Saturday, July 27, 2013

Just A Few Pictures

Racing - Day 4: The last day

Today was the last day of the Irish Nationals.  We couldn't quite tell what the weather was going to do today, so we put all of our gear on before we went out to race.  Once we got out we realized it was getting fairly hot and after the first race needed to take off our jackets and boots.

With not-too-heavy winds and the sun shining, we had our best race so far. We placed 32nd in the first race, and were quite happy with the result, since it was such an improvement over the other races we had sailed. The second race was back to the usual, but it was such a beautiful day, it was hard to be disappointed. Despite a great start, we had some difficulty with other boats grouping together and essentially stopping dead in the water. Something for us to work on is avoiding these types of situations. Dad was still close by, but we managed to keep our small lead over him. Our goal is to try to have more races like the first one today, since we now know this is possible.

Racing - Day 3

This day really showed us how variable the weather can be here. We started with a nice amount of wind, some clouds, a bit of rain, but generally not too bad. By the end of the first race, the wind started to pick up. The second race started with a general recall, since even with luffing sails, many of the boats were having a hard time staying below the starting line. They tried starting the race a few more times, but with only a couple of minutes to go before the start, they would postpone the race. As this continued, the wind was getting stronger. I don't know how these kids do it, but even Brandon and I were having difficulty hiking out enough to keep our boat flat. Eventually, they told us all to head in, which was a pretty wild ride. A number of boats capsized as they tried to head back to the yacht club, and a few more were being towed by their coach boats. Not long after we got in, it started to pour. Looking outside, it appeared to be raining sideways because of the strong winds. After an hour wait (at 3pm), they decided to run another race, this time only including the silver and gold fleets, meaning that we had the afternoon off. We are definitely hoping we don't have another day like this one again.

Racing Day 2

The first race was the I2 course, followed by I3.  The first race was delayed while they waited for the wind to die down, with false starts when it did get going. It was fairly windy in this race, with gusts up to 10 knots with periods of rain.  The second race had shifty winds from the east, with again, more false starts. 

The luggage still hasn't arrived, which has Don and Steph's wet suits.  I'm sure they would have really liked to have those today.  I'm definitely glad I had mine.  

Steph and I seem to be getting better.  We're figuring out how to roll tack, and we're figuring out how to work together.  The boat we're sailing is a fiberglass boat, which has fairly different rigging than what we're used to.  I really like the spinnaker rig.  I can take it up and down very quickly by myself, whereas in the boat I'm used to sailing it would take a lot longer and would require both people on the boat to help out.  

Racing - Day 1

The first course we sailed was I2 followed by I3. The weather was hot, with light winds from the East. As usual, there were plenty of wind shifts throughout the race. Dad spent most of the first day getting to know his crew, Jennifer, who is ten. Myself and Brandon we also getting accustomed to sailing with each other, since we had never sailed together prior to this week. The day was also the first day of sorting out the little problems with our boats. The daggerboard in Dad's boat seems to be slightly warped, and therefore vibrates when he picks up speed. He is finding that because of this, they end up beating about 50 below the other boats.

Starts are quite different than we are used to; trying to start among almost 70 boats is much more difficult than starting with 10 or so. It's almost guaranteed that there will be 1 or more general recalls when trying to start a race. Something we will certainly work on throughout the week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Canadians have arrived at lough Derg

We arrived yesterday (Saturday) after spending Friday night in Dublin, but with only half our luggage.Somewhere between  Windsor and Dublin are 3 suitcases with all of Liz's and my stuff, life jackets, sailing wear, and all the special Canadian gear we were bringing.It has been frustrating trying to shop for new clothes, since Ireland has had a heat wave and all the summer clothing has sold out. I have been running around in a pair of flowery swimming trunks, the only short pants available in two of the "big' stores here. Everyone here has been extremely helpful and we are ready to start the Nationals tomorrow.We spent the day getting the boats measured and rigged with time out for shopping for essential clothes and food. The weather has been hot with light variable winds and the same is expected tomorrow. Nearly all the boats here are fibre glass with Bermuda rigs, but there are a few wooden hulls still around.The club facilities are great and we have been loaned a huge tent and enough equipment to be comfortable.