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TPC 2009 p8

Page history last edited by Kevin 14 years, 5 months ago

Back to TPC 2009 p7


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We've turned the corner and are behind the island.  Still pretty light air, and on a broad reach.  I thought he was pulling away, then I thought I was catching him.  Probably pretty even.  Then:


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Sailing by as Laurent shunts.  I wanted to go a bit further, to make certain I could make the point I had to round to get back to the beach.  An extra hundred yards, when we're a mile and a half from the finish, seemed like a good bet to avoid even the possiblity of an extra pair of shunts.


Laurent seemed a little alarmed as I sailed by him.  Relax, man, I'm not going to run into you!  Jeez.


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Here we are sailing after the shunt.  Very nice.


Right after this I ran into him.


It was my fault.  He was to lee, and either he came up or I went down, I'm not sure which, or both, but I lost track of him for a second and the next thing I knew my bow was leaning on his stern.


This was a penalty, but also could really have been a problem.  We were already pointing high on a beat.  I was pushing his stern down, which made his bow go to windward.  His stern was pushing my bow to windward.  Either or both of us could have gone aback.  He was faster to react than I was, and ran back to his stern and pushed my bow away, which saved us.


So, my bad, clearly.  I came out of it to windward and ahead, which is nice, but we hadn't actually talked about how to assess penalties.  I didn't want to do a 720, I'll take a DNF, I decided.  I slacked my sheets until he caught me, then he yelled at me to sail the boat, I sheeted in, and we headed off.


This was the longest and best windward test we had.  It was about 7 to 10 mph, I think.  I had my best jib forward.  We stayed pretty close, but he was pulling away slowly. 


Then, slowly and gracefully, his mast fell down.


I was very worried I had broken something when we bumped, but it was a shackle failure aloft.  The one big shackle that holds all his stays to the mast broke.  So I pulled up and rolled up my jib and shunted back and forth while he got his mast and sail on his boat, then he tossed me a line and I gave him a tow back in:


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I had a bit of time while shunting around to think about how to tow someone with my boat.  My first thought was to just tie a rope to the aft beam.  But it would have to be in the middle, since towards the big hull would interfere with the rudder.  That would pull me to windward, perhaps rather hard.  Also, I didn't want to do the proa trick of sailing up to him, taking the line, and shunting, since I would be sailing up to a big mast right to lee of me, that seemed bad.  What I did was sail close to windward of him, and he threw me a line between my masts.  I tied it off and it ran from the middle of the boat forward of and around to lee of my aft mast, then back along the centerline of my big hull to his boat.  That kept the pull in line with my big hull, and the steering was not altered.


So we got back to the beach fine, his rig was fine except for one small tear in the sail.  Hard to fault the concept of the rig due to this, unless you want to advocate free standing masts and no hardware critical to holding the mast up.  The number of boats who would have the rig come down if that big shackle up there were to break is beyond counting.


Laurent's older girls were focused on the fine French tradition of Second Lunch, but his wife Marie and his youngest daughter Beatrice went for a final sail with me across to the island and back:


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We had a good sail.


Laurent and I decided that the series was a draw.  What else could we do?  We were both DNF for the last race.  But wait until next year!


I had a great time, it was a beautiful sailing day.  And to think we almost left after Saturday! 


Back to page 1:  Texas Proa Championships 2009 Race Report




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