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Old 05-15-2003
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jbarros is on a distinguished road
I need to do this agian!

hey all.

So, the local clubs have a "Wet Wendsday" which is a PHRF race what you''ve got deal that goes out and back a few miles. Runs spinnaker, non-spinaker, and multi-hull as seperate clases. Went out on a newport 30 (mkII) with a broken vang, and traveler, racing non-spinnaker. I ended up doing nothing more interesting that tailing and releasing, but still had a blast.

So now I need to start doing this myself. Apparenly I need a whole bunch of gear for various clasess, but it all sounded like common sense stuff for racing (lifelines, harneses etc) so... whats a class 4 race, what other classes are there, and where do I get the info so I can get out there in my own boat...

oh yhea, and what classes are good to start in, because I''m ok with alot of learn how you go stuff, but when a 30 is one of the smaller boats, even with a fleet of "only" 15 boats, thats one hell of a tight space at the starting line, and I''m not realy sure I trust myself not to break stuff. Lasers? Sabots are mostly for little kids right?

Thoughts? Suggestions?


-- James
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Old 05-16-2003
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aflanigan is on a distinguished road
I need to do this agian!

Sounds like you are in the Chesapeake Bay area, perhaps?

I obtained a PHRF rating for my boat (Helms 25) and to do that I had to attest that my boat met a certain level of accommodation and safety equipment (4P, 5P, or 6P) in order to qualify for a rating. These standards are based on ORC (offshore racing council) standards. Level 6 is the least stringent, level 4 corresponds to ORC category 4 and is meant for "Short races, close to shore in relatively warm or protected waters normally held in daylight". Choose your level according to what the yacht club running the races requires and what you feel comfortable with and how much work and expense will be involved in meeting the standard.

It does seem like a lot of jumping through hoops, but I don''t begrudge them taking precautions to try and require people to have minimal safety equipment (and meet seaworthiness standards). This is litigation happy US, after all.

I''ve enjoyed weekly racing, and it has helped me learn my boat (just bought it last November). I encourage you to try it out, it''s fun and good experience. If you haven''t done any racing, it probably would be a good idea to start off in dinghies, so you can get used to the idea of being constantly on the lookout for boats barreling towards you at all times and dodging them! You won''t be as worried about damage with a smaller boat.

We were out last Tuesday night in strong and puffy winds and got a taste of how an old cruiser handles in a decent blow. No waves (Potomac river at Washington DC) 15 mph with gusts at or above 20 mph. Many boats were flying a full genoa and having a hard time due to being overpowered. We had our genoa partially furled with the roller furler and were able to ride out the puffs pretty well once we got the hang of it. Sail shape was not ideal (no luff tension with a partially rolled jib, and I had forgotten to move the leads for the jib blocks forward) but it was great being able to unfurl the sail fully for the downwind leg (a broad reach) and those who had selected a smaller 110 or 120 percent jib were wishing for the genoa!

I was fortunate to have picked up a really good fellow at the dockside meeting to add to my crew. He was able to read the puffs and trim the jib, my other steady crew handled the main, so I could mostly concentrate on steering. Windy days are not well suited to breaking in inexperienced crews, particularly in the tight confines of a river like the Potomac!

Allen Flanigan

Alexandria, VA
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Old 05-16-2003
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jbarros is on a distinguished road
I need to do this agian!

actualy, I''m in Ventura Ca, and after some phone calls got on a boat with a friend of mine. 17, but was born on a boat outside of hawaii, and has been sailing his own since he was 6 (small dingy then obviously) so I''m gonna spend a season crewing and trusting someone who knows what their doing first.

Last Wed started with 15 knot winds and 3 foot seas, but by the end of the race was 5 knot puffs. (marine forcast called for 20 knots at that point, from which we should have deduced it would be completley calm ) Thanks for the info though. I''ll probibly start getting my boat ready now so that it''ll be done before the next season starts.

-- James
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