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  • Cascade Locks Training Notes

    Here are some great notes on training in the Cascade Locks from Frank.

    ***************


    Three boats from Seattle destined for Worlds in Australia spent two weekends training out of cascade locks. Conditions ranged from one morning of 10 kts, to 4 days of 18-25 kts.

    Participants were Frank and Pat, Kris and Jamie, and Steve and Alan.

    Pat and I were the real beginners at sailing in big breeze. But with plenty of coaching and swimming, by the end, we had learned enough to get around the race course even in some pretty extreme conditions. Joe and I worked on a summary of how to sail in big breeze in the gorge. If anyone can help me get it up on the website (along with some haikus) please help me out. There are also some videos I put together. You can find them here: http://www.youtube.com/fflanner

    Setup

    Max rake is 8000mm or 26'3”. Shroud tension should be 33-35 or more on the new loos gauge. Lowers should be applied until bottom of mast through bottom spreader is perfectly straight or possibly slightly inverted. This can only be seen by tipping the boat and sighting down the mast with uppers off. Uppers were less tensioned than I expected and were noticeably loose once cunningham and vang were applied.

    The board should be up 8-12”. Sail with lots of luff tension on main and jib. Jib should be very flat on the bottom when fully trimmed and twisty up to the top. The jib sheet should NOT max out. Jib traveller should be all the way off. Vang is cranked for upwind. Letting is off downwind is good, but not much of an ease is needed. If it is too soft, the main leech can get bouncy.

    The Tack

    The boat must be completely flat throughout the tack. When the boat is flat, going into the tack it is more forgiving of mistakes. If the boat is not flat, do not initiate a tack. Ease the jib slightly into tack to make coming out more forgiving. Ease it just enough that the boat does not blow over coming out of the tack. Crew goes in slowly to middle, easing main into tack. If the crew goes in too quickly, the boat will heel to leeward which will force the bow up, create windage and slow down the tack. After ducking under boom, crew goes out more quickly to wire, with even bigger ease of main. Helm does a two part turn. A slow turn up to head to wind, then a pause, then a quick turn down to new board. Helm switches hands, gets weight on the rack (either feet or ass) and grabs the wire.

    Both helm and crew must move their weight forward during the tack or the boat will really stop during the maneuver. Both should stand tall through maneuver, ducking only to get under boom. Stay on your feet; do not sit or kneel. This means more agility and the ability to repond to unplanned events.

    If the boat heels to leeward as boat heads up, expect a very slow tack. Crew must concentrate on getting boat flat, easing main and not rushing onto the wire. If boat heels to new leeward side as boat is passing head to wind, crew must sprint to the wire, not worrying about the main. Helm can grab the main and hand it to the crew once the boat is upright again. Coming out of the tack, the helm should focus on sailing the boat on the jib and getting the boat moving forward again.

    If the boat heels to weather on the new tack, crew must sense whether pulling on the main sheet will send the boat head to wind or rectify the situation. Crew should be prepared to counteract weather heel with body weight which is why it is imperative that they stay on their feet throughout the maneuver.

     

    The Gybe

    Speed is most important factor going into gybe. If boat slows down, start over. It is difficult keeping the speed up into the maneuver and teams need to practice the pre-gybe to ensure they are moving really fast into the gybe. Flat boat throughout gybe is even more important than tack. Be prepared to abandon sails and save the boat from flipping. As the crew comes in for the gybe, the bow can be pushed down into a wave, slowing the boat. It helps to take some foil off to avoid this.

    Helm comes off wire, unclips sitting on rack, ready to go. Crew hikes extra hard and trims for max speed. Helm says he is ready and confirms that the crew is too. Crew comes in and positions themselves over the center of the boat. Helm drives a gentle carve, keeping boat under crew and mast. Helm should concentrate on switching hands, maintaining a steady carve and keeping boat under sails. Main needs to be eased through maneuver. If necessary, helm can drop main during maneuver so long as they have the sheet on the new jibe to pull against if they experience lee helm.

    Crew comes in with a big trim of kite on old leeward side, gets under boom, then trims kite to new side as kite backwinds into the jib. Do not bring around until kite is pushing against the jib. Make sure jib is not too far out, or kite has trouble crossing. When done properly, the kite will blow through to the other side and will not roll over the luff. This keeps the kite flat and gives the helm something predictable to drive against. Crew overtrims on the new side, only releasing to normal trim once everyone is on the wire and in the straps. Helm should beat the crew across the boat. The clew of the kite should never get more than one or two feet in front of the forestay.

    The Safety Gybe

    It's all the same, but don't bring the kite around to the new side until you finish your coffee and cigarette. It is surprising how long you can maintain stability with the kite oversheeted (all the way to the block) on the weather side. Remember to have the main eased to increase speed and stability while enjoying your coffee.

    The Set

    Foil off before the bearaway. You may need to ease some vang, but not too much (see below). Ease sails some to keep boat moving fast, or boat will be too slow. Weight as far back as possible, helm in the back strap, crew in a strap, ideally. When boat is flat, bear away aggressively with big ease of both sails. Once low enough, helm indicates he has control and crew comes in for hoist. Helm should get boat deep for hoist with main way out. Crew hoists, oversheets kite, gets on wire, then proceeds once helm confirms he has control.

    The Takedown

    Head deep going into takedown with big ease of main. Being deep and maintaining speed makes for a better maneuver. Main out makes the boat faster and safer. Crew comes in, stands on spin sheet and takes kite in. To head up, crew takes main, trims and heads onto wire as helm heads up aggressively, trimming jib after the turn. If it is really howling, you may have to turn boat up with both sails all the way out, standing as far back as possible with the foil off. Once the boat comes off its wheelie, jib is trimmed to avoid lee helm, main is trimmed and foil is put on for upwind.

