Archive for June, 2012
June 29, 2012
The long weekends are here and so is the sunshine! Next weekend on July 7, 2012 is the Antique and Classic Boat Show in Gravenhurst. I’ll be there with Guarantee Company of North America. Come check out the incredible boats and stop by our booth to hear some crazy stories of crashing and bashing a 21 foot mini in the Bay of Biscay and the Irish Sea!
June 26, 2012
Here is a great article in Sail World about our Sea Survival Training last weekend
June 24, 2012
June 22, 2012
Today I’m off to sail in the corporate world and have a very interesting afternoon with a fantastic group of individuals sailing around Toronto Island. Tomorrow it’s the Safety At Sea Seminar hosted by RCYC. Keeping the credentials up for next year’s Transat Race!
June 18, 2012
After two months of real crashing and bashing sailing in some horrific conditions in Europe, I am proud to tell you that I am stronger and fitter because of all the hard work with Skinny Legs. When you’re racing a high octane sailboat, you’re pulling on lines, dragging sails and climbing masts in some of the toughest conditions going. Even when you’re sitting still for a minute or trying to catch a quick ten minute cat nap, your body is jammed into a crazy contorted lump and your core is the only thing holding you in place. Skinny Legs made me my arms, legs, and core stronger so that I could face these challenges head on. Thanks Skinny Legs!
June 16, 2012
Check out the video I just found on YouTube. It’s long, but there’s some great footage of the racing. This was our first race of the season. It was double handed for 150 miles and had wind ranges from no wind all the way up to about 25 knots of wind. If you’re patient enough, you can even see a little interview I did in French!
I think my bestess girlfriend Lezli summed it up perfectly…. France was a “superb, spellbinding, safe and successful” adventure! We did a fantastic amount of training and learned a heap, added key races to our qualifying miles and made some amazing friends along the way. All of this could not have been achieved without the incredible support of our sponsors and individuals like yourselves. UK Halsey made sure we had some amazing new sails onboard, and Cousin Trestec replaced all of the running rigging to hold those sails up. Aquafolia made sure the team was well taken care of and protected from the sun. Guarantee Company of North America ensured we had some fantastic gear to wear, and Wind Athletes Canada got our little boat to France. These fantastic endeavours only happen because of amazing sponsors and the support of individuals like yourselves. Whether it’s because you follow the fantastic stories, or because you make a contribution, it all comes together in a very successful campaign! Next up we need to do a little campaign “business management”. We’ll go back to England in February to complete the Artemis training and the last of the qualifying miles. For now I need to find a boat to race on Lake Ontario…..I’m boatless!
June 4, 2012Well it’s been a wonderful long two months here in France, but it’s time to go home. OGOC is out of the water and all squared away and ready to go to bed for the rest of the season. It’s been a fantastic and very very successful time here. We’ve accomplished 370 of our qualifying miles, along with one of those races being the obligatory single handed race. Next spring we’ll come back and do the Artemis training, the balance of races and maybe even some more training here in France! Stay tuned of course for some more racing when I get back to Canada!
June 3, 2012
What an awesome race!
Here’s a little update for everyone. It’s unfortunate that I can’t get the updates out during the race, but as Tim mentioned in the recent posts, the classe rules are very specific requiring no outside assistance, thus meaning that there are no points of communication from the boat except for in an emergency situation.
THE MAP (Trophee Marie Agnes-Peyron)
This race was going to be very different from all the other races so far. First of all it was single handed. Secondly, there was going to be a nice hi weather system rolling through, rather than a miserable low with storms and 30 knots on the nose like in all the other races. The greatest risk here was actually to have no wind and get caught in the current from the tides, while working through the tidal gates. A tidal gate is the optimal time to pass through an area of strong currents when the tide is ebbing or flooding. When the tide is slack, the gate is wide open. When the tide is at its fastest and against the direction you want to go……it’s least optimal.
The course took us through the bay and out of Douarnenez and into the Raz De Sein. My tactical choice for the bay was to sail out to the north shore and try to find as much wind as possible. The tide was ebbing, so it also meant crossing the deepest part of the bay and having the advantage of the stronger currents….maybe half a knot or so. The other option was to follow the shoreline, it meant less miles possibly, but also very very light fluky wind. Our choice to hit the north shore meant we were able to execute great upwind speed and great tactical positioning. OGOC and I were 5th heading into the Raz De Seine! The current running through the Raz is famous for being very strong, reaching upwards of 7 knots during a strong spring tide. Where the current runs into the standing water there are some incredible rips. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of major damage to boats in strong winds, but also in light winds getting caught in these rips. Once in the Raz De Seine we slogged our way through the current and then made the turn for Les Glenans. The spinnakers went up and the throttle got hammered. Here’s a picture of my friend Becky Scott with Artemis as she passed the key marks of the Raz.
So from the Raz De Sein we headed toward Les Glenans and then on to Ile De Groix. The sun was shinning, the wind was cooperative and there were some great opportunities to speed test against other boats. Going into the night there were sail changes, shifts and all sorts of testing opportunities. This race was the first real opportunity to be able to “train” against other minis. After coming around Ile De Groix, the wind was scheduled to die out. We were trucking along toward the Chaussee De Seine when the wind gods decided to take a nap. There is nothing more annoying than drifting and sails flogging. Eventually the wind filled back in and we were laying a perfect course to the Chausse De Seine. The last piece of the race was upwind in 10-13 knots of breeze. We were back in our element. The zero can be very quick upwind. After spending thirty years racing on Lake Ontario in 10-12 knots of wind, I’m happy to slog it out in the light air trying conditions while everyone else is absolutely frustrated because it’s not the usual twenty to twenty five knots. We picked up a few boats here and there and made up for our slow speed overnight, ultimately finishing us 35 out of fifty boats in the series division. What a great race to finish up on. Unfortunately it’s time to go home now. Time to pack up and put all the kit away for next year. We’ll be back for training and more racing to get the qualifying miles finished up!
Saturday June 2, 2012
Tim again. Diane has finished The MAP Race (link in French). She’s at the dock and is getting the boat secured and herself sorted. We’ll hear some details from on board in due course.
Grabbed a screen shot from Fleet Tracking of Diane’s position. At 11am local time, she was a mile and a half from the finish line. Click for a larger image:
Well done Diane!