Racing

Published on June 29th, 2011 | by Moore 24 Class

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SF NOOD Regatta Report 2011

My fingers are fat sausages, my nose is sunburnt, my eyes are blurry and my boss just doesn’t understand why we do this! What a great weekend this not-Huntington turned out to be, but this is not where the story begins…

How would you feel if your skin was nothing but burnt oxide from the sun, if what was left of your teak was covered with black mildew and sail repair tape, if your once white bottom had 12 shades of bondo showing through, if your cockpit had 150 open holes and your cored deck leaked nasty smelling ooze into the pipe berths? How would you feel if a new girl moved in next door – all shiny and sleek and elegant and drawing looks from across the yard? How would you feel when everyone smiled only at her and then went over, lifted her grey skirt and fondled all of her trick little carbon treasures below, all the while uttering, “oooooh, ahhhh” repeat? Yeah well that’s what it’s been like for Gruntled ever since that black boat moved in next door in the dry store yard.

Something had to change and the decision to go for a serious facelift was triggered months ago with the three bridge fiasco when we exposed lead on the keel and had to go to Craig at Elkhorn Composites in Watsonville for some major boat-love. We jumped the queue and arrived in his dusty yard with the familiar chalky blue Gruntled … great big plans were quickly scuttled once our arms tired of holding sanders above our heads so we opted for ding repair, paint, new bottom and ditch the stock traveler. We were able to say “no” to cutting out the transom. As everyone who has seen the new grey says, she looks great, and now we finally have had a chance to get out in breeze and get even with that girl next door.

Fourteen Moores made us one of the largest fleets in the NOOD and late Friday we heard that we were gonna be racing on the circle so all of the RYC boats found a few extra hours to drink some beers, recheck the rig tension, strip every last bottle cap outta the keel sump and just hang out as there was no point going all the way to St Fancy. Now, I have to tell you that Bart had already spent about 40 hours tuning our rig and using Eclipse as a target. I know that we all have our quirks and I really know that, once others figure out just how predictable we are, that’s when the fun really begins… Everyone knows that Billy wouldn’t be able to go sailing without tweaking and tweaking his rig, so why Bart even bothered twinging Billy’s rig is beyond me… but I have learned to keep very mute on all things rig-tune and Billy has learned that Bart can be easily freaked on this topic. It was a great gathering of fine sailors and there was a very open vibe that seemed to say that if we share our numbers, then we will all get faster together. A nice and chill time to enjoy before the fray began.

Sat AM we are all set, shooting off the dock into the building breeze and grey sky. Three races in 15 - 25. First race: there is much discussion about the use of the two (you see we have never had a two so headsail decisions have always been easy), either one or three. Finally we decide that the two is small and there are holes in the breeze so we decide, “Yes, this is the sail even though everyone else is on threes”. Achh… at least we are sure that we are right despite never having flown the sail other than to drill the new floating lead holes in the deck and to pull the #34 numbers off the sail. Things go well and we have a bullet! The other boats are Adios, Banditos, Eclipse, Paramour and Flying Tiger (just the same as the final order!). Next race in building breeze and then the next in even more. J105’s getting in the way and the last of the Expresses also a problem. Our main is turning inside out and Adios is HAULING. As Dave comes past we see that his main has nice shape down low and the top is super flat and twisted… “gee, let’s try that!”. Bail on ½ of the backstay, ease the jib and we too are flying now. Day ends with Adios 2 points ahead and we are all pretty happy, other than having to make the trek to the city to weigh in. We know that we are 30 lbs light so we drink and eat and party like a flock of pigs… fully clothed we are 823 lbs! “Ohh! Yikes, that’s good, right?”

Sunday AM: the RYC is again sunny and we are all there early to recheck the rig tension, strip every last bottle cap outta the keel sump etc. We added quite a few turns to the aft lowers to get some shape in the main when boned on and we were ready to go, well almost…

Billy walks over while Hackworth is still deep in meditation with Mr. Loose Gauge, I look for a patch of dry dock, sit down and get comfy and wait for the inevitable events happen. I knew that Billy was sticking his finger in the pie so just sit back to enjoy…

Billy, hand on the cap shroud, says “Doooood this is a little loose MATE?”. Bart replies (sorta irritated by the sudden surge in rig tension), “I got these numbers from your boat”. “Ohh yeah”, say’s Billy, “we always wind the rig down so that is all junk”. Silence…

Hackworth is stewing and we push off from the dock. Get into open water, try the one to get a feel for the lead settings and we start feeling better and Bart says, “That &^&^%#$#@, I should have said, ‘^&%$^%#$#@, we are ahead of you so you can ^$^$#%$#$%& your ^&%^$^$# numbers’. Wind-the-rig-down, my &^%&^$^$$##!!!!”.

Race one looms and remember that we are two points down on Adios. Nice racing and we get the bullet with Banditos on our ass and Adios in third. Paramour fell down and Billy moved up. All set for the final double with finish at the top and we are tied with Adios. Tension is high but we all get off the line clean with Dave setting up close to leeward hoping to do the usual “I’m gonna pinch those &^%^$^$’s off,” only to hear the “bang bang” and everyone has to go back. (At this point I should just drop this little gem in there: we left our VHF on the charger and luckily remembered to get it before stepping off the dock.)

Restart: Adios is again looking to “pinch those **^&%$##’s off” so we get a boat between us (thanks Tony) and start, only to hear a single bang… Ears are now straining, imagining that the RC will say “56” and they DO!!! Adios bails early and we are gloating like wise guys who remembered the VHF! Next thing that our ears were not imagining was “68”!!! “^%$^$&*$$,” and we go back in LAST place and the regatta is over. Even my former friend, Karl, on his new boat Snafu-u is laughing at us, a very cold laugh, as we take his stern and bang the corners for the next 5 legs.

Those Sierras right after the gun sure tasted like heaven… thanks to all for making this such a crazy time. Hope that everyone enjoyed the battle and… “hey Billy, thanks for sharing those numbers!!! Now, go find someone else to park next to, you ^$#%$&^&*&.”

My boss can’t seem to understand any of this!

Simon

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