    Downwind

    Going fast is easy. Controlling the boat is the hard part. Be gentle with movement of tiller. If boat is bouncing in the chop, there are several ways to control this. Overtrim the main to shut down the leech, which tends to bounce. Overtrimming the kite will slow the boat, but not if you are reaching too high. Breathing or blowing the kite completely may be the only alternative while reaching, but better to bear off some and overtrim. Crew should aggressively trim kite to course and ease in puffs to allow helm to bear off. Sailing with a little heel will present more buoyancy to the waves, reducing the bounce, making the boat more stable. Probably best not to ease the vang too much, as it encourages the bounce.

    Foil on until you feel the buoyancy in the bow pushing back. The boat takes off when you do this. Burying the bow is slow, so find the line between too much and not enough. The tricks above also allow more foil.

    Upwind

    Flat jib at the bottom, open at the top. More luff tension than you might expect on both sails. Main cunno is a key control as it flattens main and bends topmast. This is a good safety thing downwind too. Centerboard should be up 8-12”. Sail the boat flat with main eased to do so. The crew is driving the boat as much as the helm, so watch the telltales; it is easy to sail with too little mainsheet and just reach around. If the helm is pressing on the jib to keep power or if they feel lee helm, ask crew for main on. Communicate about your mode- high or fast. Work together to achieve it.

    Foil on hard unless really plowing into chop and everyone is all the way back. Then it comes off only a tiny bit. If boat feels squirrelly upwind, it may mean not enough leech tension, so crank the vang. The boat is often driving off the jib and the main leech is steering the boat via the mainsheet. If boat feels bound up, your jib is probably too tight, your shroud tension is too loose, your jib luff tension is too loose or your board is not up high enough.

    Puff and lull control is largely via the mainsheet. In fact, it seems that heading down in a lull and up in a puff often exacerbates the windward/leeward heel, rather than alleviates it. With high boat speed and high acceleration/deceleration, normal sailing response isn't always correct. If the crew is too slow responding, the helm has no choice but the steer through it, leading to a loss of speed or point.

     


  • How To Sail Downwind In The Channel

    Brian Keeffe:

    Of course it’s best not to sail at or close by the lee-too easy for things to go wrong. If you are sailing deep and slow (usually coming back in to the channel) have your crew press the boom out acting as a preventer. Make sure everyone is aware that keeping the boat flat is paramount to anything else.

    Best to sail high (not deep downwind) to keep the boat moving as fast as you are comfortable with as the jibes will be much easier the faster you are going. When we are coming back in and there is breeze-we like to jibe back and forth with the main farily taught as you enter the jibe but as soon as it goes slack when crossing center line, you let out a lot of main sheet (have the crew grab the vang and throw the boom across as you jibe-it lets you know when the boom is crossing rather than waiting for it) and when the boom crosses, be prepared to drive down deep and then back up-kind of an “S” turn as you jibe. This lets the boom get across, keeps the boat flat and then lets you head up as you sheet in.

    This is probably the toughest maneuver to get right-it’s a serious timing and feel thing. Good thing to practice outside away from everything. The faster you are going when starting to jibe the better. If for some reason the boat slows down, stop the jibe, head back up and get some speed on.

    Allan Johnson:

    We always opined that it was much easier with the kite up, even if you are not flying it perfectly or at all.
     
    Try this on a northerly:  Sail a little farther up the golden gardens beach.  Do one last spinnaker set on starboard like you always do (or jibe set) sail for a bit, jibe early for the trailer parking lot, sail all the way to the parking lot, nail that last jibe and run down the channel deep and crouched in.  If you can't get all the way down the channel, you have to heat up a bit and jibe again.
     
    If you have to sail with two sails, I think I would have been running deep, with the main mostly out (do you have a stopper knot in your mainsheet?, more people should).  If you have to jibe, you must heat the boat up a bit and have the crew throw the boom over mid jibe.
     
    That channel is very difficult.

    Jeff Oaklief:

    Like Alan said, everyone has been on the breakwater regardless of their skill level.  Bundy was just there last year.  Brian and I have been there numerous times, and although we are getting better at running the channel, I am sure we will be there again sometime.

    There were many times earlier on when Brian and I were seriously considering short tacking up the inside from the south entrance.  That would be harder with more opportunity for capsize as coming in from the north (assuming you are already wet and tired).  Just too many short tacks in traffic.

    Alan gave us that same advice several years ago.  Frankly, unless the wind is light, Brian and I have not had the nerve to try sailing in with the chute up even though it makes perfect sense.  Maybe we will start trying it more.  Other than that, we do pretty much what Alan says... sail high enough from the end of the breakwater on port that will allow us to put in one gybe east of the fishing pier... well to windward of the fishing pier so your next line puts you inside the channel. 

    This gybe puts you on starboard clearing the fishing pier sailing slightly deep, but not directly down wind.  At this point we concentrate on keeping our speed up and are on heightened alert, ready to do anything to keep the boat upright.  For you, that means steering as if you have the chute up... ie heading down if you start to heel to leeward and heading up for the opposite.  These will be very small and very quick corrections.  Do not be afraid to sail fast... fast is safer.  Power boats will get out of your way, but you notify them to please stay clear. 

    Did I mention that you need to keep your speed up, sailing slightly deep?  You may or may not be close to the breakwater at this point. 

    When it is windy, gybe onto port every time you get more than 1/4 the channel width from the breakwater.  My philosophy is that if you gybe too close to the dock there will be quick assistance (of course you want your mast to clear the dock when you flip... cheaper that way).  As you get deeper into the channel it seems that you can also sail a bit deeper since the wind has a tendency to lighten up as you go in. 

    By the way, your crew should help you keep an eye over the stern for puffs as you get deeper into the channel... always nice to know.  At some point, after a couple gybes, you should be able to make your last gybe onto port, take a deep breath and aim for somewhere close to the I-14 dock.

    It does get easier (and more automatic) the more you do it.  While you are out on the sound, practice a bunch of high speed gybes.  After Brian and I got the hang of that, things got easier coming into the dock.

    Have fun and do not sweat the crashes!
     


  • How To Sail Upwind In The Channel


    Some advice in the wake of Jeff's experience:

    Allen Johnson:

    So I don't talk much to you guys, but have to comment particularly since I was not there and don't know what really happened.
     
