Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sept 25, 2005
Yacht Clubs of Long Beach Charity Regatta
T-Rex Wins in a Tie-Breaker!

T-Rex ventured out in her first buoy race regatta with Steve, Stevie and Paul Washburn teaming up with long time friend and sailing buddy (Uncle)Bruce Golison. Two races around the Long Beach Inner Harbor Marks were sailed on a sunny, absolutely beautiful fall Sunday afternoon. We scored a 2-1 to tie for first and win the tie breaker for a win in PHRF B. (A good year tie breaker wise as we are 2 for 2 in tie breakers- see below story on our Mini-Me adventures on the Gorge in Oregon this past summer). The Santana 30-30 we tied with was well sailed and handled well around the corners. Our corrected time difference was less than 30 seconds in the second race-- a fair test for our relative ratings.

Being our first regatta to go around the buoys presented challenges as we were sorting out and learning the boat around the corners on the fly. We have a definite list of re-rigging improvements to clean things up. Turns out that the S-20 set up is a well refined one that is transportable to T-Rex. Other challenges were several PHRF A boats sailing an entirely different course that were surprisingly amateurish on boat handling and tactics as far as course placement when our classes overlapped. Two boats in particular based on race results from past regattas that should have known better. Lesson learned for Dad Washburn. Also noteworthy for the day was how involved 8 year old Paul Washburn was-- Pointing out what the competition was doing and where it was, using all the correct sailing lingo, keeping Dad and Bruce totally up to date on our course positioning. Needless to say Dad was speechless and proud. Paul was also observant with lots of questions on sail trim; for instance, blowing Bruce and Dad away with the question on why the boat heeled less when the main traveler was eased out in the puffs. Putting that cause and effect together really was a stunner- OK-- I am proud of Paul! And of all my sons! Good times indeed. Stevie, as usual, was practicing his quiet, patient and efficient foredeck handling on an unfamiliar platform. He is a real pleasure to sail with. Dad Washburn is a blessed and lucky man. Of course Bruce was at his usual best; calmly handling the middle of the boat, coaching Stevie and calling perfect tactics all at the same time.

The B-25 design is an absolute delight to sail and race, a great platform to work on and nimble and quick on the course. Dad and Stevie are really looking forward to the DH Races that are on the 2006 calendar, as well as a couple of others: One we are really looking forward to with Bruce, Dad and Stevie on board is the Delta Ditch Run, a 60+ mile race up the Stockton River from San Francisco Bay. The Trans-Tahoe Race is the other one we are excited about.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Gipsy Moth IV has been "Re-Launched"- Fabulous Story I want to preserve from the 9/25/2005 Scuttlebutt

From Skip Allan: Wonderful news Gypsy Moth IV sails again! In our age
of Ellens and V-70's, sponsored circumnavigations and live satellite feed,
it is fun to remember that warm August day in London, 1966. I was a kid,
hitchhiking around Europe, and wandered down to the Thames . There at a
backwater dock was a large, narrow, nameless ketch with a monster
windvane hanging on tiny transom. On deck was an older, bespectacled gentleman,
alone loading from a mound of sails, line, and gear. I asked if I could
help, as he seemed rather frail, with a gimpy leg. We spent the afternoon
together, loading and lashing.

After helping, the gentleman showed me the crowded confines of a gadget
filled cabin. He was especially keen on his "invention" of large chart
table drawers filled with sprouts in various stages of development. The
bilge was lined with metal kegs of Guinness Stout. I asked him the
designer. "Illingworth." I asked his plans, and he replied, "Oh, I'm
sailing around the world," but he was hesitant to describe his route,
saying only "bad luck to have firm plans." I said, "where's all your
food?" He said, "Oh, I live on sprouts and stout, healthiest diet you can
imagine." I shook my head in wonder and wished this lone individual all
the best. Didn't catch his name, but realized nine months later when
Francis Chichester returned to the accolades of millions of his countrymen,
that I had serendipitously been shore crew for a day aboard Gypsy Moth IV.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

SlBYC "Night" Point Fermin Race / T-REX

Steve, Steve, Christopher and Paul sailed our first race with our newly acquired T-REX (a B-25) on this late summer sunny and pleasant Saturday afternoon. Nowadays this race is actually the "Afternoon" Pt. Fermin Race.
The 21 mile course from Long Beach up to Pt. Fermin and back starts at 1530 now. In the old days this race started at 1800 and when the wind would invariably quit after dark the fleet would spend hours drifting back to the finish line after a great sail up to Pt. Fermin. The earlier start really makes for a great sail and a fairer test overall in the reliable afternoon breeze.

This year was a lighter air affair with a 10-12 knot breeze at the start that held until sunset when it absolutely gave up the ghost and went to nothing. We got a great start at the pin end (PHRF B) and tacked to cross the fleet to head up the harbor to LA Entrance. Our little 25 footer hung in there better than we all thought with the WB Boys hiking hard and Dad driving. We were first boat for boat several times crossing tacks with the two larger Santana 3030's all the way out through LA Entrance. Paul really liked the old light house. At the Pt. Fermin Buoy we rounded 3rd boat for boat, about 2 minutes behind the 3030's who gave us 9.6 minutes for the entire course. We had our little battles with lots of loose kelp all over the course and spent a lot of time with the kelp stick and even backed down once off Long Beach Entrance to rid ourselves of "a big piece of kelp" as Chris described it from his view through our kelp window.
Stevie drove downwind from LA Light to LB Light as well as handling the foredeck on the numerous jibes we did to stay in phase with the shifts and puffs.

At the East End of the LB Breakwater we were treated to a beautiful sunset and the wind dying down dramatically until at the point of the Alamitos Bay entrance it was blowing about 2-4 knots. Needless to say our position on corrected time slipped away and pending results we are looking at second or third we think. We finished at 1910. All in all a very enjoyable sail where we all had a lot of fun.

We drifted into the dock with an incredible full moon rising, did a quick put away and got home by 2030 for cheeseburgers and fries George Foreman style!

Update-- We did indeed correct out to third in class missing second by 2 seconds!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Labor Day Weekend 2005 - Moonstone/White's Landing, Catalina Island

Gypsy spent Labor Day weekend in Catalina-- with Steve Washburn, Steve Steinberg and Jenny Paul on board. We anchored in a great spot just on the west edge of Moonstone 100 yards off the beach. The water was extremely clear and a warm (for Catalina) 69.5 degrees.

Several friends were over on their boats- Among them were Greg and Ellen Heath on their Columbia 43 Heather, Steve and Jennifer Brown and friends on their Express 37 Brown Sugar (Just back from the TransPac).

The motorsail home (no wind) treated us to several visits from dolphin that played all around us. All in all a very relaxing laid back weekend at the island!