September 9, 2011

Big Boat Series 2011

Big Boat Series 2011 on the wildebeest Velos is in full effect and the day did not disappoint as we were treated to great wind and challenging racing. IRC A has a huge spread of boats with Akela the fastest and the Velos the slow boat in class.  In between are a plethora of TP-52's and The Criminal.  Racing could not even begin without some sort of drama and when one "unnamed" boat decided to protest the committee over the class breaks.  That went back and forth but everything stayed the same and we actually did some sailing.  Race 1 started in moderate air and we trucked upwind with the #2.  This is our "fast" point of sail and it was important to make use of our advantage and keep close to the 52's.  The loads on this boat are incredible and it is a chore to get it around the race course.  We managed a great jibe set at the first mark and were in touching distance of the 52's and had a pretty good lead on Criminal.  Well that all changed downwind as the performance factor shifted dramatically in favour of every other boat! 

With 22 or so people on the boat (hopefully I know some names by the end of this adventure) and me doing upwind trim, I got to relax downwind and observe.  The power of the 52's downwind is incredible and with almost as much sail area as us and a quarter of the weight they were gone.  Then along came the Criminal who were exceptionally fast and equally impressive as the bigger brother's.  Race 1 was pretty ordinary since we were sort of on our own.  The 52's killed it and then came us Akela and the Criminal.

Race 2 was more exciting as Vespar lost a man at the start, recovered him, and still managed a third!  The wind was on and boats were crashing all over the course.  We had our issues with breakdowns and injuries but were still doing well over 9kts upwind.  Unfortunately it was only a few more knots faster downwind.  We rounded one weather mark with the J-125's and got to watch them plane past us like we were standing still.  The Farr 30's were moving.. and crashing.. watched a nice J-125 round up, a Beneteau crash and the bow of Criminal not even touch water for the entire leg.  Fun times as we plugged along at 13kts!  Did one better in the race as we also beat Rebel Yell who seemed a little off the pace the entire day.  Mayhem killed the day and were almost matching Akela at times, unreal! 

St Francis does it right and really cater to the sailing with top notch facilities and great free food, just need way more of it!  

Check out the results