    Getting out of that breakwater in a northerly in a two trapeze skiff is hard!  It has humbled some of the best sailors in the world:, mckee, buchan, even bundy.
     
    I spent some time early on in the 49er watching bundy sail out of the marina.  Next time he goes out watch him.  He rarely if ever, touches his trapeze line.  He is all about sitting, keeping the boat in control, and making it through the 3-6 tacks it takes to get out.  Even if it is windy, if the main is out, the boat should stay upright if both guys are on the correct side.  Sail on the jib out of the marina and trim the main when convenient.  Hopefully the crew can go trap to trap, but if not, play the main.

    Kris Bundy:

    While I appreciate the vote of confidence, you obviously were not there when:
     
    1.  I rammed the dock straight on at 10 knots during our attempted exit,
    2.  Bounced off the rocks about 4 different times, or
    3.  Got stuck under the north side of the fishing pier on a big northerly.
     
    There are many more, but I've forgotten the details.
     
    The nice thing about skiffs is there are never ending opportunities to fail miserably.  And break things too! (I'm up to about 6 masts...)
     
    If we can get you out a bit more (and me out a bit more) maybe I can cure you of your delusions.
     
    p.s. your tips about not trapping too much on the way out are good.  Also add: bring a good crew with you.

    Frank Flannery:

    I think it helps to ease the jib a bunch before the tacks inside the breakwater as well.  If you come around with a completely loose main, but the jib fully trimmed, it pulls the bow down too aggressively.   I've taken a bunch of new sailors out in moderate northerlies and always stick with no trapping until clear of the breakwater. 


  • Thursday Night Recap

    Convergence, rain, flood tide and sloppy chop.  The good news?  The 10 to 15 knot northerly filled in well before racing started.  All in all, an excellent day to get out!

    October Sky was minus a team member, so the emergency calls went out, bat signal illuminated, the docks were scoured for likely suspects and two seconds worth of consideration were given to calling it a day.  Persistence paid off, because about 15 minutes after the rest of the boats left the dock, newbie Frank Kaplan answered the call, arriving at the dock in full gear, split toe booties and a very stylish life jacket/nylon windbreaker combination.  :)

    Frank has had some 14 experience in the past, but we still tied the boat to the dock with the jib up and boom on in order to go through some quick ground school drills.  Tacking drills... foot placement, leading with your fore foot on the way out, hand switch behind the back, fore hand straight to the trap handle.  Gybing drills... nice and conservative skipper in first, nice big sheet on the kite, bring the lazy guy across with you as the crew crosses, forward hand to the trap handle.  All the usual stuff.  After 15 or so minutes of that we were ready to splash and get the main up.  "Oh yeah Frank, in case we flip...."  Brian and I always had a 5 flip rule when we started sailing together... it served us well.  Were we really going to flip I thought to myself?  Being a realistic optimist, I made mental preparations for at least 5 flips.

    The boat was scooted to the south end of the dock, Frank jumped in and we were off.  Headed slightly too far north, and with too much heel.  No worries, I grabbed the trap line, Frank made an excellent gymnastic move and we scooped to windward just enough to get the bow down and miss the south end of the next pier.  Excellent... Frank has some skills.  Still heading west to the main channel and picking up speed, Frank was moving out on the trap as the main and jib came in.  Excellent!  Now for the first tack.  Nice flat entry, not too powered up, not too close to the rocks... through head to wind... too fast, Frank not out (I could see the mental processing... hand back front foot forward... where the hell is the hook...) I grabbed the trap too late as we layed it down to leeward.  Flip #1 complete, check.  Boat back up, everybody in... boat in irons... crap.  Drifting in to the rocks, Frank sacrificed his body for the boat and jumped in to fend off.  Everybody back in... heading back out... and then down again.  Flip #2 complete, check.  Traffic was very patient as we righted the boat... boat flipped again... and again.  Four flips, right?  We were very courteous to let the boat drift to the rocks to let traffic by. 

    Frank is starting to pant now, and comes over the stern looking like like a meatball trapped in spaghetti.  Those split toe booties really catch those lines well!  Memory starts to get hazy here.  Some memories of more flips, more panting on the breakwater.  Kayakers offering assistance (should have said "sure" just for the fun of seeing what they possibly could have had in mind).  Would have been a good time for a quick snack break, since we were standing around looking at the docks from the breakwater, but I did not have the foresight to bring any bars.  I believe that we are past our 5 flip quota, but still not back to the dock.  Feeling refreshed, Frank hopped in, I pushed off the rocks and we scooted across the channel to the crane dock, tipped the boat over on the dock, took stock of the situation and decided to swim more, but on another day.  With the main down and off the boat, we sailed back under jib and put the program away for the night.

    Frank, while appearing somewhat contemplative (dazed) about the experience, seems to have resigned himself for another try.  Myself, I chalked it up as a wild success, having left no carbon on the rocks and all the equipment intact!  I am sure now that Frank has made his first payment to the breakwater, he will at least make it to the fishing pier next time.  I have not warned him about the flying crab-pots yet...

    See you all next Thursday, and do not forget NOOD this month!

    Jeff Oaklief
     


  • Helly Hansen To Sponsor Nationals

    The i14 US Nationals in the Gorge will be held July 24-26th. Helly Hansen is signed up to sponsor the event. More details will be posted as events warrant.


  • Kris Bundy and Monday Lunch at CYC

    Monday Lunch at CYC is an interesting event that seems a mix of auld lang syne, the current "world sailing report" and hearty fare (there may have been some salad there, but I went straight for the sausage and kraut).

    It was a beautiful spring day with a nice view of the sound and mountains... and there seemed to be a good crowd of sailors representing a range from hard core racers to cruisers.  The I-14 fleet was represented by Kris and myself as well as Baird Bardarson and his brother Linne, who are both long time 14 sailors.  The program started out with ringing a ships bell (I assume this is tradition... it gets rung at the end of the lunch as well) and a quick run down of current sailing events.  Updates ranged from Puma's current VOR standing to the local race report given by past commodore Steve Johnson.  With that accomplished, the lunch mediator (from the look and feel of the event, I am sure there is an official shippy kind of name for this position) gave some quick background on the lunch presentation and introduced Kris.

