"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Details of Training Wheels' First Ocean Race

The Zongo Cup is the first ocean race that Training Wheels has participated in.  She has sailed out to sea just for fun, but turning back was always a convenient option.  The race was different.  She had to get to the finish line!

I have to say that racing adds a different perspective as compared to the usual cruising we do. I learn a lot more during races. Sailing a preset course requires you to take what wind and swell you have and use it to your best advantage in order to arrive at a specific destination. You also have a measuring stick, being the other boats in the race, to measure your progress by.

The Zongo course never took Training Wheels far from land, but the iphone app turned out to be a wonderful way of keeping track of her speed and direction to the next marker bouy. We have been opposed to tech on the boat wanting to keep things old school, but knowing the boat speed helps in finding the optimal sail trim to hit the top speed. Too bad the top speed for our Coronado 25 was only a whopping 4.8 knots.  We have MotionX GPS lite on the iPhone and it works very well. I will write a little more on this later.

The race started out smoothly with light wind.  Upon rounding Point Buchon, about 4 hours into the race, the wind picked up on a downwind run with gusts to 20 knots.  I guess this was too much for her 40 year old boom because she broke right in half! I must remember to ease the boom vang when running downwind. I am sure this contributed to the boom failure.

The boom flapped around uncontrollably, but luckily no one was hurt.  We stabilized the broken half into the sail and the standing rigging for the next two hours.  hen we got into Avila we were able to take down the sail and boom.  We will have to take the sail to SLO Sails for the repair.  We hope to buy another boom from anyone who has a spare or on craigslist. 
The boom is down, the sail folded, and boat anchored for the night.

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