Hi All,

Laura has reminded me about three times that I *need* to write about the  regatta in more detail now that we are a little less sleep deprived and the muscles are starting to move back into their normal places. I had a great time, and it sure looked like everybody else did too. I would love to send on some pictures, but I hardly took any because my hands were full. I'm counting on Laura and Tom and Sue and Norma to share theirs with me.

So, where did we go and what did we do? (I haven't seen the final results in detail, but you probably can at the GBSA web site.)

Sunday: Collingwood to Christian Island. We immediately got the flavour of the fleet. Our division was definitely not about cruising. The wind was southerly and it was a reaching start. I was kind of expecting a kind of relaxed trip across the line and it was shaping up that way until just before the start when luffing rights were used quite agressively. The result was two boats OCS with the I rule in place (round the ends) one near collision with the committee boat and us bailing out with a tack and a gybe to clear the line intact and with not too bad a start. After that it took me a few minutes to convince myself that everything was in hand, the crew was on top of things, and yes we should pop out the chute. That's what cost us second place. We beat the Abbott 33 Natural High, and we were 24 seconds ahead of Aqualibrium (C&C 34?) across the line, but they corrected out just ahead because of the dinghy rule -- you get an 8% bonus on your PHRF if you tow a dinghy, but I'm getting ahead of myself. We reached across pretty close to the wind with the speed rising -- 15 gusting to 20 true according to the instruments. Tom did a great job keeping the chute under control and dumping big when necessary to keep us from broaching. Laura did likewise with the main and Norma ground hard to get that chute back in once we were on track. It was a good race with a good crew and my shoulders were sore by the end of it. Steering this boat requires a fair bit of exercise.

The dinghy rule is interesting. When I read it, I looked back at the wake our dinghy was making and said there's no way that can be advantageous, especially in the anticipated light winds. Tom was absolutely keen that he could pump it up whenever we needed it, and so we rolled ours up and lashed it across the cabin top. Aqualibrium (AKA Aqua Velva, AKA Aqualicious, AKA Aquaholic, etc. because the crew had a really hard time remembering the name.) Had a different take on what th word towing meant. They had lashed their dinghy's bow to the pushpit and added a topping lift with a bridle on the transom just to keep it under control. While we were passing them Tom took some pictures, as we admiring their technique. Surfing the waves their entire dinghy was at least a foot out of the water. I wasn't entirely sure what to do. After the race I mentioned it to Jim, the skipper, who talked about difficulty with controlling the dinghy to keep it out from under the transom in big weather. Later on I had a quiet word with Monty the Race Chair and suggested an ammendment. There was already a rule about no more than 5 feet of tow line while starting or doing close manoeuvers. The next morning there was an instruction broadcast to the effect that dinghys shall be towed 5 feet off the transom at all times, no more, no less. I think everybody found that a fair solution and we played neck and neck with Aqualibrium all week, and partied together in the evenings.

The finish of the race involved cracking further and further off and going faster rather more comfortably. The mark boat had some sort of problem (engine?) and wound up dropping anchor in an unexpected location. Eventually, the committee boat came roaring past us on full plane and kept honking down the line to eventually drop the finish line in front of Sandpiper (very hot C&C 35 that cleaned up) where we finshed several miles beyond the advertized end of the race course, then motored back to the anchorage. That taught me I should do my chart prep for places I didn't expect to be racing...

So we anchored out our first night in the lee of Christian Island. The weather was damp, with rain on and off, so we didn't have the full fleet in from their anchors, but we still had a good crowd. Tom inflated the dinghy and I ferried us in, then went back out for the Crew Sgian Dubh (I have no idea what it means, but it seems to be pronounced Scan Do), a Niagara 26 with a total weight fetish that did them very well in the overall results. I BBQ'd lamb chops for the crew and we ate them on picnic tables under a tarp. The food for the rest of the week is kind of a blur, but it involved a bunch of steak and shrimp and monster pork chops and smoked salmon, so use you imagination.

The next day was Monday, Christian Island to 12 Mile Bay. It was honking in NW 15 to 20 and the first mark was supposed to be a tetra just inside SE Rock. That made it a close fetch with plenty of pounding that we did under 135 and reefed main. We made notes on the way that next time we would do that with the #3. Unfortunately, their were some other difficulties with the mark boat (somebody ill?) so they couldn't get out there to set the tetra, so the course was altered to around SE Rock. So I headed down below to fire up the plotter and get a better idea what we were sailing into. The damn GPS took the longest time getting a fix. I think it may have been the pounding and antenna being quite close to the waterline heeled over on the low side on port tack. Anyhow, just NE of SE Rock is Black Rock. There's navigable water between them, but I didn't want to do it in that weather without way better than eyeball positioning. We wound up having to throw in a quick tack to clear Black Rock, and that's where Aqualicious passed us. The water shallowed from 100+ to 15 feet very quickly. The we cracked off about 90 degrees for a nice fast spinnaker reach and rolled Aqua Velva up again, crossing the line about 35 seconds ahead, but not quite far enough to beat them.

Then we headed up the small boat channel through twisty turny passages all different into 12 mile bay. We were following other boats and they just seemed to turn right and dissappear into the shoreline. We wound up in this beautiful little anchorage with an entry about 35 feet wide and a rock in the middle of the pool with an Inukshuk on it. Great party, great swimming, and the guys from Brine Hog (X119, hot sails, really friendly crew, PHRF 57, lots of yellow flags) lent us some very stiff batten material to replace the two we lost that day. We had the whole Aquaholic crew on board and were feeding them rum while I sewed batten pockets and cut new material, and incidentally punched the shank of the needle about a half inch into my thumb when my grip on the pliers slipped. In the midst of all this Tom noticed the anchor was dragging, so we hijacked our guests to the other end of the anchorage where we put out both anchors in shallower water and got a good set that kept us happily in place all night.

Tuesday was 12 Mile Bay to Midland. More big wind. We started with the new number three and went pretty fast off the start line. Later on it started to lighten up a little and we spent about half an hour parked in our own little private hole while the fleet steered carefully around us. We changed sails, but that didn't help either. It was bizarre because boats not far away obviously had 6 to 10 knots of wind, but we were stuck for a long time. Even DFL we flew the spin down from Giant's tomb past Beausoleil Island in wind that was freshening considerably. As we approached the turning mark we were debating whether or not we could carry it as we turned up towards Midland, so we were ready when we saw Agent 99 (an X99 with hot inventory) do a nasty spinout not far above us. We had the chute almost all the way down before that gust got to us and had an otherwise uneventful race. Laura was driving and doing a great job. I was hauling in the chute, which is not something I have done much of at all in the last couple of years.

That night we had pizza in a hanger at Doral Marine and Sue arrived to switch off with Tom. It was Sue's birthday and she came prepared with a huge bottle of Champagne and a delicious strawberry mousse cake. It was a good party, but that should hardly be surprising with a good crew.

That's about all the writing I'm up for now, so I will put together another instalment later.

I hope you're all having fun, because we sure are!

Rick / Dad

PS I have combined these trip reports into a web version,
for those who are really keen to read the installments again, or for
those I forgot to add to the list until more recently. The
address is:


It may not be completely up to date.