    Kris started his presentation by giving a nod to Baird, saying that Baird had always been the fleet spokesman because he was really good at it, and that Kris would do his best to follow that lead.  Kris then went into a little more background on the fleet and more specifically, his latest I-14 racing activities.  The lunch group seemed particularly interested in last years San Francisco race and doubly impressed with the pictures of that event that were passed around the table.  I have to say, Kris and Jamie have good form in the 20 to 30 knot range!  Kris went on to give a blow-by-blow description of that race, their 5 minute pre-tack conversation at the upper part of the course in 30 knots... The one surviving boat below and to leeward, the fact that if they blew the tack they would capsize, not-be-able-to-right-have-to-take-the-main-down-and-sail-back-under-jib... Kris and Jamie survived the tack.  The other boat was shortly under jib alone and headed back to the dock.  Kris also bragged about his trailer loading and boat delivery skills... mostly consisting of loosing boats and rigs at higher than normal highway speeds, and the kind trucker souls who had the wherewithal to straddle the lane behind to keep Bundy's mayhem from spreading to other innocent drivers!  Kris's moral here?  Have Joe load the boats...

    It was entertaining... and before I knew it, the lunch hour was up. One thing that struck me was that Kris is pretty selfless, and epitomizes what I understand as the "Corinthian Spirit".  Sure, there was conversation about his exploits, but he talked way more about how the Seattle 14 Fleet supports each other and sails as a team (even though the events are not team races).  This attitude he credited to Jonathan and Charlie McKee.  I mean, here is a guy who is mentioned in the CYC Honor Role of Champions as many or more times than Carl Buchan, downplaying himself and talking about how Seattle has some of the best sailors, boat builders and naval architects in the world.  He mentioned that when Jamie has not been able to sail, being incredibly lucky to be sailing with Fritz Lanzinger "...an incredibly skilled sailor, and of the same level as Carl".  He mentioned being very fortunate to have access to Kris Henderson "one of the best carbon boat builders" and Paul Bieker as being very involved in the fleet and "one of the foremost boat designers in the world".

    All in all, the presentation made me feel pretty good about being involved in the Seattle fleet.  Good job Kris!
     


  • Cheating Death: Sailing Anarchy


    Here's an interesting piece from Sailing Anarchy on bearing away:

    Cheating Death

    This "how-to" piece on bearing away in a skiff is the first in a series of excellent articles we've gotten from our newest SA expert, an internationally renowned coach that we'll call "Sherpa Tenzing."

    Picture the scene; it’s blowing 18 knots with wind over tide in Hayling Bay. A daunting prospect in most classes, but, it’s enough to send shivers the back of a Skiff Sailors back. The reason becomes all too apparent as you reach the end of the first beat and the mind focuses on the inevitable grave yard that is the windward mark!  It’s the Everest for a club 49’er sailor and a moment of uncertainty for any sailor in high performance classes. So what is it about the top turn that makes it so hard? This article looks to expose the myths of the windy bear-away and give you some hints to help stay away from the Mine.

    The Skill Components

    As with any skill, it is far easier to tackle the bear away in bite size chunks. Let’s consider the manoeuvre in 4 Zone: the Entry, the Death Zone, the Recovery and the Exit.

    The Entry

    Two things need to happen before you can attempt a bear-away in breeze: Sail setup and boat balance. Both are critical but even more essential is maintaining boat speed. Enter with speed and the apparent wind will ensure that the main doesn’t load up and the turn will seem so much easier.

    The coaching points here are to adjust control lines fast and accurately and shift crew weight aft without killing speed! For this reason I train teams to practice the gear changes so they’re fast and precise. When to move weight aft will depend on your approach angle into the mark. If you’re over stood you can get into the foot straps early and Two-Sail in. If you are on a close hauled course, however, you’ll drag the transom if you move too early. I’d suggest you practice different approach angles and use your speed at the mark for feedback.

    Get the boat balanced so the rudder is ready to steer. Any leeward heel will mean that the rudder will have to overwork to counter the weather helm. Leeward heel will also mean that the rudder generates lift which is the last thing you want at the entrance to the mine! In really big breeze you may want to set up with some windward heel or even Luff to initiate the windward heel. This will momentarily release any power in the rig and is great tick for getting you through the really nasty turns.

    For Port approaches, I’d recommend setting the control lines before the tack so that you can come out ready to go straight into the turn. In Twin Wire boats the jib needs to be brought out in the tack so it’s ready to ease straight away. I firmly believe that there’s a window before the foils bite that allows you to go straight into the turn. The safe option, however, is always to build speed and go for the turn when helm and crew are ready!

    Death Zone

    There is point in the turn, at about 60 degrees off the wind, where the rig loads are at their highest. It’s essential that you get the bow through this sector as quickly as possible before it starts to ‘sniff’. To do this you need to dump the main quickly and in boats like the 14 or the 49’er that means prepping the slack in the mainsheet so you can effectively throw it out in the turn. It’s less easy if the helms on the mainsheet so my advice is don’t be content to let it slip through your hands. Get some slack in the elastic take up before turn and then dump it before the loads hit the mainsheet.

    Recovery

    If you have eased enough main the turn will be quite severe! That means that you need to bring the main back on again before you capsize to windward. As a rule of thumb in a Skiff class I’d bring back on two handfuls before sending the crew in for the Kite. This recovery zone also gives you the chance to check the waves in front and avoid the boats that didn’t make it through the turn. The boat’s really sailable in this low reach and pretty fast so you might even roll a few slow hoisters.

    Once through, send the crew in and sail one of two courses:
    · High Hoist – Required in waves or when you have to hold high for tactical reasons. This will require the crew to hoist from the wing (or to windward of the centre line) with the helm remaining out on the wire. This extra weight will enable you to sail a higher angle but beware, the kite will load up mid hoist and will be harder to hoist.
    · Low Hoist – The fastest hoist is to sail as deep as possible until the kite hits the top of the mast. This keeps the Kite behind the main and ensures the halyard loads are kept low. It also gains you distance to leeward and improves VMG.

