Archive for February, 2013

Trip To France

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February 28, 2013 posted by admin

February 28, 2013
The details are  now up and running.  Click on the “Come To France” tab and find out all about it!

40 Miles of Chop and Zero Degrees

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February 27, 2013 posted by admin

February 27, 2013
40 miles of sailing 90 degrees true in 20-24 knots of wind!  The hardest part was getting off the dock and getting the boat balanced for the start, and then getting back to the dock!  There were only four boats in total.  I started with a reef in the main and really should have had a reef in the jib as well.  Part way down the first leg I reefed the jib and the boat balanced out a little more.  By the time we turned around the mark to head back I was about .8 of a mile behind the three other guys.  I have a feeling that they got a little gennaker work in on the way back.  My gennaker is blown out and deep and large.  It doesn’t go well at 90 degrees true when it’s blowing 20+.  So I carried my jib barber hauled out as I came back. Plus the temperature only dropped down to about zero degrees…..brrrrrr!  The last task after clearing the finish line was to tack my way up the channel to the harbour.  The tide was on it’s way out causing some great current around the rocks and the fort was blocking the wind on the other side.  After loads of short tacks I was back in with my friend Nikki waiting on the dock to catch my mooring lines as I sailed into my slip.  Unfortunately I forgot to put a memory card in my GoPro, so no pictures this time.  I’ll get it sorted out for this weekend.  We’re going to try to get the three boats out for an overnight run.

Training Weekend #2

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February 24, 2013 posted by admin

February 24, 2013

Another fantastic training weekend!  This weekend’s focus was on reaching, target boat speeds and optimal angles for gennakers and jibs vs code 5s.  I have a new list of “modifications” to be done to the boat to move up to a new level of optimization!  Plus, on Tuesday there is a small distance training race we can do.  I will try to get the GoPro running for Tuesday’s race!

Come With Us To France

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February 20, 2013 posted by admin

Wow have we got an exciting opportunity for you!  Marathon Sports Travel has organized a fantastic trip for you to come to the start line of the 10 2013 Mini Transat race!  10 fun filled exciting days in France, culminating with you on the start line in a spectator boat, while 90 minis tear off across the ocean to Guadeloupe!  Marathon has it all organized…from the flight out of Toronto to landing in Paris for a few days and then a trip to the coast to Douarnenez for the start.  Click here to learn more and book your tickets!


First Solo Sail in France

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February 20, 2013 posted by admin

February 20, 2013

Went for a gorgeous solo sail!  After doing the training with the coach this weekend, I learned I need to make a few modifications to the boat.  So yesterday’s efforts was to re-engineer the bowsprit and bobstay and today I went out to test drive the modifications.  The bobstay seems a little short, which is fine, as it’s easier to make it longer than shorter.  But, in the process of trying out the gennaker, the stopper line on the luff let go and the gennaker became no longer attached to the NexGen furler at the base!  ARGH!  Oh well, the mission was accomplished to test the equipment and I got a bonus learning opportunity of how to douse a gennaker to weather with all the sheets to leeward!  Fun Times!!!!

Training Days!

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February 17, 2013 posted by admin

February 17, 2013
Two days of fantastic and tough training.  It was the first official weekend training for the group of us.  There are six boats all together, which seems to be a perfect number.  Yesterday’s training was basic boat handling drills, including tacking upwind single and double handed, helming in a straight line (sounds rudimentary, but when you’re doing a drill tacking two boat lengths past the boat ahead of you, things get really busy!), getting the kite up and down and gybing etc.

Today had more focus on boat control.  We were in 15-20 knots of wind today, doing more tacking drills to get to weather, then hoisting the gennaker and sailing off the wind, furling, gybing and redeploying.  It was tough work in 20 knots, especially when our sheet got tangled around the prop of the engine and caused us a nightmare of trouble.  We cleared it, I stowed the engine down below and we were off again, but not until the rest of the group got away from us.  Fortunately they came back upwind for another tacking exercise and we were able to join right in.  I think the engine is going to find a new home at the dock when I’m not doing training sessions!

