Monday, August 2, 2010

Friday Nite Racing @ the St. Francis

Friday Night racing at the St Francis Yacht Club is a summer tradition for me over the past 10 years. The fleet size is sometimes up to 20. Sometimes down to 5 or 6. But all the time you can bet its going to be a race against yourself- seeing how fast you can make your transitions, calling the lay-lines and nailing the start.

Sometimes you get it.
Other times its like shooting in the dark.

This past Friday was the latter.
But somehow most of the fleet made even more mistakes than me and I was consistent enough for 2nd behind Besse who took another string of bullets.

Video by US 13 Tom Purcell on the race deck
The conditions weren't ideal with a gusty 10-22k shifty breeze and a building ebb tide kicking up some big chop along the outside of the course but everyone was stuck doing the same course D for 3 out of the 5 races-Thanks RC!
Course D takes sailors upwind around Anita Rock, inside to gybe at B, outside to A and then rounding X to starboard and back upwind to the finish. Plenty of opportunities to gain or lose.

With slow starts, slow transitions and sloppy rounding, I wasn't doing myself any favors yet the NP 9.5. ML10 and 70 kashy still wanted to go fast. I had good upwind and downwind speed to get me back in the game. I tried out the north formula boom for the first time.
Its amazing how much difference it makes the whole rig feel. The body and outline are much narrower than the HPL or NP booms so I had to extend the boom out another 2cm beyond the recommended settings to avoid the sail draping over the boom. The body was much softer and think it should probably work better for the north sails with a shallower draft.
Nonetheless some very cool features with an adjustable tensioned head and quick rigging feature on the back end. The clips are also very ingenious. Rather than the tail end sliding in the front end. The wide tubes slide over the body of the booms and the clips are moved independently.