Debrief BSF sailing may 6

BSF race 1 spring series 2009. Lane 16 (4 8 port 4 starboard). Wind 5-8 m/s west.

Elisa and me sailed double handed on the first event in BSF spring series. As skipper for the first time in BSF, the nerves was a bit shaky. The wind was not in our favour, it was blowing a bit too much. Allthough not as much wind as on tuesday, it was more than enough to shake our nerves. Mostly due to the wind shifting violently in the narrow sound - this is a typical event on westernly wind at the start line in BSF. The wind runs through the sound in a different direction than the overall wind direction (westerly). This creates turbulence and wind shifts and the wind appears to come from all directions. The strenght of the wind is also pulsating - some times strong - some times weak. This effect is caused by the topographic and then again by the different wind direction in the sound and outside the sound.

We had a resonable good start. We started a bit out on the start line (closer to the buoy than shore), to try to have more even wind. We managed to gain a quite few meters on Calypso but there where a few expresses wich started closer to shore than us and they managed to get a head (closer to shore ment shorter way to rounding at 4 - south of southern skjærholmen). We had the lead on Calypso for a couple of hundred meters, but they soon gained pace and sailed faster. Somehow they seem to gain more power from their main sail than we did - we had the main sail trimmed more centered, but they managed to have it more leeward without loosing power - I have seen this before but I don't quite get it. I guess they also had more power in the jib as they could ride the boat down more efficiently.

We cornered buoy 4 (south of southern skjærholmen) and made a gybe with the wind now in from port. This created a small problem of raising the spinn as it was configured for a port lift as usual. This ment that we had to do a lo hoist - trowing the spinn behind and in front of the jib. We managed this perfectly, and all went in a very controlled way. The jib stayed up all the way to buoy 8 (one less thing to think about as we where short handed). We actually managed to gain some distance to calypso which was closest. Perhaps to more speed duo to the jib? Now for one of the intersting part. As we where short handed we saved the spinn on leeward side (starboard) into the cockpit. Not a regular way to do it, but easy as we where short handed. It also made it more easy to hoist it on the next leg towards goal.

On the second jib leg towards bouy 4 we didn't manage to ride the boat down so we lost pace with the other boats. We raised the spin after cornering 4 again - now with the spinn on the correct side (starboard) behind the jib. As the wind shifted quite a bit the skipper became a bit nervous and steared into the wind to prevent an uncontrolled brouch. All speed lost. Spin down. Sailing with main sail and jib. 100 meters or so more we hoist the spinn again and did fairly well to finish. The correct thing to do would be to fall off to the wind to hide the spinn behind main sail and jib to create less heeling of the boat. Also the spinn leward rope could be loosend to create more foreward speed than heeling - well it went a bit fast for us both.

We ended up 8 of 10 boats in our class (preliminary results). We where happy anyway - we managed to handle the boat well even in a bit rough conditions (for short hand sailing), and we did a few good handling decisions.

Thanks to Elisa for beeing brave and participate in this event! Short handed sailing is for the brave!