Slow Racing or Fast Cruising? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

Racing, even in "non-competitive" beer can races does make you think about your rigging and rigging hardware: how to make it easier & better.
We may race a 50 year old designed hull against newer fin keeled designed boats but that has not stopped us from upgrading the useless old traveler, getting a new loose footed main sail (w/extra roach) and lubing the 45 year old main winches regularly.
Next up: new adjustable jib fairlead tracks, new jib, completely strip hull, , , , .
It will still be a PHRF loser but we like to sail it to it's max.

Seems as though the few times we do finish in 1st are when the crew is the happiest. Not sure if the former causes the latter. Oh well.
Have fun!

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post #22 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Racing, even in "non-competitive" beer can races does make you think about your rigging and rigging hardware: how to make it easier & better.
We may race a 50 year old designed hull against newer fin keeled designed boats but that has not stopped us from upgrading the useless old traveler, getting a new loose footed main sail (w/extra roach) and lubing the 45 year old main winches regularly.
Next up: new adjustable jib fairlead tracks, new jib, completely strip hull, , , , .
It will still be a PHRF loser but we like to sail it to it's max.

Seems as though the few times we do finish in 1st are when the crew is the happiest. Not sure if the former causes the latter. Oh well.
Have fun!
Funny that... "Here there be monsters!"

Careful, Caleb. Next thing you know, the crew will be demanding a new boat. Must... try.. to... resist...

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post #23 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

The only way to pass another boat is seated, with a sandwich in one hand and bottle of water in the other, steering with your foot on the wheel. It is very important that the slower boat see you in this pose, so position yourself as necessary. If not lunch time, its acceptable to have your arms spread obviously across a pushpit or coaming. It's especially fulfilling when the opposing crew starts scrambling around, touching every line in their boat to no avail. Extra credit if they have numbers on their sail.
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post #24 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
The only way to pass another boat is seated, with a sandwich in one hand and bottle of water in the other, steering with your foot on the wheel. It is very important that the slower boat see you in this pose, so position yourself as necessary. If not lunch time, its acceptable to have your arms spread obviously across a pushpit or coaming. It's especially fulfilling when the opposing crew starts scrambling around, touching every line in their boat to no avail. Extra credit if they have numbers on their sail.
This can be good, "IF" you are the same size to smaller. If you passed me at some 20' longer, I could give a flying rats ass that you are passing me, as you have a faster boat due to WL or equal. So at that stage, you are showing off for nothing. I could be sitting there doing as you are as you pass me eating etc, Would not matter. Now if Cam was passing me, with similar sized boats.......now that might be a bit more giving a rats ass as to what is going on.

Marty
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post #25 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

I always try to make the boat go as fast as possible, whether I'm cruising or racing. If I'm cruising with a group of friends I'm always the guy tweaking the vang, cunningham, jib leads etc to get a little bit better shape. I don't ask them do thing that they don't want to, because we're just cruising. I'm not like "HIKE BITCHES!" but I ask them to sit on the high side if it's comfortable.

On the other hand, plodding along with your sails luffing 90% of the time is completely slobbish, no matter how much of a cruiser you are.
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post #26 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

First of all, let my congratulate and thank everyone for keeping this civil. When I saw the first post on this I thought to myself, "This could get ugly!".

To me the reality of these kinds issues have no single answer and instead simply boil down to a personal preference. Whether you elect to 'sail fast', or race, or whether you don't care about speed at all, or fall somewhere in between, is entirely a personal decision with you own individual choice falling somewhere on a very broad spectrum of possible philosophical inclinations. How you elect to sail may even vary from day to day and moment to moment for that matter. For the most part, it's nobody's business to critique other than your own.

And yet on the internet there often is a tendency to take what should be discussions of personal preference and seemingly choose up teams, with each defending to the death the narrow segment of the spectrum that grabs them. Fortunately, that has not happened in this revealing discourse.

In reality, what most people have said is true. We typically all sail for enjoyment, and define what we consider to be enjoyable. For people like me, I enjoy sailing the boat 'smartly', sails trimmed for speed and balance. I like the mental challenge and the physicality of sailing well. I also enjoy racing. I also enjoy sailing traditional watercraft, which will not inherently fast, can be inherently mentally and physically challenging. But in each case, at least for me, the quality and experience of the sailing and the race is the end unto itself.

