QCYC Gets Wind!

September 10, 2012 posted by admin

September 10, 2012
QCYC LORC racing on Saturday saw some GREAT wind!  Unfortunately into every windy day often comes a little carnage making it an excellent gear testing day.  Truly a moment where I appreciated the strength in the stanchions on our rail and the lifelines holding us in! My job today…..trim jib and spinnaker on the X-35 Xoomer Xpress, and as a good friend of mine often says…..”stay on the boat”.  The day started out with 2-3 knots of wind and built up to a solid 25-30 knots of wind by the end of the day.  Our game plan was sail fast with clean air and nail the shifts.  Sounds simple enough!  The first lap around we were in controle of our craft in a building breeze.  By the second downwind leg we were up to 20-22 knots of wind and fully powered up.  One minute we were fine, the next we were slammed onto our side, kite flogging in the air, crew holding lifelines over their heads and the boom bouncing through the water!!!  ARGH!  Not fast!  We got the kite down, got back on our feet and kept going to the finish line.  The next down wind leg saw a steady 20 knots all around.  With each puff we strapped the kite in a little tight, drove down hard and kept the boat on her feet.  At one point we saw one of the racers on our course going down wind in fine form, really moving fast.  Then BOOM!  Their spinnaker peeled out of it’s restraints and became one with the water!  The outer seams of the spinnaker all stayed in place but the fabric all blew out!  That’s going to be an expensive repair!  It was time for us to gybe…..The wind was pushing 25knots, so we played it safe and put the jib up and took the kite down and gybed.  The last race saw two incredible pieces of carnage.  One of our competitors was going downwind with their spinnaker up.  After a little mayhem, they ended up with the spinnaker halyard run out all the way to the stop and both sheets run right out of the boat.  They were towing their kite behind them through the water by the top of their mast!  When they got to the leeward mark, they turned and their spinnaker draped across another boat and began to flog one of the crew in the head!  What’s the penalty turn for that?  Meanwhile, on the other race course, a Dragon saw it’s last race.  Dragons are a very “old school” styled sailboat.  They are very deep in their draft for their length and are very heavy in the water for the length.  They also have very little “self bailing” abilities.  With all the mayhem of the day and the rain and the wave action, this Dragon ended up with more water in the bilge than she could handle, and sank.  At that point in the racing they were in first place.  Even after sinking, they still managed to make a podium position!  After all that wind, I’m sure our friends at UK Halsey will be busy at the loft mending up sails for the next race.  Great racing in some tough wind everyone!

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