    In big breeze the helm can stay in the foot loop while the crew is hoisting and then luff as the crew hits the wire. In flat water or in less breeze the helm may step forward and inboard to help with the hoist.

    Exit

    In breeze, the exit is all about getting the boat settled and travelling at optimum speed. Having got through the difficult part of the manoeuvre, stay alert and keep looking ahead at the next wave. Bring the crew out on the wire slowly and beware of any wind shadows from boats to windward. Get the main trim set so the boat feels balanced and ease the kite to a curl. Then take a breath, look around and let her rip!

    Training Drills

    One of my favourite drills for windy bear away training is the ‘Zigzag’. It could not be simpler but it teaches one very valuable skill. After the power zone it’s essential to bring the main back on and settle the boat. Once back in helm and crew can both stay on the wire and wait for the right moment to commit to the hoist without losing speed or sending the bow down the mine.

    · Sail upwind on a close hauled course with control lines set in the correct up wind position.
    · Change Trim, boat balance and sail controls ready for the turn. Pull slack in the Main ready for the dump.
    · Bear away sharply through the power zone dumping as much Main as possible.
    · Pull the main back on to keep the helm and crew on the wire and reach in this safe zone.
    · Head up back onto a close hauled course, changing trim, balance and sail controls.

    Trouble Shooting

    Nose Dive Mid-Turn - Weight too far forward.
    Capsize to leeward Mid Turn – Not through power zone so ease more Mainsail, the Jib may be holding the main in so ease more jib too. You could also be that you are entering the turn too slow to look a maximising speed into the mark.
    Rudder Stalls on entry – Not enough Mainsail out and rudder isn’t ready to start the turn so recheck boat balance.
    Capsize to windward after the Turn. Bring main back on once through Power Zone to stop rotation. Too much board up so the boat is slipping out from underneath you.

    Measuring Improvement

    Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield measure their mark roundings by the inches they feel the gain or lose. They rate each component in their part of the rounding and then agree on a score once the boat has settled. For Nick this might include the amount of rudder used in the turn, the speed of the boat on entry and exit and the speed of the hoist. For Joe it might be the speed he gets the pole on and the time it takes to set the kite. These are all subjective measures but the true objective score is the relative gains or losses on other boats
    Either way, the process of scoring the quality of execution fits with the constant-debrief process I discussed in a previous article. It helps tailor the turn to the conditions and form a mental log ready for the de brief.

    Final Thoughts

    Try to remove the emotion from past experiences with the mine and be logical. Practice makes perfect so spend a windy day just doing Bearaways to build your confidence. When mistakes happen (and they will) try to learn from them and identify the point at which the error occurred. It’s going to happen in one of the zones so identify which one, give it some thought, adapt and try again!


  • 2008 i14 Nationals in San Francisco

    2008 International 14 Class
    UNITED STATES NATIONALS
    SAN FRANCISCO BAY, CALIFORNIA
    September 26-28, 2008
    NOTICE OF REGATTA

    ORGANIZING AUTHORITIES and INVITATION: The Richmond Yacht Club and the San Francisco Bay International 14 Fleet, as the Organizing Authorities, invite International 14 sailors to the 2008 United States International 14 Class National Championship, to be held in the challenging breezes and waves of San Francisco Bay.

    SITE: The regatta will be hosted by and from the Richmond Yacht Club (RYC), 351 Brickyard Cove Road, Point Richmond, California, site of numerous dinghy events including the 1997 International 14 World Team and Individual Championships. The Club is situated on Potrero Reach, which opens directly onto San Francisco Bay. Racing will take place on the Bay at one of the venues conveniently located a short sail from the Club.

    1. RULES

    1.1 This regatta will be governed by the “rules” as defined in the current Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), by the rules of the International 14 Class, by this Notice of Regatta, except as any of these are modified by the Sailing Instructions, and by the Sailing Instructions.

    1.2 To accommodate the conditions and water temperatures commonly encountered on San Francisco Bay, RRS 40.1 is deleted and replaced with: “Competitors shall wear personal flotation devices other than a wet suit or dry suit at all times when racing. Competitors shall wear a wet suit or dry suit in addition to a personal flotation device.” Note that Flag Y will not be displayed

    1.3 The United States Sailing Association prescription in rule 68, Damages, will apply.

    1.4 RRS 77 and Appendix G are modified in that G1.3(d) is deleted. Boats competing in this event are not required to carry identification on their spinnakers.

    1.5 Competitors are reminded that, under the preamble of Part 2 of the RRS, boats racing must comply with rule 9 of the Inland Navigation Rules (72 COLREGS) when they meet other marine traffic not racing.

    2. ADVERTISING

    2.1 Advertising shall be permitted in accordance with ISAF Regulation 20, Category C.

    3. ELIGIBILITY and ENTRY:

    3.1 The Regatta is open to all boats of the International 14 Class. Each boat shall have at least one person who is a member in good standing of their national International 14 class association.

    3.2 There are no restrictions on the number of teams entering.

    3.3 The ISAF Sailor Classification Code will NOT apply.

    3.4 Each team must have completed an entry form, and paid all event fees, including any late fee if applicable, before beginning official competition.

    3.5 EACH COMPETITOR, both skipper and crew, must have signed a Waiver and Release of Liability, before beginning official competition.

    3.6 The entry fee will be $150 US per team. The entry fee will include all racing, and regatta awards and Saturday dinner for the skipper and crew. (Additional Saturday dinner tickets will be available for purchase at $15 per person.) The completed entry form, including the Waiver and Release of Liability form signed by both skipper and crew, and the entry fee, must be received at the RYC office by Friday, September 5, 2008, or a late fee of $50.00 US will apply. The entry form and Waiver and Release of Liability form will be posted on the Internet at www.richmondyc.org as soon as available.

