Dalton was kind enough to give me a little motivation to write on the blog. It has been a little hectic since worlds so I have not have been too motivated to write an update.
I guess I should start with Moth worlds. First congrats to John Harris. They finally let us sail in the last two days and it was good. The first day I struggled with my boat speed as I went out with the big sail and the powerful mast. Not really the right combination in breeze and my results showed it, barely hanging on in the top ten. The second day I went with the MSL10 and the flexy mast and what a difference. Was in the lead at first weather mark of the two races I got to sail. In one race Amac blew by me on the reach leg like I was standing still and in the second race I hit the leeward mark in a rules situation and felt compelled to do a 360. After that I was not able to sail the last race since I had a flight to make and unfortunately had to carry a letter score. I was happy with my worlds experience, my result did not show my speed but there is always next year on home turf. Where I am sure there will be none of the BS.
I hurriedly packed up my boat I had one quick beer with the W.A.G.S and was off. Drove to the top of the hill where my helicopter was waiting for me to take me to the airport. Took off and watched the last of the Moth Worlds from the air.
When I got to the airport I found out that the plane was three hours late so I could have sailed the last race, bugger! That was only the start of my woes at the airport. Went to check in, and the check in lady took my passport played with it a little and got her nail under the laminate. Before I could recognize what was going on she peeled the thing apart! Then proceeded to tell me how this one was no good and how I could not fly today. I would have to go to the embassy tomorrow and sort it out. I don't think I have words to describe how crushed I was. I pleaded with her superior to at least check me in and let me take my chances with immigration, I must have been close to groveling at one point but finally she checked me in and all I had to do was repair my passport. In a little bit of a panic now I went to all the stores I could find in the airport buying stationary supplies to attempt to glue my passport back together. I found a bunch of places with paste, but was really looking for superglue. In the last possible store I found it, and now was in business. I found a little space and set up my book bag and computer as a blind and proceeded to glue my passport back together. It was good enough to make it through 3 different sets of customs. After clearing customs in Toronto at 1 am in the morning Blake Griffin(thank you!) was waiting outside to take me to Port Huron to make the start of the BYC Port Huron to Mackinaw race.
I arrived at the boat to see the boys had fixed all of the leaks we had in the previous race. Phil O'niel IV had done some great work with the EBay electronics shopping and we now had a new computer with a remote tablet display working again!
The BYC race was fast, after starting in a torrential downpour. There was 2A running for a while followed by Code 0 reaching at 13 knots, then finishing up with a 80 mile close hauled leg... Little of everything, we sailed the boat really hard and managed to get a second. This race was scored in IRC and at this point I did not quite realize how badly our IMS N/M 46 Natalie J rated under this rule. The Wooton(aka Wu-tang or won ton) a custom Rodgers 46 won our division and there was nothing we could do to hold onto them. In the end a 26 hour trip to Mackinaw, not bad for not having any really good weather. After the race was over I got to sleep for the first time in three days and was happy to be back in Michigan.
Left the Island quickly and went into hiding for a couple days to prepare for the 100 anniversary Chicago to Mackinaw Island race that started the following weekend. For as easy tactically the BYC Mac race was the Chicago was totally different. Got the start I wanted so as to set us up for getting east quickly, but unfortunately all that happened was that we parked. It must have been about two hours before we got the boat moving. So I traded about 7 miles of northing for about a half mile of east leverage, great!!! Felt fairly certain I was going to be fired at that point but, Phil still had a little faith and we got the boat rocking. We did not know exactly where our competition was, but I was fairly certain they were to weather close hauled pointing at a mark that was 300+ miles away. Our response put up the Code 0 give up 20 degrees of height but gain leverage and VMC setting ourselves up for the lift that should occur if we could make it to the Michigan shore by morning. Riding the lifted sea breeze reaching all day versus the boats in the lake who would be light air running. When dawn broke we were able to pull up the tracking and discovered we third farthest north boat, we were also the slowest boat in our class so this put us in great shape. All day long we were the fastest boat in the position reports gaining distance on the fastest boat in our class the Talisman(aka taliban). Towards the end of the day we got as close as 2 miles. They owed us about 2.5 hours at this point so all was good.
Late afternoon and it was time to get off the shore before the sea breeze went to bed. The next big choice was whether to go inside or outside the Manitou Islands. We had never gone outside to the west before and my routing kept saying it was the right thing to do with the forecast for breeze filling from the Northwest. I was itching to go outside since we have lost at least two of these races going into the Manitous. Tall Islands to the left big dunes to the right. The thought of going into that passage with a dying breeze just makes me cringe. When Doc(Phil O'niel III) was asleep his son(Phil IV) and I sent it out in the lake so the only real option was to go around the outside. Later that night a couple storms rolled through and with everyone else on deck i though it was a good time to sneak a small nap since once again I had not shut my eyes since the beginning of the race.
I was woke up around 30 min later to Doc yelling at me something along the lines of "You're F'ing insane!" I remember thinking, yes and what is your point? As I was trying to beat back the cobwebs and become alert. To his credit he was questioning how we were going to make around the North Manitou Island and south of South Fox Island. I had never looked at the detailed chart but rather the C-map Chart which does not show water depths. I had been on board when another boat had burned us by doing this very same move and knew it had to be possible. I just did not realize how big some of the shoals we had to navigate were. Phil IV on the tablet myself on the helm, we made our way through just fine and once again were reaching when all of our competition had to be sailing close hauled. Too bad Doc was sleeping at 4-5 am when we were ducking through the big hills in spotty fog.
The two MVP's at this point were Glen Watson with his portable expresso maker and Curt Roselle(little bastard). Without Glen's constant supply of high test caffeine and navigation, i would have definitely lost the path. Curt was huge when he drove for about an hour when Phil IV and myself were struggling. I forgot to mention that the whole race had been I.F.R. and with only three drivers it was easy to get off course quickly when you were chasing a hard to see apparent wind angle.
The rest of the race was fairly uneventful with a small parking lot under the Mackinaw Bridge we were able to finish right behind the leaders in our class and correct out over them by hours..
IRC Nationals Harbor Springs Michigan
Delivered the 46 down to Harbor with Chris Balliet, when I pulled up I was reunited with my Moth and my truck! Chris Williams drove the truck from Newport where it had been since the Bermuda Race and brought his moth along. Along with George Peet we were all sailing on the 46 for IRC nationals. It is amazing how IRC penalizes the things on a IMS boat that make it hard to sail. We ended up second and hopefully we get to upgrade the ride now!!! Praying for a 52.
Sailed the moth with Chris and George during the week after big boat sailing and we had a pretty good audience. I took some people out for rides and let some other people demo my boat. It was just good to be back in fresh clean water again!!
My truck needed $1000 repair for the universal joints on the front end... oh well have to pay to play.
t minus one week before the gorge trip, trying to fix all the wear and tear on my boat and build some new bits to try.