249. Ouch! Another clearing tack put us past port tack layline, in about 5th. We got by 130 and 249 on the way to the mark, and then rounded behind 196 and 150. Stayed that way with only small gains on the downwind and rounding, and pretty much got covered upwind. The final downwind saw us 3rd, watching 196 and 150 joust up ahead. 150 went left and lost a spot to us, and we tried to chase down 196, and almost got them by the finish (big almost). The big mistake of the day was when we were finishing, we were inside boat with 150 just outside and behind. I told Kevin we'd need room, but then he reached up over our transom, and coasted in front of us at the boat when our spin collapsed. Definitely a shut-the-door moment if there ever was one, or (less desirable) a protest, as we definitely didn't owe him room. Brainfade on my part gave that one away. D'oh!

No racing for 2 weeks, but will have at leasat one beercan race coming up. In the meantime enjoy some of Dave Sincox's (130) photos. He seems to take these every weekend, and at this point I look forward to the Monday morning email of photos. Keep up the good work Dave!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finally!l

Dave Sincox photo
Shields fleet 3 actually had a race Saturday! Well, about 3/4 of one, but it was still pretty sweet.

Conditions started at around 10 kts, but built to the 20's, all out of the west with some good puffs. I recall us, 196, 130, 45, 67, 249 and 39

We wanted to start to windward of the pack, but as close to the pin as possible, and mostly pulled it off. Upwind speed was only ok, as we weighed around 550lbs (me, Niki, Katie and Jen W) and had the old sails on, but we were looking ok, leading the pack right and waiting for a rightie. It never really happened, and as the breeze built it went left. We looked like crossing 196, our nearest competitor who was on our windward hip, but after we tacked he leebowed us, and our tack was a bit off so we had to tack away. Next time we came back it was in front, but we overstood a bit and 196 made it to the mark before we did. We figured out later that we were tacking through about 75 degrees, which is higher than I'd expect, but I guess it was breezy and flat, and since we were light I was feathering early.

On the downwind we initially looked great, as we sailed lower and got a nice spot even and 6 lengths to leeward of 196, but then a very strange puff came down, and both 196 and 130 shot past in it, while we were light. It was a tough one, as the breeze was about 100' away, but never made it to us! Setting up for the rounding I wanted to round behind 130, as we can usually make bottom turns well, and this time worked out pretty good as me had a nice rounding and ended up to ww of Mike. Both he and 196 were in pinch mode, so we tacked out and went left. Overstood (again!) and started following 196 in on port lay. Once we made enough forward on them, I started to lay down so they couldn't tack and force us further out. As we approached the windward mark, we asked for room, and rounded first, only to find that the RC had finished us at the top mark! We were looking forward to the run, and were a bit bummed to only get that 1 race in, but still had a good time. We had no idea who crossed the line first, as we didn't even know there was a line, but 196 was sure they got it. The RC apparently, called us first, and last thing we heard 196 was asking for redress, so no idea how that turned out! It was great racing any way it shakes, and it sure felt like summer started for me that day!

Setup and lessons learned: we were at 48" on the headstay, which was good for the lulls but a bit much helm on the way in (crib reports 33kts, but I think we probably were in 25) uppers were at 850ish, lowers around 400. The mast was straight as a die, so that seemed like a good setting. Sailing with 3 girls, while fun, is not the fastest way around the course, and I wish we'd found a 5th for the day. We're working on getting a decent way to tack the jib in that much breeze with Katie, and are going to try cross sheeting next time, with the handle in the top of the winch, as the 2:1 is not enough for a 120lber! On the way back in, we tried supertwist in the main, with the trav way above center, and to my surprise it worked a lot better than I recalled from my days trimming. Guess Jen knows a thing or two about that sort of thing!

Great day to be sailing!

Finally!l


Shields fleet 3 actually had a race Saturday! Well, about 3/4 of one, but it was still pretty sweet.

Conditions started at around 10 kts, but built to the 20's, all out of the west with some good puffs.

We wanted to start to windward of the pack, but as close to the pin as possible, and mostly pulled it off. Upwind speed was only ok, as we weighed around 550lbs (me, Niki, Katie and Jen W) and had the old sails on, but we were looking ok, leading the pack right and waiting for a rightie. It never really happened, and as the breeze built it went left. We looked like crossing 196, our nearest competitor who was on our windward hip, but after we tacked he leebowed us, and our tack was a bit off so we had to tack away. Next time we came back it was in front, but we overstood a bit and 196 made it to the mark before we did. We figured out later that we were tacking through about 75 degrees, which is higher than I'd expect, but I guess it was breezy and flat, and since we were light I was feathering early.

