Archive for June, 2007

Coastal Cup Video

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Apologies to Lenny Kravitz.

And to Brian, who looks like he got a lot of sleep while the rest of us had brown trouser time at the tiller, which was just the way the video worked out (and not even close to reality).

Update: A better version on Vimeo.

“You’re a little too deep, Garth. You were waaay by the lee there for a while…”

Love it.

Wild and Wooly (The Coastal Cup)

Monday, June 25th, 2007

What a race this weekend. Here’s a picture of us starting from latitude (in the background, upwind of the Moore 24).

On the other end of the spectrum, two of the smaller boats in this year’s fleet, Cookie Jar andShanti.
Photo Latitude / JR
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing

We actually ended up in the background of both of the online Latitude 38 race photos. Next year, we’ll try for a foreground shot. Here’s their initial race write-up.

The 2007 Coastal cup started during a small craft advisory off SF bay, and progressed into a gale warning–which is 35 to 47 knots of winds, as the pre-race committee weather reporter was quick to note. The heaviest weather, as is usual on the California coast, was off Point Conception (the “Cape Horn of the Pacific” according to Reed’s Nautical Almanac).

We finished in 50 hours, 23 minutes. Along the way, we had a couple days and nights of epic sailing, ranging from surfing like mad along under spinnaker and moonlight, fighting round-ups in 40+ knot gusts off P.C., and bobbing around in a dead calm in the Santa Barbara channel.

The crew was me, Garth, and Colin (3/4 of our TP crew), Eben from the O911 Elusive, and Brian from the Schumacher 40 Auspice. Everybody got plenty of white-knuckle tiller time. Even rockstar Brian quit smiling at one point when he was working us downwind through the breaking rollers. Our SOP was to have one person driving, one person trimming the chute, and one person facing backwards and calling the waves as they came in. Sleeping was not really on the agenda.

Several boats retired, there were a couple broken booms and a downed rig on a Cal 40. There were a lot of glazed-over eyes at the yacht club afterwards, for sure.

We made some navigation errors that really took us out of the running for any actual race performance (we sailed way too far from the coast instead of going “point-to-point”), and ended up 4th from last (of the boats that finished). But the boat handled it better than great, we all made it in one piece, and we all learned a lot.

Drake’s Bay Race

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

BOB posts: As Shanti’s official Transpac navigator, I was ready for the first big test, the two day race to Drake’s Bay and back. Unfortunately as the nav, I got us to the starting line 15 minutes after the last boat had started! Oh well. We knew we had the crew to get some of that time back and sure enough, a combination of animal cunning and blazing boat speed got us back up in the pack. We finished the first day in 2nd place corrected. But the Drake’s Bay race wasn’t really about whether we won or lost, it was a chance for Jon, Heather, Shana and I to have a great weekend “shaking” the boat out after the week of re-rigging Jon did in the boat-yaaaard (that was for Kevin).

A gorgeous day was spent passing boats on the way up the coast to a finish around 5:30 PM. On the way porpoises came over and swam under and around Shanti for at least half an hour. I’ve never seen them this close to the coast, so definately exciting and fun to watch.

We anchored behind a bluff just inside the point (as in Pt. Reyes). Windy as it could be, but we snugged in down below for some generous rations of beer, rum, wine and then a pretty “salty” bean and ham stew that hit the spot. At that point, it didn’t matter whether it was hot, cold or in between. We were very, very happy!

A very windy night, but getting up during the night to “check the anchor”, revealed a beautiful, foggy scene where the boats anchored around us had mast-heads light barely glowing though the fog like fireflies with phosphoresence glowing around the boat as the waves lapped against the hull.

Morning brought a pretty sigificant breeze and after a downwind start we set the chute and smoked down the coast. The anenometer hit the high 30’s a few times on the way and we had quite a ride until we wiped out down by the lightship (OK, Bob was driving, but I swear I don’t know what happened?), got a big twist in the spinny and took both parts of it down and switched to the jib. Still surfing all the way in, I’m pretty sure we hit 15 knots a few times, but the speedometer isn’t calibrated so we’ll never know.

All in all, a great weekend. Shanti is truely an awesome boat, we’re looking forward to this race more than ever and we’re getting really excited since it’s THREE WEEKS AND COUNTING to our start. I’m going to make sure we’re a bit earlier to the line than we were Saturday.

Out the Gate for Drake’s Bay

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Shanti and crew go to windward

Yard day 10, and out

Friday, June 8th, 2007

No posts for a while, since I’ve been spending full days at the yard, and trying to get my “day job” done too. A quick post, now that the boat is in the water, with the mast in. Amazing what one day can bring.

I got so much done. The KKMI guys were great, letting me do most of the work myself, but being there (and being experts) when I started to get in the weeds. My dad came down for a week and installed two bilge pumps, an emergency rudder system, and a backup freshwater system. We also got the bottom painted, shaft bearing replaced, the keel/hull joint faired, the SSB installed, and all new standing rigging and lifelines. And he dealt with me in full pre-race frenzy with his usual calm.

When a sailboat is on the hard, it’s just a cramped mobile home. When it’s in the water without a mast, it’s just a slow motorboat. When the rig goes in and the shrouds tuned and the lines run, it absolutely transforms into a something that dreams are made of. I literally teared up with joy when I saw Shanti back in the water, crammed in between a brand new 40′ Beneteau, a brand-new 45′ catamaran, and a 60′ powerboat. She looked ready to levitate up, hoist the chute on her own, and start reeling off the ocean miles. I wouldn’t have traded her for any other boat in the yard.

Still wouldn’t.