tuesday 9. june

Top mark north-west of Husbergholmen. Wind 1-2 m/s south - drifting west. Elisa, Mona and Preben (part time skipper). Only one (shortened) race due to lack of wind.

We had a fairly good start with good speed over the line (althoug a bit down on the line and actually a bit further from the top mark it seemed). Managed to maintain speed with leading boats (we were in the lead). Did a tack to early at langøyene and suffered quite a bit because of this. To many tacks in the light conditions, but it must be mentioned we were a bit out of options due to the first early tack.

After rounding of top mark we hoisted the spin but it did'nt actually fly. The wind shifted and we hoisted the genua on our way down (so did everybody else).

We managed to catch up with the boats in front and where almost touching the boat in front of us. We tried to go on top, but it failed as the wind became to sharp and both boats "stalled" in the light conditions. Suddenly multiple boats was moving on top of us and it became very disturbing. Well, I decided to try and pass him on leeward (to late) and somehow it allmost worked! He got in over finish (a shortened race) a "fist" in front of us, so it was very close. I guess we should have done this much earlier, as we somehow managed to get a few fractions of a knot more speed on the boats in front (we did trim the sails franatically, well I was I guess). Mona had the rudder during my trimming exercise, which I believe was a good idea at the time - and the fine trimming in these conditions is very sensitive, and some experience is required.

Lessons to be learned: Never stop trimming in light conditions. Keep boat speed at all cost (remarks from the OS coach)! After rounding of top mark we never had more than 0.8 knots - somehow I see this as fun as well :-) We probably could have luffed the upwind boat to a stall and won over this boat with a fist or two (I guess was to inexperienced to figure that in the heat of it all).

We finished as 8th boat which could easily been 6th or perhaps 5th, if we (I) had focused on boat speed instead of (local) individual position.

Oh. I forgot to mention an important issue that we touched into last year. In very light conditions the spin boom can be on deck to ease the weight of the main boom. It allows the main boom to fly more easily - which in turn allows for more twist in the main sail, and which can translate into more speed very light conditions. There is a thin line of keeping the flow of air over both sails which is important. Some times the main must be flattened (very light conditions), and some times you could allow more depth in the sails. This is a matter of fine trimming and is a noble art.  

By the way. I believe we was 8th in the spring series in Oslo seilforening. Not very good, but not very bad either (19 or 20 boats total). With two races 2 positions better we could easily been at 6th place which is very close to respectable.

If vacuum is the absence of matter, why would you put so much of it in space?

Thanks to Elisa and Mona which are always eager to learn and focused on sailing well. Hopefully I'm not completely wrong all of the time!

Good luck at the Færder race! Beat them all!

Preben (very part time skipper)

The Bunnefjorden mutiny - BSF 27 May

Conditions: 7-12 m/s south-south/west. Track 16 (4, 8 port 4 styreboard) - again. Siri, Michael, Defne and Preben.

Got a bit late out on the water due to domestic challenges (Preben was the latest). Sailing conditions looked good in the beginning, so everything was set for a greate race. We tried to start close to shore which ment shorter time to bouy 4 (pole 4). This might have worked, but somehow quite a few boats had the same thought in mind. The start was really crowded! We managed to get in line with the crowd, but was quite a few meeters behind. So, we had a bad start, and in souch conditions this is punished with relentless force. Bad wind, slower speed and fewer tacking options is the direct result of this error. Only the skipper to blame I guess. Although a bad position in the start, and even a tack that wen't completly wrong - what was the skipper thinking - we managed to get to bouy 4 not very much behind the leading pack. Some points of interessest - we passed Xdama on leeward with good speed - the skipper had tightened the back stay to the max and this worked for speed it seems.

After rounding pole 4 we went for bouy 8. Some raised the spinnaker and some didn't. The conditions seemed fair so we went for spinnaker as well. It almost worked for some minutes but the wind was shifting so the spinnaker had to be taken down after short time. The skipper had planned for a styreboard takedown, which might have worked well. He should have pointed the boat to the mark to fly the spinnaker after removing the boom. Well, he didn't and it became a bit more difficult to take the spinn down. We managed after a while but I guess we lost some boats in this operation.  We rounded bouy 8 as last express I guess.

The wind was building up, and seemed extreem to us on bord. Well, in fact it was about 12-13 m/s - not extreem, but handling must be done with care. Somehow the skipper didn't manage to maintain an even distribution of force on the sails - bot sails was acting a bit hysterical - the main was in bottom leeward position but the sails where screaming in punishment. The desition was taken to lower the jib. This was done in a great deal of difficulty. The cleat somehow remains shut. I believe the release of down haul eased the relase, but this is still a point of interest.

We finished by the main only. Siri was sitting on the jib and refused to move - this was pure mutiny. Well, somehow we managed to finsh as 14 of 19 boats. With all the errors the skipper did this is a truly remarkable.

This was not very good training conditions for an untrained crew, but you get what you get and hope for the best :-)

Thanks to the crew wich allmost stayed with me, for most of the time :-) Next time there is a mutiny you will have to use the plank.

