2008 results

Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup

(scroll to bottom for full report)

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Dark 'n Stormy's race reports are listed in order of occurence (latest races near the bottom) within four different categories:

  • Mudheads Wednesday night racing,
  • ECSA (Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association) regattas, 
  • one-design events
  • other races (including the Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup - huge victory for us!!!)

Scroll down to read of our exploits, see some pictures (double click on photos to view full size) and more.

2008 Summary: Dark 'n Stormy had a fantastic rookie year of racing in Eastern Connecticut. We were in ECSA's HP (high performance) division for boats with PHRF rating under 123 - a very tough division with lots of great boats and crews. We finished 7th in that division of the 29 boats that sailed the minimum number of races to qualify for a standing out of a total of 49 boats that raced last year. But we would've finished second if one of our rivals didn't wimp out hours (due to forecasted weather conditions) before the start of an bonus point race - see report on the Rock2Rock below. Oh well. Overall we finished 19th across all boats in the spinnaker classes in Connecticut AND being the only J105 on the list and one of two Mudhead boats in the top 25 boats in the ECSA yearbook.

Mudheads :

We finished third overall in the spring series, besting a couple J/109s and the other J/105. We were tied for third going into last race of the series and made a good tactical decision leading to fast downwind leg to overcome a 4 boat deficit at windward mark to finish second over the line and third on corrected time. Great race to end the spring series. Definitely need to get a functioning knotmeter! In the summer series we finished in second just one point behind a well sailed J109, even with a 10% penalty (from finishing 3rd in the spring) and DNF'ing in an early Wednesday race. Unfortunately the last two races on Sat 6 Sept were abandoned due to Tropical Storm Hanna - we really needed these races to improve overall season standing to second.

Overall for the 2008 Wed nite season we finished third. Not bad for our rookie year in competitive class consisting of (3) J109s, (2) J105s and Quest 30. Although it was PHRF racing, all boats were sprit boats so without local one-design racing we were happy with this compromise. We also were awarded the infamous Mud Cup trophy for reasons too embarassing to publish here.

ECSA events 

2008 Summary Complete results are here although ECSA are usually at least a month behind in data entry. As of 27 Sept we're in second place in Division III (HP, high performance, PHRF less than 123) but our excellent results from Offsoundings Fall series are still not reflected in the ECSA database.

Detailed Race Reports, listed in order of occurence:

Mystic River Distance Challenge 1st place doublehanded, 45nm race from Groton, Montauk and around Fishers in 25-30kts. Race from Seaflower reef (off Groton) to Montauk and around Fishers Island. Demanding conditions: 20-25kts gusting to 30+ rain, big waves and fog. Too demanding to even take many pics – see attached. Leszek and I did this race double handed. Until last 5 miles when fog began to clear we were in 3rd overall behind two much faster and bigger boats (“Glory”, a J44 and “Richocet”, a J/120). Those boats were much more suited for these conditions, especially with 6-8 people on the rail. For most of the race we didn’t see other boats due to fog. Blowing too much to hoist spinnaker (no one did, except the J/44 at very end of the downwind leg when conditions moderated somewhat) .We played it safe and followed leaders into Lord’s Passage but got cut off by from behind by “Lindy” and “Affinity” (J/42) who went thru Wickapoisset passage. I didn’t want to chance that narrow passage in the conditions. So we ended up 5th overall (out of 8 boats), but bested our arch rival the other J/105, “She’s the Boss” (who had 6 people aboard). Set a new speed record 13.1 kts, which we matched a few times on the downwind leg. Lots of fun surfing down big waves. Also, kinda cool finishing within one minute of the ETA calculated the night before. It was an exhausting 6 hr race, cleaned up boat, showered and crawled into semi-wet sleeping bag by 2000. In retrospect we should have flown the new main and an asym when conditions moderated near the end and taken Wickapoisset passage.

Cool pic in 30+ kts:

Here's a picture of my friend Leszek -notice angle of heel  - definitely would've liked 4-5 people on the rail that day!

Me having a blast (literally) downwind in big breeze

Niantic Early Bird, 4 June, We thought we did well, went to shore party and found out we were disqualified, bummer! Lesson learned: read the SIs very carefully!! Nailed by quirky rule at NBYC about not recrossing start line on downwind leg enroute leeward mark at least DSQ sounds more grunty than finishing last - lots to learn with new boat

OffSoundings - Spring, 4th of 9 Friday (missed 3rd by 10 seconds corrected), 8th on Sat, 7th overall, Google Earth (Saturday). Also here's a YouTube video from spring OffSoundings. Check out Dark 'n Stormy crossing finish on Fri about 1:07 into the video http://youtube.com/watch?v=1PEugmijGwk&feature=related Postscript: we sailed this race with dirty bottom , boat launched early April and water too cold to dive so I asked marina to powerwash. Learned AFTER the race they never did it. Needless to say we weren't very happy to learn this!

