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post #1 of 12 Old 01-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Fun racing pic sequence

We get a lot of GoPro video of our racing, but it's rare that we get to see an extended sequence from outside the boat. Our YC photographer comes out to shoot pictures for trophy frames several times a year, and during one race caught us in an entire downwind leg. While working to capture the entire fleet, he happened to be at the windward mark while we rounded, and zoomed down to the leeward in time for us to round there too. Here we go.

At the windward mark with our nemesis Stinger (USA 96), and a back-marker from the Capri 25 fleet that started 3 minutes before us. We round the mark and drive over to the offset mark while crew readies for a bear-away set.



At the offset, a big ease on the main and BlueJ powers up when I drive down to take Stingers transom. We're ready to hoist, and if we are quick we can drive underneath them.



We're got them now... we have a good fill and they are still getting sorted out. With our bigger kite and taller rig we can power through their lee and escape.




After three gibes we near the leeward gates and we're got a good lead. Our standard rounding is windward drop with the pole already down and cleared. Here foredecker Jason clears the pole while I drive the boat under the kite.




Four lengths from the mark and we are ready to take it. While the jib is unrolled Jason grabs the guy and readies for the drop. Note the boat way behind us and has already started dousing. Good reliable crew-work lets us sail under spinnaker for as long as possible



Three lengths and here we go, ready for the douse. With the exception of the kite and the mainsheet, the entire boat is in upwind mode. The nice part about getting the pole out and cleared is it allows it to get to this position and sail with the kite up to the LAST SECOND, as the boat is ready to go upwind.




A bit of an oops, as seen in the picture before this one, the sheet was eased a bit too much for a nice windward drop. Normally the sheet is held tighter and the sail pulls nicely around the jib. With too much ease, as the bowman pulls the guy the sail comes around around while filled. This makes the job of getting it down harder. Happily for us Jason knows his stuff.




One length to the mark and he kite is basically down. This is a crucial check-point for me driving because I know with the kite in this position I can turn the boat up at any time and the foredeck and pit (who is below helping put the kite through the hatch) can manage the sail.



Turning the boat, and the mainsheet is trimmed in to match the turn.



Around we go. The jib is over trimmed a bit here but I'm OK with that. As the crew sorts out the boat I can drive to my telltails in upwind mode.




One minor issue. our topping lift (foreguy) shackle was not completely closed and flew off the spinnaker ring where it is stored and dangled loose to leeward. No time lost by letting it fly for now. We secured it after we tacked.

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-08-2016
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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

Beautiful.
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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

Awesome!

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-08-2016
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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

Nice work. Boat name makes me wonder why it looks so much like a Beneteau.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-09-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

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Nice work. Boat name makes me wonder why it looks so much like a Beneteau.
For a long time I'm named my boats after tough, scrappy birds. Jackdaw, Kestrel, etc. I bought the First 260 from her original owner who bought her in the UK and shipped hew back. He named her BlueJ. Seemed right to me.

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-09-2016
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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

Nice windward douse! I like how you used the bladed out jib to control the chute, but it looks REALLY tight!

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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

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Nice windward douse! I like how you used the bladed out jib to control the chute, but it looks REALLY tight!
Thanks! Yes having the jib out first is much better for lots of reasons. I leave the choice of how its trimmed to the crew. When it's blowing hard (like that day) they will often set it to upwind trim. That way if they are busy at the mark the sail does not flog and is is trim when the turn is done. It not actually all the tight, it's just in trim (see 3rd pix from the end for actual shape). The slight downside to doing this (as I noted in the post) is that it's over trimmed durning the turn. On lighter days they usually actively trim durning the turn.

And you're right, having to out more helps the windward douse as it helps blanket the spin. I asked our bowman about it and he said he doesn't care one way or the other. That s best for me because it give us more options. Good discussion!

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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

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For a long time I'm named my boats after tough, scrappy birds. Jackdaw, Kestrel, etc. I bought the First 260 from her original owner who bought her in the UK and shipped hew back. He named her BlueJ. Seemed right to me.
The name also made me think you might have learned spinnaker work one of Olin Stephen's earlier designs - the Blue Jay.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-11-2016
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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

I wouldn't over trim the jib through he turn, it ends up being pretty slow. It's better to be under trimmed going upwind, then to have an air brake holding the bow down while the helm uses too much rudder to turn the boat. Also, in wide, out close. The distance to the mark looks pretty tight.

Nice photos. How do you like the dual rudder setup? I did a 500 mile race on the 30' version of that boat and the helm didn't feel right. Maybe it works better on a smaller platform?

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Re: Fun racing pic sequence

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I wouldn't over trim the jib through he turn, it ends up being pretty slow. It's better to be under trimmed going upwind, then to have an air brake holding the bow down while the helm uses too much rudder to turn the boat. Also, in wide, out close. The distance to the mark looks pretty tight.

Nice photos. How do you like the dual rudder setup? I did a 500 mile race on the 30' version of that boat and the helm didn't feel right. Maybe it works better on a smaller platform?
Good points.

Yes ideally I'd rather they trim thru the turn. But if the crew is new (like our trimmer/pit was here) or for any other reason (like big breeze) I'm OK with them locking it in upwind mode right away. The non-overlapping jib does not brake the rather heavy 260 much in the turn, and then at least the sail is not flogging and I can steer to it if they cannot get to it right away.

Mostly telephoto effect; we were a ways away but yes it looks very close in the pictures. ;^)

We love the dual rudders most of the time. Downwind its a true delight. Its extra drag in light airs. We can lift the windward if we really want. Kinda necessary with that wide butt. Keeping them in line helps; if one if out of alignment its nasty.

The tiller/rudder mechanism on the 260 is as complex as a Swiss watch; lots of moving parts. I'm not sure I'd take the boat more than a day offshore.

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