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  #1  
Old 09-26-2011
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Happy

This past Saturday was the long race of the season for us at the WWYC at 25 miles. Many times in the past this long race has turned into a drift race and the past week we've had a high pressure sitting on top of us with a low off of the coast trying to get in but with no luck so I was sure it was going to be another slow day.

However, it wasn't a drifter after all. We started out with a down wind start (I know that is wrong but on the river you don't have a lot of choices) and about 5 knots of wind. We carry a spinnaker but haven't flown it in a race before because I almost never have enough crew with experience to handle it. So this time I brought along a 110 jib to fly off of my head stay along with my 135 genoa. I thought it would be far easier to handle for the down wind leg.

After making the start we put up the second jib and poled both head sails out and sat back to watch how the other boats faired. There were six boats in all in the race (we are a small club) and four of them put out their spinnakers and began to pull away from us. That just wouldn't do! So down comes the 110 and up goes the spinnaker and with almost no yelling!

The wind held at about 5 to 8 knots all the way down river (12.5 miles) and we were in fourth place at the far mark and about 9 minutes behind the leader.

As we rounded the mark the wind began to build and I began to smile because my boat does well in the wind. My main competition is a Skipper on a Capri 23 that just flys in light wind but doesn't do so well in higher winds. The wind built to 15 to 20 knots and we began to catch up and pass other boats. I got to within 30 yards of the Capri when the wind began to settle again. Dang it!

I finished in second place, just behind the Capri but overall I was proud of my crew. They handled everything with few mistakes and that's a rarity for us.

By the way, my boat is a Flying Dutchman 37. One of only 7 built and was designed to IOR standards but I've turned it into a cruising boat and added several thousand pounds to her in the process. That why she needs a lot of wind.
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Old 09-26-2011
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Nice racing DS! I've yet to use a spin. But I look forward to that day I get to curse at everyone on the boat!
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Old 09-26-2011
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At least you race last weekend! We got called with some 35-40 knot gusts here on the sound! hopefully it will be somewhat windy this saturday for our longest race, and lives up to the name of foulweather bluff!

Congrats on the finish, always fun when you do well! now to go spread some barnicle larva on the slip across from me, Dodenja will not mind

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Old 09-26-2011
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Capri 22 maybe (sorry I own one so am picky)? Hmm... wonder if it's one from the capri22.net fleet?

Dutchman 37? waterline alone at the higher winds would give you an advantage (capri's top speed is theoretically 5.2 knots, but I regularly see 6+ in a blow). However, I can testify the capri is no slug, so great sailing! You have the racing jones yet? Wanna strip the Dutchman back down to it's IOR heritage?
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Old 09-29-2011
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Very good Skipper

Yup, Catching the Capri is tough even in higher winds because the skipper is so good. But it can be done. This past Spring series I was blessed with good winds every race day and managed to finish first overall for the season. We do use the PHRF handicapping system but I find it just doesn't answer all of the questions since it assumes that every boat is made fully race ready and the only difference is the skipper's skill. Here, 300 miles up the Columbia, there is no facility for hauling bigger boats so we make do by trying to clean the bottoms in the water. The smaller boats haul out, pressure wash, sand, and paint with VC-17 every spring and that gives them an advantage over the bigger boats from the git-go. I've been tempted to dive on the Capri and attach a 5 gallon bucket to it's keel and would do so if I thought the skipper wouldn't get mad.

As far as stripping her down, it just isn't going to happen cause we do too much cruising also. I do strip her as much as I can by removing all of the pots and pans, taking the screen out of the dodger, etc.

We sailed around Vancouver Island in 2008 and had a blast doing it. That was our third trip up north for the summer. For us it is a thousand mile trip just to get to the San Juans. We hope to return next summer.
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