On the downwind we initially looked great, as we sailed lower and got a nice spot even and 6 lengths to leeward of 196, but then a very strange puff came down, and both 196 and 130 shot past in it, while we were light. It was a tough one, as the breeze was about 100' away, but never made it to us! Setting up for the rounding I wanted to round behind 130, as we can usually make bottom turns well, and this time worked out pretty good as me had a nice rounding and ended up to ww of Mike. Both he and 196 were in pinch mode, so we tacked out and went left. Overstood (again!) and started following 196 in on port lay. Once we made enough forward on them, I started to lay down so they couldn't tack and force us further out. As we approached the windward mark, we asked for room, and rounded first, only to find that the RC had finished us at the top mark! We were looking forward to the run, and were a bit bummed to only get that 1 race in, but still had a good time. We had no idea who crossed the line first, as we didn't even know there was a line, but 196 was sure they got it. The RC apparently, called us first, and last thing we heard 196 was asking for redress, so no idea how that turned out! It was great racing any way it shakes, and it sure felt like summer started for me that day!

Setup and lessons learned: we were at 48" on the headstay, which was good for the lulls but a bit much helm on the way in (crib reports 33kts, but I think we probably were in 25) uppers were at 850ish, lowers around 400. The mast was straight as a die, so that seemed like a good setting. Sailing with 3 girls, while fun, is not the fastest way around the course, and I wish we'd found a 5th for the day. We're working on getting a decent way to tack the jib in that much breeze with Katie, and are going to try cross sheeting next time, with the handle in the top of the winch, as the 2:1 is not enough for a 120lber! On the way back in, we tried supertwist in the main, with the trav way above center, and to my surprise it worked a lot better than I recalled from my days trimming. Guess Jen knows a thing or two about that sort of thing!

Great day to be sailing!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Arghh!


Another cancelled day of racing today, so still no Shields series racing in Chicago. Very bummed about that, but at least we went out this wednesday. Here are some photos.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

This week in Shields 88ing

After what seems like forever, we finally got out to sail 88 in last wednesday's beercan race. There were no other Shields, it was pretty light, but it was great! I've really missed sailing that boat, and we did have another SnS to race against, trying to catch the Teboreks SS50 Challenge. They were definitley in jib/main cruise mode, but they had about 20' on us!

On the 29th we took a Shields 88 "field trip" and sailing our friend Aaron's Etchells for the memorial day regatta. It was really fun, although we didn't do great, we did get a good feel for the boat and improved, with a 5-5-2 scoreline.

Thoughts on the boats: the etchells feels similar to drive upwind, although the sails are a lot more developed so the boat has a super narrow groove upwind, where you're trying to seek out that angle where the inside tells are straight up, but not too high or the luff of the jib starts to go soft. Was kind of 70% on this, but got it pretty well in the last race. Downwind is a little more fun than the Shields in the light, as the boat accelerates better. Niki likes the Shields bow better. Both cool boats, if I lived somewhere where there was no Shields fleet an Etchells would probably fit our style of sailing.

The races were sailing in 4-10kts, light chop. We had this great plan to commit to the right side early, which meant in the first 2 reasons we kept finding reasons to go left! Got in some trouble figuring out the boathandling early, but still felt decent on speed, with one exception. Rick sailed 2 up, at probably around 290lbs crew weight, and was pretty much uncatchable downwind. We were a bit illegal on weight, being somewhere around around 730lbs, which did make us a bit pokey downwind. Still had fun in the last race leading a bit, and the 2nd felt good in that fleet our first time out.

Racing wednesday (I hope) followed by our first series race next sat (as last sat was cancelled due to fog/no wind)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Peanut's in the water!





It's been a tough spring for poor Peanut, as everyones been too busy to take care of the boat. Finally got her in the water yesterday, and can't wait to get out sailing!

If you have a Shields, you probably understand the sheer terror of driving one around, they just don't look like they should be on the road!
This is probably my least favorite part of boat ownership, and I'm lucky to have friends with trucks who will do it for me! Above is Skip Schink towing his gorgeous Defiance yesterday morning. After we launched Defiance I helped his crew rig and tune while he picked up Peanut.

They got stuck in traffic, which makes the whole thing a little more nervewracking as one pictures the boat lodged in the side of a CTA bus, falling off a bridge and other disastrous circumstances.
Once it got there it was pretty smooth to set the boat in the water and get the mast up. Had help from Katie, as well as the Defiance team, and it was pretty painless once the road-time was over.

When we pulled the boat last year, I weighed it on a load cell. This isn't for one design rule reasons, and was more just out of curiousity. In fact, we don't have a weight rule, the only info specs the hull weight at 4600 and the ballast at 3-something k. Adding to that, no one I've talked to is really sure what a Shields, rigged and with hardware, should actually weigh!