    4. SCHEDULE: The location of the Skippers' Meeting will be available at registration.

    4.1 The Regatta schedule is as follows:

    Friday, September 26

    0730-0930 Registration at RYC
    1030 Welcome and Skippers’ Meeting
    1300 Warning Signal for first race of the day

    Saturday, September 27

    1200 Warning Signal for first race of the day

    Sunday, September 28

    1200 Warning Signal for first race of the day

    4.2 There will be an attempt to run multiple races each day. No race will be started after 1600 hours on Friday or Saturday, and no race will be started after 1430 hours on Sunday.

    4.3 There will be an attempt to run a long distance race with a rhumb line distance of approximately 15 nautical miles.

    4.4 A trophy presentation will be held on Sunday, as soon as practicable following the day’s racing, with the intention being to start this no later than 1700.

    4.5 A separate social schedule will be available at Registration.

    5. INSPECTION & MEASUREMENT:

    5.1 Each boat and its sails shall have been measured by a measurement authority of the class prior to the event, and shall hold a valid measurement certificate which shall be presented at time of Registration.

    5.2 Additional measurement checks may be conducted during the regatta at the discretion ofthe Organizing Authorities.

    5.3 Following each day’s racing one or more boats may be inspected for compliance with class rules.

    6. SAILING INSTRUCTIONS:

    6.1 Sailing instructions will be available at Registration, and will be posted on the event website at www.richmondyc.org as soon as available.

    7. VENUE:

    7.1 Races will be held in the area of the Berkeley Olympic Circle, the Southampton Shoals area, Keller Cove or such other venue in the eastern portion of San Francisco Bay as the Race Committee shall decide each day.

    7.2 The initial choice of venue shall be posted on the Regatta Notice Board by 1030 each race day.

    7.3 The Race Committee may change the venue on the water by using the prescribed procedure for doing so.

    7.4 Any venue selected will be approximately a fifteen to thirty minute sail from the launch area.

    8. COURSES:

    8.1 For all racing, courses will be described in the Sailing Instructions.

    8.2 The Race Committee will determine the course and will set course length as sailing conditions permit.

    9. LAUNCH, MOORING & HAULOUT:

    9.1 The fleet will be launched and hauled each day at RYC.

    10. SCORING:

    10.1 The Low Point System, RRS Appendix A2 will apply.

    10.2 Multiple races are scheduled of which three (3) must be completed to constitute a series.

    10.3 When fewer than five (5) races have been completed, a boat’s score will be the total of her race scores. When five (5) or more races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her races scores excluding her worst score. This changes Appendix A2

    11. SUPPORT BOATS:

    11.1 Support boats are allowed.

    11.2 Support boats must be registered with the Organizing Authorities at Registration.

    11.3 Rules governing the conduct of support boats will be in the Sailing Instructions.

    12. RADIO COMMUNICATIONS:

    12.1 A boat shall neither make radio transmissions while racing nor receive radio communications not available to all boats. This restriction also applies to mobile telephones.

    13. PRIZES & AWARDS:

    13.1 The skipper and crew of the boat winning the US Nationals will be awarded the US Nationals Trophy.

    13.2 Individual trophies will be presented to the skipper and crew of each of the top three (3) finishers.

    13.3 Other awards may be presented at the discretion of the Organizing Authorities.

    14. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY:

    14.1 Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See Rule 4, Decision to Race. The Organizing Authorities will not accept any liability for property damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta, whether on or off the water.

    15. INSURANCE:

    15.1 Each participating boat shall be insured with a valid third-party liability insurance with minimum coverage of US$300,000.00 per event or the equivalent.

    15.2 Each boat shall have proof of insurance coverage and shall have it available at the time of Registration.

    16. ACCOMMODATIONS:

    16.1 Point Richmond and the Bay Area offer a wide variety of accommodations. In addition, an attempt will be made to provide housing in local residences for all competitors coming from outside the San Francisco Bay Area, on a first come, first served basis, with preference being given based on distance traveled. Early notification of an intent to sail will give those desiring lodging in private housing the best chance of securing it. To obtain more details or to request housing, contact the Regatta Housing Coordinator, Jennie Brandon. E-mail: jmcbrandon@gmail.com; phone – (510) 326-1047.

    17. REGATTA CONTACTS:

    17.1 For further information, contact:

    Tim Knowles, Regatta Co-Chair
    e-mail: tcknowles@yahoo.com
    phone: (510) 331-7899 fax: (RYC) (510) 237-8100

    or

    Kirk Twardowski, Regatta Co-Chair
    e-mail: kirk@twardowski.org
    phone: (408) 431-2632
    c/o Richmond Yacht Club
    351 Brickyard Cove Road
    P. O. Box 70295, Point Richmond, CA 94807

    RICHMOND YACHT CLUB:
    Phone: (510) 237-2821 fax: (510) 237-8100
    website: www.richmondyc.org


  • I14's at the Seattle Boat Show

    Seattle Boat Show Features the History of the International 14
    Fast racing boat part of One Design display planned for annual event
     
    SEATTLE – An exhibit featuring the history and technology of one of the world’s most unique sailboats is being planned for the 2008 Seattle Boat Show, January 24 – February 2 at Qwest Field Event Center. The International 14 (I14) uses modern sailing technology, yet the boat has roots over 100 years old. The show display includes a classic mahogany I14, as well as the latest generation carbon fiber boat, and is part of a larger display highlighting “One Design” sail boats.
    “Sailing is an important part of boating in the Northwest and a key component to the Seattle Boat Show,” says George Harris, boat show director. “With more than 50 sailboats planned indoors at Qwest Field Event Center and afloat on South Lake Union, there should be something for every sailor to see. The I14 display gives us an opportunity to showcase a special segment of sailing.”
    Sailors in the local I14 fleet are organizing the show display.
    “The International 14 is a boat that may surprise you,” says Ken Hey, Seattle I14 fleet captain. “It is a sail boat, but can be as fast as a waterski. The people who sail them are definitely adrenaline junkies, but most are not the profile you might expect.”
    Other boats included in the One Design exhibit include a J24, an Etchells and a Thistle.
    About the I14
    The I14 has thrived over the decades by having a few simple rules, such as the length and sail area, but encouraging rapid evolution. This may be as far from one-design as you can get while still calling it the same boat, but it has fueled innovation and continued energy in the fleet. The boat is completely carbon fiber, utilizes the latest America’s Cup technologies and is the breeding ground for new sailing innovations. The boat is 14 ft long, 164 lbs, uses a crew of 2 on trapeze, and has 550 sq ft of sail (which is comparable sail area to a 3,100 lb J24). To compare to a familiar dingy, a Laser is 13.1 ft, 130 lbs with 76 ft of sail.
     