Mudnite Midnight Madness, long nite - about 18 hours of racing, 1800hrs start, Seaflower, Race, out to Block Island and back, good breeze out including a couple broaches with 110 sq m kite up near SouthWest ledge. We were 3rd around the first two marks, many boats fell into huge hole on return leg. Slept 2 hours and woke to find fleet anchored in Race against ebb. Took new main down to stop flogging but a little late getting it back up before breeze built to a whoppin 3kts. Had to anchor again off Fishers Island. We did make a good tactical move by flying smaller 77 sq mt kite and by North Dumpling to get by chief rival (the other J/105) that we've been essentially matching against since the Race and finished ahead of at least a couple other PHRF boats. Not the best conditions for J/105 but we certainly learned to appreciate use of current induced apparent wind!!! Sorry forgot the Velocitek so no Google earth track.

Hospice Regatta, 19 July Got nailed again by not fully understanding sailing instructions, at least we learned about gates! Very tough class against all the top boats. Finished near back of pack. Happy to have bested the other J105 though. We did raise $925 for a good cause and the party was fantastic. Best result was the excellent action pictures of us under sail during the race; click on images to see them full size:

63rd Ram Island Yacht Club Round Island Race Complete results here: http://ramislandyachtclub.org/roundisland/2008RIRaceResults.pdf Think we were all a bit dismayed to hear the results at the party. Thought we placed higher. On the other hand I did hear from others I respect that we sailed a good race. It’s very tough to be the slowest boat and competition was certainly top notch. Glad to see the elapsed and corrected times, less than 4 minutes corrected (over a 2.5hr race) separated 3rd through 6th place. We did also beat this boat on corrected time. We did sail very well but there’s always room for improvement.  Top learnings:

1. we should’ve hugged the shore on the south side of Fisher’s for that entire leg, according to Jon Gibbs on Petrel he jibed for shore immediately after the race and stayed real close (a little too close at times as bricked up on a rock – but still took third in his slow boat with old tired sails). Neal on Checkered Daemon, Doug on Euphoria, Rich on Se Therin and others also did well with that strategy. See this  Google Earth track for this race (or at least most of it as I forgot to turn on the Velocitek before the start) to see how far out in the flood after passing through the Race - plus it was a full moon. According to the GPS Action software replay we spent at least 30 minutes of the entire run along Fisher's fighting adverse current we could have avoided by sailing closer to shore.

2. we need to keep an eye on our competition. It’s up to folks on the rail to keep track of boats in our class. I will acquire new binoculars before next race We led Cup throughout the entire race, and had no idea where they were on last leg. Also, we crossed One More Time’s (the Mumm 30) bow about 1 mile from the finish. They were on starboard and owed us a great deal of time. Don’t know which way they went to get so far ahead ahead of us at finish.

3. need to check rig and measure position of jib tracks. Last few races we were consistently faster on port tack. Knotmeter is only an inch or two off centerline so I don’t think that’s a factor. Think that hurt our first leg as it was primarily a starboard tack. (damn, Velocitek wasn't on for that leg so this is only anecdotal)

Here are some pics:

1. friends from Euphoria and Petrel nite before the race

 2. Tony looking colorful trimming kite

3. bowgirl working hard

4. crew boss always insists on PFDs and staying well hydrated


Mason's Island Yacht Club regatta Third place. Scratch boat again, lite winds, tough competition but we had a little home court advantage. Before race we measure jib tracks and found they were off by 1" inch plus bolt paterns on the tracks are different. This appears to explain why we always seems to faster on port tack(duh!). We had an OK start but a horrible first upwind leg. Good downwind leg as we started to battle back from last place. Great leeward mark rounding passing two boats and the steadily improving performance including first ever (we never practiced this before) starboard sets and douse resulted in 3rd overall finish out of 7 boats. We beat the other J105 and a J120 boat for boat and on corrected time bested another J120 and a J/44. Overall good day and great shore party. Complete results here: http://www.masonsislandyachtclub.com/News.html

52nd Fisher's Island Yacht Club regatta We shared sniff boat duty this time. Four J105s were in our class, including Rod Johnstone (Sailing Hall of Fame, world champion, founder of J/boats etc) aboard his brand new J105 "Ragtime" (same name as the original J/24 btw). Course counterclockwise around Fisher's Island, NY. Amazingly, NOAA and Sailflow forecasts and grib's were completely and utterly wrong. Race started in very lite winds after postponement when earlier classes just parked outside North Hill.  For most of the race it was "Lindy", "Ragtime" and us in the lead. At one point we were actually were ahead of "Ragtime" crossing her bow near the end of the shortened course. At the eastern end of Fisher's Island the winds toally died, and the RC finished us at Lord's Passage. But the winds didn't die evenly everywhere which allowed the rest of fleet to catch up to us. Dave Dickerson on "Lindy" had a big lead and easily took first. Rod on "Ragtime" leveraged his immense local currents knowledge to take second and two higher PHRF rated boats had good wind longer than us and bested us taking third and 4th leaving us to finish 5th out 10. We  we did beat the other J105s, Jaded (6th) (who had a fantastic comeback after hitting a course mark in the Race and had to fight ebb to go back, round mark and do their circles) and She's the Boss (8th?) despite us being parked for quite awhile with no steerage. If the winds held a little while longer we would've finished in the money. Oh well, we were able to hang with "Ragtime" - ok kinda hang as Rod didn't have PHRF sails. Anchored off Fisher's for the shore party - this was the first time anchoring Dark 'n Stormy at leisure (the other times we anchored were in the middle of a race) . Met Rod's wife Lucia (check spelling) and had a good conversation with him about lots of stuff - what a great guy. FIYC is known for their excellent shore parties but weren't serving Dark 'n Stormies so I'll have to vote for Ram Island as best party of the ECSA circuit so far this season. Surprisingly, at the awards we received a nice trophy inscribed "2008 Island Cup Overall". How a 6th at Ram Island, a 3rd at Mason's and 5th at Fisher's translates into an overall award was odd but we did appreciate coming with away with something for our hard work. Complete results here: http://www.fiyc.net