Last fall, the boat came in around 5015, which seemed like a lot until I started mentally adding up all the gear, like rig, sails, beercans etc. This spring, after (mostly) draining the deadwood, we were at 4920 in the same trim. I say mostly, because even though I drilled a drain hole last fall, there was still water trickling out this spring. It would be really nice to open up the deadwood and scoop out all that waterlogged poly foam. Perhaps a winter project? We also weighed Skip's boat, and was surprised to see 39 weigh in at 4940. We were both making guesses on the boats, and all figured 39 would be light, as it is a wicked fast light air boat, while 88 tends to go with a little more wind. Guess boat weights off the table for explaining that!

So happy to see the boat in its summer home, and planning to get out soon and test the little changes this winter. Niki and I sat on the boat a bit last night and picked out all the modifications. For a winter in which I planned to not do anything to do the boat, I was surprised to find that I had actually done 16 or so things. Ah well, they're all small!

The rest of the Peanut team has been really busy this spring! Really excited to see members of the crew going out and kicking ass in other venues.

Jacob bought his own boat this spring, a V15, and has really been on fire racing it. I went out the other week to get photos and videos while he won the Vlad regatta.
Jacob and crew Jamie getting one of their many firsts at the Vlad

He may be even more OCD about blogging his sailing than me, and has a great website at www.condorsailing.com Go the Vivondor!

If you've read this blog from the beginning you'll know that Niki started doing bow for 88 2 years ago, and I think she's gotten pretty good. Apparently others agree, as she's been doing bow for Jen Wilsons match racing team in practice this spring. The practice has payed off, as they sailed fantastically at this weekends Chicago Open Invitation match race!
Here's a great shot from Eric Schneider showing the team: Jen Wilson, Sally Barkow, Tod Reynolds, Krista Paxton and Niki up front. They sailed a bunch of great races to make it into the finals, where they faced Jens brother Don! Don prevailed in the end, but it was a great ride to follow via twitter and at the Chicago Match Race Center site. I've known the CMRC team from work, as Chicago Yacht Rigging does their line and hardware, but this summer we'll all be sailing there in addition to the Shields season. Can't wait to get better at starts and rules issues. Heres some more of Eric's pics from the weekend.It was apparently lumpy and kinda cold on the water
Heres the finals, with Don's team of Bill Hardesty (past 88 crew) Hans Pusch and Matt Cassidy. Great job guys!

More updates to come: we're tuning up wed night, and will hopefully get out sailing before Saturdays A series race. It's on!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Proof there is a Shields 88...


But why is it up on blocks???

Niki's out racing in the Chicago Open match race this weekend, which can be followed at CMRC's website. I'll be working all weekend, which is less fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes, there is a Shields 88...

Sorry! I've been busy at work, busy sailing, and just plain busy, and have let this page slide a bit.

First off, yes we will be sailing the Shields this year. The boats almost ready to go in, but the problem is finding time to launch. It looks like we'll miss the first race, but should be good after that. No huge changes to the boat this year, but will be trying some new tuning and crew setups.

What I (and much of the Peanut team) have been sailing on is the Tom28's at Chicago Match Race Center. I've probably been out 12 times, and all this before the regular sailing season starts! It's been a blast, and is sure to help with Shields sailing, as match racing builds on all the weakness we've got as a team. More later!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The ultimate in high performance low stretch shelving...


I felt out organizational performance was somewhat lacking last year, particularly our sail locker which turned into a giant pile of sailbags, hardware, foul weather gear, a vacuum, a giant pile of dust (the vacuum broke open) rum, Niki's wardrobe, beercans, empty beercans and random other junk. The only logical way to resolve this problem was with a really expensive piece of rope, hence our PBO hanging shelf!

The support on this shelf is 6.3mm PBO, which gives that part of our shelf a 17500lb break, which I think gives us a nice safety margin for beers. We _could_theoretically go with a "heavier" beer than Coors Light, but I'm not sure we should push it.

Seriously though, I had a PBO F40 jib halyard that was essentially useless, as the cover was torn in a couple spots exposing the core. If you haven't used PBO rope before, it's a very strong, very low stretch fiber, but breaks down when exposed to light or water (great thing to have on a boat right?) Well, after cutting up samples for rigging clinics and destructive testing, I was still left with a 20' piece of PBO that couldn't be used in any critical situation, so naturally it became a shelf.


Also updated 88's jib sheets. The sheets we had last year were nice, but a little bit too short for poling out the jib downwind, so I wanted to add about 10' . This was naturally a good time to try out some new 2010 ropes and I cut a piece of Alpha Ropes K-Mix for these sheets. Got to say, I love this rope! It's a very grippy cover over a very tight core. Takes a little bit of extra time to taper and splice, but the finished product is very nice to handle and runs well through blocks. The latter characteristic was pretty important, since the Harken 29mm blocks top out at 8mm line, so the tapers have to be perfect or your jib sheets will hang up in tacks. You can also see the final setup for the jib cleat, the clew blocks and shackle and the jib car.