    Top speeds have been clocked with a radar gun at 26 knots (30mph). The boat can sail faster than the wind and starts planing in less than 7 knots of wind at all points of sail.    The light air performance makes this boat ideal for the typical wind conditions in Seattle of 5-15 knots.
     
    The boat uses a unique rudder with a 5 ft controllable wing foil, which acts like an elevator on an airplane, and creates a lifting hydro-foiling effect at high speed. Some boats control the rudder foil by twisting the 7 ft tiller extension. The asymmetrical spinnaker uses a retractable pole and is easily launched from a sock in the fore section. 
     
    Every boat is unique, which makes regattas interesting at the dock as well as on the water. Each boat is semi-custom, starting from the latest hull shape mold, such as the Bieker 5, and outfitted to the desire of the owner. Most sailors start by buying a used boat in partnership with their crew for about $9000, and may eventually step up to a new boat for about $35,000. Like golf, the equipment is not overly important to performance compared to skill.
     
    The I14 History
    The early history of the I14 began in Australia 100 years ago, when locals were competing to offload cargo from ships that entered the harbor. The first ones to the ship got the business, which encouraged the development of an over-powered, lightweight, high-speed sailing dinghy.
     
    The formal I14 class was founded in England 75 years ago, and was one of the very first classes of sailing dinghies.   Trapezes were tried first in the 1930’s, and the boats evolved from mahogany to fiberglass to carbon over the next decades. Fleets are found around the world, especially along the west coast, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
     
    The Seattle Fleet began 60 years ago at Leschi on Lake Washington, and moved to Shilshole in 1967. The fleet owns their own docks at the Shilshole marina, which enables boats to be stored fully rigged and quickly launched . Most of the sailing is done during informal Thursday night races and four local weekend regattas, but some sailors participate in regattas along the west coast, as well as exotic destinations worldwide. The 2007 National Championships were held at Shilshole this past October, with winds topping 30 knots.
     
    The I14 Sailors
    The unique aspects of the I14 have attracted a unique and diverse group of sailors. Instead of just professionals, the fleet has attracted a wide range sailors including architects, attorneys, CEO’s, and engineers. Most fleet members are in their 30’s and 40’s, with young families. Experience ranges from new skiff sailors to world champions. In fact, the top 3 positions at the National Championships this year were all Seattle sailors. The Seattle fleet is also fortunate to have the leading designer of the I14’s, Paul Bieker. Paul has been a key designer for the Oracle America’s Cup campaign for the last several years, and has transferred technology between I14’s and AC boats.    The I14 fleet members love talking about their boats, and like sharing tips with others. New members are welcomed and coached by all. This collaboration has kept the Seattle fleet one of the leading fleets worldwide.
     
    For more information on the International 14, visit www.I14Seattle.org or contact Ken Hey at fleetcaptain@i14seattle.org.
    About the Seattle Boat Show
    The 61st Annual Seattle Boat Show, Thursday, January 24 – Saturday, February 2, features more than 1,000 boats – including fishing boats, inboard cruisers, runabouts, kayaks, sailboats and inflatables – hundreds of accessories, the latest high-tech innovations, and hundreds of hours of seminars at Qwest Field Event Center plus 200 world-class boats in their natural habitat at Chandler’s Cove on South Lake Union. A free shuttle runs continuously between both locations. The Seattle Boat Show is presented by GMC. Ace Marine Insurance is an official sponsor of the show.
    For admission hours, tickets, and further information, click on www.SeattleBoatShow.com.
    # # #


  • Turkey Bowl 2007 Results

    The official results of the Turkey Bowl have been posted.
     


  • 14s at the Seattle Boat Show

    The Seattle I-14 Fleet is going to have a flagship booth in the Seattle Boat Show's One Design Sailing Showcase! Our booth will be highlighting both the history and current state of the art in 14 sailing and will display both a beautiful vintage mahogany I-14 (Andrew M's boat from LA) and a current B5. Details are still in development at this time but include trapeze demonstrations and streaming video. J-24s, Etchells, Thistles and Lasers among others will also be involved in the one design showcase.

    A big thanks to General Hey for setting this up. Apparently he has incriminating pictures of the organizers because they have given us pretty much everything we asked for... as much space as we need in a location with great visibility, free booth/canopies etc. etc...

    To make this event a success the fleet needs your help. Of course this is not much like work and is really more like giving you free tickets to the Boat Show and the opportunity to BS about International 14s... We will need to ask everyone to sign up for at least two shifts, starting with the high priority shifts.

    We have 21 members, several alumni and 20 shifts, so we should have a good shot at full coverage. Please contact Jeff Oaklief to sign up for a timeslot.

    The address and hours for the event are:

    Qwest Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Avenue South, Seattle

    WEEKDAYS: Noon - 8 pm
    SATURDAYS: 10-8 pm
    SUNDAY: 10-6 pm

    Note that the show consists of 7 weekdays and 3 weekend days. Details of the show can be found at http://www.seattleboatshow.com/ 


  • Turkey Bowl 2007 Details

    TURKEY BOWL
    REGISTRATION: Submit a completed registration form and pay the appropriate fee to the CYC office at least three days prior to the first race entered. A $20 late fee will be added to registrations received after close of business on the Wednesday prior to the event. Registration will also be available between 0900 and 1000 on Saturday in the CYC Shilshole Clubhouse.
    ELIGIBILITY: 49er, I-14, Etchell, Star, Tasar, Laser, Opti, and other one-design dinghy or small keelboat fleets with five or more registered boats.
    CHECK-IN: The race committee would like all boats to sail by the race committee boat before racing.
    FIRST WARNING: 1200 on Saturday, 1100 on Sunday. No race will start after 1600.
    STARTING AREA: In the vicinity of the Shilshole breakwater.
    TIME LIMIT: The time limit will be two hours for each boat in the class. This changes RRS rule 35.
    AWARDS: First, second and third place trophies will be awarded for each class. Awards will be presented at the clubhouse following racing on Sunday.


