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Old 08-30-2010
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Night Racing

I race on a 41 foot sailboat and we have a regatta coming up which on leg of the race is about 60 miles across lake Michigan over night. I wanted to know if there was any secrets to reading the weather during the night or watching other boats in our section for a good understanding of whats going to happen weather wise.
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Old 08-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j24slapshot View Post
I race on a 41 foot sailboat and we have a regatta coming up which on leg of the race is about 60 miles across lake Michigan over night. I wanted to know if there was any secrets to reading the weather during the night or watching other boats in our section for a good understanding of whats going to happen weather wise.
Night racing is a challenge particularly BECAUSE you can't always see what is going on with the weather and the other boats. You take a line based upon where you think you'll get the best advantage from the forecast winds/tides just like you would during the day.

The hardest part is seeing what the telltales/windex is doing - but some boats (including our Hartley) have a light mounted in the foredeck that shines up on the jib telltales that makes life easy. I believe you can also buy 'glow in the dark' telltales now which are really neat, but I can't remember who sells them.

Failing this, on a 41-footer you should have the usual range of instruments that, coupled with feel of the boat, will tell the skipper what is going on..

Enjoy!
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Old 08-30-2010
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... and don't forget to bring a headlamp with a red lens.
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Yes that's what I was thinking there isn't much you can do but I do like the glow in the dark telltails those sound neat but on the other hand since we sail on the Chicago to Mac race we do have flash lights shining on the telltails and we each have our own head lamps which I think is great.

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The Indigo race is coming up in Cleveland. Mentor Harbor to the Crib, and Back...race starts at 7:30pm. You have about 45-min of sunshine...another hour of light, then you are on your own.

Great race.
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Old 08-30-2010
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Try to remember what boats look like before it gets dark. Do the others in your class have mast head tri colors? Are the lights bright, are the bow lights half covered? This will help in recognizing how you're doing against the fleet. A hand bearing compass works well also. Bring you're safety gear, all of it. Tether, harness, PFD, and bring a headlamp that has a read lense. They're cheap at the hardware store.

Don't flash white light at anything or anyone. The reflection off of white gelcoat is enough to blind the entire crew for 15 minutes.
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Old 09-13-2010
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go sailing at night to get used to the boat
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