For as competitive and as focused on winning as I may be during the race, I actually don't care if I didn't win after the race. In other words, my reason for racing is sailing the race well. Its been a long time and a bunch of trophies since I actually cared about the trip to the podium after the race is over.

I have raced on some pretty high level race boats in some world class regattas, and in reality, the best racing crews are comparatively low volume affairs. There is a lot oc comminication but its done surprisingly quietly with information circulating around the boat so all know what is happening and about to happen, and all eyes gathering and feeding information and sharing it. On the best crewed boats that I have sailed on, there are no rock stars or primadonas. We are not competing for stature or attention with each other, we are all on the same team and looking out for each other. As one skipper liked to joke, a well slimed machine.

Similarly, the reward for a fast passage time is the quality of sailing along the way, rather than the boats I pass. (Although, sometimes the reward is that its nice to arrive at an anchorage before it is full, or be able to lounge on the hook a little longer knowing that you'll get where you want to go fast enough that you have that luxury of a bit more hanging about.)

Cheers,
Jeff
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post #27 of 79 Old 08-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

Well said Jeff.

I think there is another aspect to doing races, especially offshore, that is very unique and challenging...and one that goes agains't the typical cruising mindset: you have to race when the race happens, fair or snotty. In other words, you have a schedule you have to keep. You can't just choose to stay on the hook.

The level of commitment to safety and smart sailing that is required by this is, to me, a good thing. As a cruiser, having to go out at a specific time, even when the weather is heavy, is taboo (and for good reason). The problem is, if you always follow this sensible mantra, you never build heavy weather skills you need.

Racing is a great way to prepare for and deal with heavy weather offshore - typically with other boats in relatively close proximity if things go a bit pear shaped.

So, apart from the safety rules you have to learn and abide by in off-shore racing, you also push your abilities in a relatively safe way. Sure, you can easily push way too hard if you're into that kind of hardcore racing (e.g. - flying a chute in 35 knots straight into a chinese broach). But you can also chill a bit and learn a hell of a lot about sailing a boat through snotty stuff with a reef or two tucked in - and still working toward controlled speed.

That's all good.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 08-14-2013 at 12:12 PM.
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post #28 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
This can be good, "IF" you are the same size to smaller. If you passed me at some 20' longer, I could give a flying rats ass that you are passing me, as you have a faster boat due to WL or equal. So at that stage, you are showing off for nothing. I could be sitting there doing as you are as you pass me eating etc, Would not matter. Now if Cam was passing me, with similar sized boats.......now that might be a bit more giving a rats ass as to what is going on.

Marty
Says you.

Big or small, everyone being passed tries to juice it up a bit, whether futile or not. Also, LWL increases the limitation, it doesn't necessarily make you go faster. There are points of sail (eg: deep broad reach in lighter breezes), where lighter boats with smaller LWLs could and should be able to match our speed and others where we could crush even longer boats. Still, I get your point.

I will admit I just had a recent experience with a same size boat that challenged us in open water. I mean came up within 20 feet of our port side, just after we raised the main and passed us. I stayed on my feet for that one, took the lead, lost it again, then ultimately regained it and beat them by about 1000ft over 25 miles.

At first, I was going to sit and have that sandwich and let them go. But I looked over at my daughter who was aghast that we were passed and I had to get to work.


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post #29 of 79 Old 08-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

Just remember, racing can make you look really stupid really fast:



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post #30 of 79 Old 08-14-2013
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Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?

I'm just learning my new boat so in no shape to race. Having said that I find it viscerally upsetting to see a boat or be on a boat that is poorly sailed. I experiment with backstay tension, luff tension, vang etc. all the time. Of course the exception is when Willy's on the box, cigar in one hand, Gin Blossom in the other, Otto the Auto at the helm, nothing on the horizon and someone else ( hopefully my pretty admiral) on watch. "Gee look how the rose color of the sun set reflects off the clouds"

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