Kiel Week day one

3 07 2008

Ok So I’m going to try to recount the racing on each day for the 4 days we raced at Kiel week.  I meant to do this earlier, but we struggled to get wireless during the event.  I’ll try to keep it as factual as possible, so if I start talking about 50 knot gusts or dragons then I apologise.  I have a very active imagination…

ok, so day one gave us onshore breeze of around 16 – 18 knots with pretty big waves.  This was our first day of Grade 1 racing all year due to us missing Palma and Hyeres with family problems, and we couldn’t have asked for more difficult conditions.  Upwind we were wiring higher than usual to clear the steep waves, and downwind we were making big turns and choking the kite to keep us from pitchpoling.  Our aim for the day, due to us being a little rusty in strong wind and waves, was to get the boat round the track upright and get some decent starts.  We pulled some turns on as the breeze built (up to 34 on the shrouds) and started hunting for the gaps on the start line.

At our last event, we worked out a decent starting sequence of waiting for half the fleet to park up at around 1.30 to go before finding a hole and parking.  At between 1.30 and 30 seconds we would look for a double tack to put us right under the windward boat.  Judging our distance from the line, Jus would take the jib from me at 30 seconds and I’d pre-set the controls before triggering anything between 10 and 4 seconds to go.  Now for some reason, at 1.30 the entire fleet was parked up wing to wing on the VERY short startline.  Oh crap, plan B it is then.

We hunted for a smaller hole at the other end of the line and ending up starting front row but a little slow.  At the top we rounded 12th after clocking up some good lanes and having some pretty decent speed.  We pulled the bear away (easy stuff, our bearaways kicked ass all week, even in 25 knots) and popped the kite.  Down the runs we were rapid (new kite) and gybed in the waves without any problems.  We rounded the leeward mark (for some stupid reason, a big life raft full of photographers who were there all day but didn’t manage to take a single decent picture…) and ended up finishing the race 16th after dropping a few places at the second leeward mark.

Second race was very similar.  Lots of capsizing for many boats and plenty of kite choking downwind to slow the boat before we slam into the next wave.  Second race we finish 15th.

Final race, we nail the start and throw caution to the building wind by refusing to choke the kite in the waves.  We scream down both runs picking up places as other boats flip out.  We come into the final gybe on the second run (out of three), nail the boat onto the layline and charge into the mark, picking up another place to jump up to 4th.  As we round the leeward mark, following nose to tail with the guy in 3rd, we both hit the wire as Jus sheets in the main.  The guys we had just overtaken were gybe dropping round the mark in a pack, and we sailed into there big bad air at the wrong time.  The boat pitched into to windward without giving us a second to think, and we dropped back to 20th at the finish.  The day should have been much better with us finishing in 27th (gold fleet qulification standard after two days) if it wasn’t for the capsize.  We made a few mistakes that were so stupid but easy to fix with more practice, so we aren’t to unhappy with our work.

A few of the Brits had a great day.  Dylan and Alain and Rashley and Shrek both sailed blinders.

We got off the water and headed back to the tent for some Pasta and lots of water.

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7 responses

5 07 2008
Neil

Sounds like and epic day on the water!

11 07 2008
Gavin

hello again, took the 49er out the other day in light breeze and it was pretty brutal. my skipper and i were kind of cranky after spending ages trying to get out to the island the boats on and rigging and then the wind peters out when we get in the middle of the lake! the biggest problem we had was balancing in the light stuff. who should be balancing when theres maybe enough for one person to trap, not fully but just be hooked? i thought the skipper is s upposed to get hooked on as soon as they can and kind of crouch and be ready to flatten on puffs. then does the crew just chill in front of the mast or just behind but in the middle? we tried the in front of the mast but even on light days we get this angry power boat chop so the bow kept digging. needs some figuring… anyways we got this DVD called Higher and Faster and WOW! so much cool stuff. we had a narly storm today with winds that topped at 86 mph so we obviously didnt sail! instead we watched that movie and took notes and we have alot to try now. the main thing i learned is the wire to wire tacks, how to get out basicly. grab above the handle and straighten your arm out to support your weight…. awesome. any help on the light conditions would be great! thanks again,

Gavin

11 07 2008
Gavin

oh i forgot to ask about the crew trap wire rubbing on the upper shrouds when you are far forward. i saw in your video to keep your weight forward you would lift your trap adjuster way up and stand off the wing onto the hull in front of the shrouds but still be trapping, well the trap wire hits the shrous pretty bad. is this normal?

Gavin

11 07 2008
visser49erracing

So make sure the crew trapeze wires pass behind the shrouds but in front of the caps (Caps go all the way to the tip of the mast). This way, when you trap in front of the wing, it’ll be clear of the caps. then just make sure it doesn’t hook on the lower spreader and you’re sorted.

So in the li stuff, the helm should be hooked on, on a high hook, and balanced on the kick rail on the wing, moving in or out as the breeze changes. the crew should have the main and be sitting next to the mast in front of the lowers, ready to move infront of the mast if the wind dies, and out to the wing (whilst staying in front of the lowers) if the wind builds.

Crew must keep his head out of the boat to see where the wind is, so both of you can react, and also to spot waves, where you and the helm must move backwards to get the bow over them. and always listen for the gurgling sound from the back of the boat. If it starts gurgling then you are too far back. Get that bow in.

11 07 2008
Gavin

nice, well try that tonight. were having one other problem with the vang. the guy we bought the boat from says the vang line is the perfect size but we have to ease the control line on the wings all the way then two block the main plus some just to get the vang arm on. then when we do get it on the leach is just strapped. in the medium to light stuff i cant imagine that you would want the vang pre loaded up like that before you even went out. what you guys do?

Gavin

11 07 2008
visser49erracing

The 49er’s leach ALWAYS looks crap in light wind. So the tip of the vang bar when full eased should be about a hand’s breath away from the vang arms. As the breeze builds you’ll need to shorten the rope so that it can com fully on, by about 2 inches, but in the light stuff it should be eased this far. If not, then lengthen the rope.

When getting the main up, we wait until the sail is about 3 feet from the op of the mast and then attach the boom to the clew. Once the boom end is rigged, that’s when we hoist all the way to the top.

12 07 2008
Gavin

no sailing today, 30 mph day and then a huge storm. ill try the vang ease deal but pulling the main up is different for us. we have to tip over the boat to get the main up otherwise its super hard and it comes out of the track. today wasnt all bad though. still got out on a 420 and did the glory reach in 30 mph consistent!(reach with the kite up well on the wire, basically the crews even with the main sheet and the skipper is hiking off the last 2 feet of the boat otherwise the bow digs and rounds up!)

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