Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fifteen things that bugged me during last Saturday's single-hand race

Numerous dumb things bugged me during last weekend's single-handed race. Keelboat sailors don't race solo most of the time, so we're more apt to do dumb things and have weird problems when we do.

(1) I thought I'd forgotten my watch and didn't have a way to time the start and was over early by eight seconds trying to "wing it" in a sudden wind puff at the start. That night, I found the watch -- in my shirt pocket (watch band had broken). Whoops! Duh! Aaaargh!

(2) Because of wind shifts and flukiness, much of the spinnaker run wound up being a reach, instead, which is a pain when sailing a thirty-foot boat in puffy winds with a chute and no crew.

(3) The shock cord on the mast blocks has lost its stretch and needs replacing.

(4) The topping lift got caught on a button by the spinnaker pole ring and so I had to make a trip forward to free it and get the pole to lift... after figuring out what the **^%%!! was wrong.

(5) Even with a shock cord holding the tiller down, the boat tended to round up. Darned *(&%$%&* spinnaker reaches!

(6) My take down was okay, but during it a couple of sheets, the cockpit end of the topping lift, and cockpit end of the spinny sheet decided to have a knot-tying contest that had me tied up in knots instead of paying attention to the final upwind leg.

(7) I couldn't hear voice hails from the RC, which, at the time of the start, didn't have the VHF radio working because it had gotten onto an odd setting.

(8) One of the floorboards was warped and drifting around loose, creating a footing hazard.

(9) Jibsheet cam cleats are angled for crew use, no good place to put jibsheets for single-handing.

(10) Spouse wouldn't let me use the better mainsail, maybe she was afraid I'd abuse it.

(11) Bumped my boat into the fleet captain's boat before (he was on port tack and distracted talking to people in another boat, I was on starboard reach but didn't seem him coming)

(12) I had to beg very nicely to get a tow out to the race course before the winds filled in and made life more fun

(13) I couldn't find a GPS receiver to borrow so as to be able to update buoy locations for our lake map.

(14) Turnout for the regatta was fairly low, limiting our fun.

(15) Turnout for the raft-up / floating pot luck was really horrible, forcing us to postpone until next month.

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