So, now I have a new list of things to modify on the boat for next weekend’s training.  Hopefully I will be all set and will get some time on the water to practice with the new modifications before the training!

I have been remiss in mentioning both Nikki and Katrina in the last few days of fun and festivities.  On our “inaugural sail”, Nikki came out for the ride on the boat with me, and during this weekend’s training, Katrina was my double handed partner on the boat.  Not only did both Nikki and Katrina have to suffer with learning the odd qwerks of how someone else runs their boat, but Katrina had to be “stacking bitch” for the training this weekend.  That means that every time we tacked, Katrina had to go below and move any “stuff” she could get her hands on…to the weather side of the boat.  Not a fun job on a good day!  Katrina, Nikki and I have officially formed the “English Speaking” contingency at AOS.  Even though I am often “translator bitch” for them, we have definitely made our presence known 🙂

First Sail

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February 15, 2013 posted by admin

February 15, 2013

First sail!  We got off the dock today and headed out to do a little upwind run and came back with the kite up.  It was a fantastic day.  The sun was shining and I had my Aquafolia suntan lotion on for the first time!  Plus, almost everything worked on the boat.  The only thing that failed was the pawls on the winch.  A little penetrant and all was better.  Tomorrow is training day!  We’re to meet on the pontoon for 10am all ready to roll!

F or E Sharp?

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February 13, 2013 posted by admin

February 13, 2013
One tuned rig!  Probably a bit tight, may be an F or an E sharp, but I can always tune down an octave if I need to.  Next up is to get the Genoa to the loft this morning to repair a tear and load the battens into the training main and go for a sail.  This weekend’s training has been confirmed with our guru Tonguy, but I’d like to get out for a sail before that to make sure everything goes up and down properly….hmmmmm wonder what the weather is looking like for the next couple of days!

Launch Day

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February 10, 2013 posted by admin

February 10, 2013
Check out the you tube video of us launching OGOC at the AOS yard in Lorient, France!

The rig is now up and we’ve been moved over to our official slip for the season.  One little problem.  The rudder cross arm that was broken by an unknown assailant just before hauling out last spring…is still broken.  So moving the boat from the pontoon to our slip required a little help from Nikki and Katrina.

Nikki was in charge of “manning” both rudders by hand so that we could steer into the slip while being towed by the RIB.  Katrina fended off as we flung ourselves through the marina, and I had to hold the bow line tight so that we kept in alignment with the RIB.  I think Gildas had quite a laugh from us!

Busy Days!

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February 7, 2013 posted by admin

February 6, 2013
We’ve had a very productive last few days!  First task was to rig the mast.  After finding all of the parts and pieces, spreaders and bolts, the mast was disassembled, then reassembled.  Each section and bolt was thoroughly cleaned and then a new thin layer of TefGel applied.  Here’s the mast ready to go up on Saturday.




The next issue was to load all of the “stuff” out of the boat and into the locker.  Sails, gear, tools…you name it and it got loaded in.  Soon we’ll have an up to date picture of the locker, the hanging loft for the sails and the shelves for all the bits and pieces.










The final task was to mend up the rudder cross arm.  The night before we got hauled out last spring, OGOC was rammed from behind and our rudder cross arm got smashed into three broken sections.

Here’s the beginnings of the repair job.






First step was to mend the damage from the underside.

The next task was to mend the outer end of the shattered section.

Tomorrow I will have the laminated up top side of the rudder arm.

The final task over the last few days was to bail myself out of getting locked out of my van.  The fantastic van has a very frustrating security lock.  In it’s previous life the van was a secure document vehicle requiring a security key at all access points.  With the brilliant help of my Aussie friend Katrina, a boat hook was used to gently reach through the pass through from the cab of the van to reach all the way through the van to the keys.  Thanks to Katrina I was able to sleep safe and sound for another night!  Tomorrow we’re off to training with Lorient Grand Large. The session is all about prepping for offshore racing on a mini!  Should be interesting!