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  • 1 Post By jsaronson
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Old 06-12-2013
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Annapolis Newport race

Amazing stories from a tough race!

At 1530 on Tuesday, 11 June, the last boat sailing to Newport in the 34th running of the biennial Annapolis to Newport Race was 39.4NM from the finish doing 5.9kts. The Hunter 340 Brigadoon will surely welcome the sound of the horn as they cross the line after one of the wettest and most trying Atlantic offshore races in recent memory.


Actaea had one of the most challenging races they can remember. Out of their compliment of sails onboard the Bermuda 40, with the exception of the storm canvas and the code 5, they used 13 sails during the trip ONLY blowing out the #2 early on during their trip down the Bay. This is the 7th Annapolis-Newport Race for Actaea and the most demanding owners Michael and Connie Cone could remember both physically and intellectually. It was rough, wet and wind was unpredictable but the crew was pumped up for the race and kept their sense of humor. George Fallon was the watch captain on the helm at the finish for the 3rd consecutive time.


On its first offshore race and only the 2nd race since its commissioning 3 weeks ago, the J/122 Orion owned by Paul Milo finished at 0056.25 this morning after experiencing an extended knockdown situation just south of the Patuxent River. After the first 6 hours of great sailing in heavy air, during a takedown at 2200H the chute wrapped around the head stay and the boat was knocked down and stayed on its side with the keel out of the water for close to an hour. The crew spent a good 30 minutes working out a plan as to how to proceed safely when the plan of action was formulated and crew member Mary Cox, a class of 2013 graduate of the US Naval Academy, went up the rig and cut away enough of the spinnaker to allow the boat to right itself. With Mary now at the top of the rig with the boat vertical, additional sail was cut away and with a brief trip down to the deck for a break Mary went up one more time to release the balance of the chute still wound in to the head stay and then it was back to business as usual. The crew was safe and knuckled down to try and make up what turned out to be a drastic loss of time having been the class leader prior to the knockdown and post the incident finding themselves about 12 miles behind. They made up time and were back with their class by the time they reached the Light tunnel. Orion’s team did a great job making sure Mary was as safe as possible during the maneuver and she enjoyed the experience of driving most of the balance of the race from Block Island to Newport and over the finish line.
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Old 06-12-2013
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

Wow! That really is a very different story than I expected to read. I had heard that there was a lot of wind as the boats ran down the Bay, but once the low had passed, the wind had died away entirely.

Talking to folks who had followed the race online, tracks for some of the boats were circular reflecting the lack of progress and the changing of the tides. Quite a few boats dropped out, not because of too much wind, but because they could not make Newport in a reasonable time period.

That part about an hour long knock down is wild. I must say that sounds like one composed and skillful crew in the way that they handled that mess. I cannot even imagine what that must be like to be sliding down the Bay on your topsides, in the remnants of a tropical storm, trying to safely cut away a spinnaker and avoid downflooding while hauling a crewmate up the mast from a vertical deck.

Thanks for putting that up,
Jeff
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Old 06-12-2013
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

Blow the sheets man... BOLW THE SHEETS!!!
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Old 06-12-2013
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaronson View Post
... After the first 6 hours of great sailing in heavy air, during a takedown at 2200H the chute wrapped around the head stay and the boat was knocked down and stayed on its side with the keel out of the water for close to an hour...
There have been some recent arguments in favor of a staysail or small jib up with your spinnaker, not because it increases your speed, but because it may prevent a wrap, or make a wrap easier and faster to unwind.
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

When single-handing, I typically roll the jib out half way on the jibes in part to make sure to avoid crossing up the jib sheets and pole when jibing, and more significantly to minimize the chance of a bad wrap. When short or single-handing, I always roll the job all the way out when doing a hoist and usually on the drop to avoid a wrap.

Of course racing crews can usually avoid wraps,especially in big winds.
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

Be interesting to here why they could not just not blow the halyard and sheets and hack away at the remains after the baot went back up ?
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

It seems like the head of the sail might have been full and very top and the bottom of the sail were wrapped around the forestay and would not come loose.
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

I am just not sure how cutting did more than blowing unless the halyard was also fouled so badly it cut not run ?
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Re: Annapolis Newport race

We took a bad puff on a spinnaker hoist one time, the boat heeled to 90 degrees in an instant and the partially hoisted sail filled with water, holding the boat on its side with the top of the mast in the water and the keel point up at a 10 degree angle....

Amazingly the boat stayed there (luckily floating higher than the companionway) Two people in the water, but not separated, I'm sitting on the topsides wondering why she's not righting herself. Recovered our wives, then finally it figured out, tripped the halyard and the boat launched itself upright.. with the guy who'd been sitting on the topsides (me!) doing a 'kilroy was here' impression while dangling in the water on the other side. Crew was busy recovering the spinnaker, which had wrapped itself through and inside the capshroud, the 'water bag' it formed tore the spreader off its root and no one noticed yet another person in the water until I called it to their attention... not our most stellar day on the race course, that's for sure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I am just not sure how cutting did more than blowing unless the halyard was also fouled so badly it cut not run ?
Likely the wrap was so bad (and around the forestay) that blowing the halyard did nothing to change the position of the sail...
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Last edited by Faster; 06-12-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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