  • More Canadian Perspective

    Another write-up of the Nationals from the Canadian perspective. Carnage! 


  • The Canadian Perspective

    Sailing Anarchy has an article on the Canadian perspective on the recent 2007 US Nationals.


  • 2007-8 Goals, Tactics and Responsibilities posted

    Fleet Captain Ken has compiled a list of the fleet goals, tactics for achieving them, and who is signed up to do what so far.


  • Race Report for the 2007 Nationals

    Race report:

    I-14 US Nationals

     A Celebration of the Seattle I-14 Fleet's 60th Anniversary

    October 5 - 7 2007

    Corinthian Yacht Club, Shilshole Bay, Seattle, Washington

             Sponsored by:

    Helly Hansen, Ronstan, Fisheries Supply and ProSail

     

    Twenty-one I-14s showed up for the 2007 US nationals - an excellent turnout considering that half a dozen boats were delayed on the way back from summer racing in Britain. Fortunately several of the sailors with boats held hostage in the container were able to salvage things by borrowing /chartering boats from west coast fleets.  Teams came from as far away as San Diego, Newport RI and Alberta Canada.  This moment was a watershed event for Seattle's burgeoning fleet since it marked 20 years from the last time an I14 Nationals had been held off of Shilshole.  The last time that had happened it was in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the fleet!

    The Friday blow-by-blow...

     A cold grey northerly greeted the 14ers for Friday's racing.  Dock conversation from participants were along the lines of "cold, cold, &'@#*! cold", and "...showed up in the morning to rig - had a fuzzy hat, big coat, and a polo shirt - not enough..."  Just a hint... those comments were not from the Canadians!

    The first race was off at 1:00 PM in about 12kts of breeze, with a double windward leeward, and was won by the team of Bundy and Hansler in 1163.  The next race was the traditional 15-mile Long Distance race - which is for the President's trophy and cannot be shortened. The sun was coming out for this race -but the wind was dying. The race got off in about an 8kt breeze and the wind died from there. The course was to a inflatable buoy about 5 miles to windward - then back about 8 miles to a govt. mark, then up by the harbor, then a downwind finish. This race was won by Bundy & Hansler, and seemed to set a pattern that would last for the regatta.  Only Bundy & Hansler and a few more made around the govt. mark before the wind died and the tide turned foul, leaving the rest of us out there for a few more painful hours only to be towed home about sunset.

    Friday night was the Heritage Dinner at the club, with old 14ers coming out of the woodwork to reminisce, and tell stories about the old days in the 14s when the boats were wood and the men were steel - a great time was had by all as the Seattle fleet looked back to it's roots with Baird Baridison, Larry Craig, Roy Stubbs, Larry and Toby Craig, Glen Moore, Dennis Williams, Ken Monoghan, Eric Arens, Alan Laflin, and John Hyde. 

    The Saturday blow-by-blow...

    Saturday started cool, sunny, and windy from the south.  Dock conversation from the participants were along the same lines as Friday, except for the added comments about the high winds... "Saturday I wore two shirts, a vest and a heavy jacket, and a fuzzy hat for the land work, and I went to Fisheries Supply and bought a thick fleece to wear under the dry-top & wetsuit for sailing - I was still chilly, but it was better."  Also heard was "We came in after our 15th or so capsize before the first start... Those 2 sail reaches in 20 knots to and from the course are, well, scary!" 

    Three races were held for the 14s in a blustery southerly with vary large lump, with wind over tide.  The wind was in the 18 kt range for most of the day, except for the last race when a squall blew thru and caused some carnage - notably sending several top crews swimming, and breaking two of the three Canadian boat's masts.

    The Sunday blow-by-blow...

    Sunday dawned grey and showery with still more southerly breeze. The weather forecast was scary, but the day ended up just fine - the wind was a little left so it was very flat - fun sailing in a 14.  Still more tales from the dock... "Downwind and running up the transom of a 505 was a little stressful at mach speed. However, we probably enjoyed our view better the 505 guys looking back at us".  Also heard was "Jibed for the first bottom mark - then a big gust blew the fleet way below the mark - the boat went very fast - then faster still -the headstay got very loose - then another gust came and I said "nope - that's it" in a very high pitched squeaky voice, and I dropped the sheet to flag the kite, and went in to recover the kite.

    Four more assorted windward leeward races were gotten off for a total of 9 races for the regatta. The 18 kts breeze held for the first three races, but the southerly came in hard for the last race capping a great regatta.

    CYC's Bundy and Hansler won three of the last four races, cementing a well won championship.

    Second was CYC's Goodson and Dericks who took the place on a tiebreaker from Archie Massey sailing for ISC, and hailing from San Francisco, sailing with local sailor Jen Glass (Morgan).

    The regatta ended with an awards ceremony where there were loads of great keeper trophies, thanks to regatta sponsors Helly Hansen, Ronstan, ProSail and Fisheries Supply.  The traveling sailors packed up the boats in the rain - including the California sailors with the 6 boat (six!) trailer, and all decided that it had been a great event, and perhaps the fleet should return sooner than the next 20 years and the 80th anniversary of the Seattle I14 fleet!


  • Official 2007 Nationals Results Posted

    The official CYC results from the 2007 Nationals have been posted.


  • 2007 Nationals Photography

    Dennis Williams has posted his photographs from the 2007 Nationals in Seattle.  


  • 2007-8 Schedule posted

    A draft 2007-2008 event schedule has been posted.

    A lot of dates for 2008 have not yet been set by the organizers.  Therefore, many of these are projected dates based on past history.  Once the schedules come out this schedule will be updated. 


Banner photography courtesy Dennis Williams. Questions? See the contact page.