Your humbled skipper... (Preben)

tuesday the 2.nd June

Tuesday in OSLO sf was great. Elisa, Mona and Preben were crewing. We did a lot of right things and good boat handling and even an early strat were we had to go back. well we are in the fight :)

The two main things we learned was:

SPINNAKKER ROTATION!!! we had some beautiful jibs due to that the rotation of the spinn through the jib is going much better. Remember: rotate the spinn oposit of the way the boat turns and over-rotate! We even had an almost perfect gibe-take-down.

The other thing was that the instructor told me to trim the main with less twist under these conditions. I felt the difference immediately. Nice. some little progress on main trim this day.

We were number three for most of the first race but ened up number five, but this is great in this company.


Wednesday 3. June

We were late to the start and somme last minute stress with the backstay and other things made us end up with a bad start. Well it was really blowing from the north (10 to 12 s/m or 20 - 24 knots) We were one crew short so the three of us had to do the work of four. Defne still a newbi on FLAX did the sheeting and cockpit work.

So we started out holding back a bit at the wrong end of the start line and waited to hoist the spin until we knew more of the conditions. after the hoist we did well and cought up on a few boats. The spinn take down was a disaster, trying to do what we never do a take down to the cockpit, to avoid having people on the foredeck. We just didnt manage to get it down before we were way past the bouy. Then there was an incident with the jib not fastened properly. These things costed us actually four minutes which seems an eternity.

But there were good things also, the sailing upwind went great after we managed to settle down and we cought up on somme of the losses. we dropped any more spinnakker experiments because the wind was building. In the end we calculated that without the blunders we wouls have ended on a quite nice result.

After the instructions on tuesday i experimented with a more closed mainsail (the sheet traveller to lee and the sheet pulled more) as i usually do. This caused some discussion on board after Preben had read the quick guide. I went back home to read the bible. there was nothing wrong in doing this as long as the boat performed. Twisting the main open spills power.

I will continue to experiment with the twist of the main. The lesson from tuesday indicates that i had developed a tendency to sail with a too twisted main. But it might be rigth that this is for middle wind, but we need to experiment.

Preben played the genua frentically on the genua up and down ropes (this equalls the sheet car on normal boats) to meet the puffs. I thought this was not really helping and that the little gained was lost in the periods when the genua was not tightened due to the trimming and the work resulting in not enough hiking out the boat ( the crew leaning to windward to reduce heel). In these windy and a little choppy and puffy conditions with also very unstable winds oscilating we need a tight genua leech, this means to tighten the genua up and down thingies quite hard. This induces a rounder front of the genua resulting in more power and a much more forgiving steering groove. This means i can steer the boat less straight and the wind angel of attack to the genua can vary more without the sail loosing its power. This is important in these conditions.

What does the bible (North books) say about playing the genua versus the main? Well on one hand it says that one needs to oversee the trim of the genua constantly on the other it says the genua is trimmed to an average and the main is played. I think both is right. Trim the genua constantly or often to meet the average and the playing is done with the main. This is how its done. The main system is set up for playing the puffs quickly, the genua is far less playable.

The learning experience this day was that we are maybe soon able to gear the trim according to the different conditions. But its still a problem that the knowledge of these gears is not owned by the crew, this causing the skipper to instruct instead of concentrating on stearing.

We need to learn and memorize the basics, for that the quick guide is ok but far from sufficient. The gears are quite nicely described in the Dedekam book. Everybody should have this by now.

Then we need to arrange a day with theory and training. I will use the wite board to go through it :)

OS May 26

Conditions: 1-3 m/s wind shifting from north-east to east - 13 boats. Top mark north-east corner of Husbergøya

Race 1:

Bad start - got to the line 8 seconds late. Did an early tack to get free wind and continued up to Husbergøya. This proved to be a very wrong move - to little wind. Rounded top mark as next to last which was the position after finsish. A race to forget!

Race 2:

A good start with good speed over the line, although we could have luffed the upwind boat past the start line as we had speed enough to allow this. We can go all the way up to the wind eye until the start goes. This would have left us with no overlapping boat and free wind. A bit fuss over the line with two boats bumping into each other, with a following protest. I guess the first boat was over the line to early as well - it was about a boat length in front of us. We almost managed to keep pace with the leading pack of 5-6 boats, and kept the trailing boats behind. On both down wind legs we should have continued a bit further before the gybe, to have more free wind after the gybe. It must be mentioned though that the wind was dissapearing, so the conditions was a bit difficult. Did a gybe downtake of spin on first leg which allmost worked - managed to pass one boat by the bouy but this was soon lost as the spin didn't get down fast enough, and it took time to build up speed again. Overall a fairly good race taking into account the inexperience of the crew and skipper - number 7 of 13 boats is quite well. A bit annoying that we lost the 6th position when a leeward boat (30 meeters down wind) managed to fly the spinaker when we didn't.