Thames Yacht Club 61st Annual Commodore's Trophy  2nd place. Big win ECSA point wise, plus we always like besting a J/44, J/120 etc. Think we beat more boats today (10 boats in our class) than any race so far. Awesome day, probably the best sailing conditions all summer 12-16kts, bright sun, half moon tidal conditions and surprisingly little swell from Hanna. What made it even sweeter was not knowing if we would even race, especially since yesterday's Mudhead end of season was abandoned due to Tropical Storm Hanna. Didn't even think this race would happen due to Hanna. RC wisely delayed start 2 hours the day before to let the storm pass through. We were a last minute entry and the night before it was looking like Eric and I would do this race doublehanded (we just tried the ATN snuffer for the first time a few days before) but we were able to recruit some teenagers at the Mudheads awards dinner the night before this race and ended up with 6 crew total. Half of crew was brand new to boat but they all proved excellent sailors with a lot of energy - three jib changes before start and one during a downwind leg and they didn't bat an eye. WIll definitely add these kids to the crew list! Great day, nice yacht club with excellent beach and plenty of Dark 'n Stormies at this Goslings sponsored event. Full results will be posted here.

OffSoundings Fall Series 12-13 Sept First place. One of the biggest PHRF events in southern New England. Over 100 boats, 9 in our class. First place on Friday, 4th on Saturday but we motored back to CT immediately after finish instead of sailing back to Greenport for series results and another night of food and drink, darts and foosball. Friday was a navigational challenge. Excellent tidal current info from Armchair Sailor (far better resolution than Eldridge) and equally excellent wind forecasts from predictwind.com gave us info needed to plan a winning strategy for this race. Winds 12-18 knots gusting higher on last leg. Totally love the new UK Halsey class jib!!! We hit 12.5 knots on downwind leg for new boat speed record with big chute up (still haven't surpassed the 13.1kts earlier in the season WITHOUT a chute.) This leg was a challenge for other boats as we saw two kites blow up and one boat in our class, Quantum Leap, lost their rudder, (but SeaTow recovered it). Best part was serving up lots of Dark 'n Stormies on the dock to all the friends and crews that visited us for congratulations. Saturday was extremely light air day. Good start and we did well on the first beat, had a little issue with a starboard set, then wind died. Never anchored but difficult to keep moving in 1 knot or less of wind. The race took about 6 hrs though it seemed alot longer.  Fast ride home with flood through Race and I'm sure we all slept well after long day on the water. Google Earth track of Friday's course here.

 Here's some more pics from Chip Reigel:

Mystic River Fall Regatta 20 Sept Second place. RC started us in middle of Fisher's Island sound against peak flood. Stayed well high before start but got in bad air after start. Our startegy was to go the beach but we ended up drifting back across start line in the heavy tide. Didn't want to cross stream and winds looked better right so made for the tidal lee of North Dumpling and was smoking the fleet for first third of the 2 nm windward leg. Winds eased again and next third of windward leg we played fickle breezes trying to avoid anchoring like many others did behind us. Meanwhile Crystal Slipper who went left made it to the beach and found little tide and some breeze. Got anchor ready on foredeck and then pressure started to build and we ended up reaching for the mark but Crystal Slipper aka the Death Star rounded the windward mark 1/2 mile ahead of us. RC meanwhile shifted leeward mark to accomodate a 30  degree right shift. Closed with Crystal on the next upwind leg but again winds favored them on last downwind leg. Ate lunch and waited for rest of fleet. And waited. SIs prevented them from starting the planned second race until all classes finished so we waited even more until RC abandonded the planned second race just as nice southerly filled in. Hailed She's the Boss for some drag racing (we've done some boat on boat tuning with the them recently) and Crystal wanted to play too so we had an adhoc race setting a course for North Hill and back, set a 3 min start with a fog horn and used the start line before RC pulled up stakes. Crystal took their head start and we were off. This race was much more intense as we match raced against Slipper covering us virtually the entire leg until we were able to break free into clear air. They had the edge at upwind mark but downwind we smoked 'em.  Then off to the party for some 2nd place bling and end of season socializing. Too bad only 12 boats showed up (six in our class), despite lack of wind it was a gorgeous day on the water with plenty of sailboats out on the sound enjoying perhaps their last sail of the season. We had 4 newbies aboard and it was a great day to introduce them to racing aboard a J/105. Disappointed with low turnout and surprised to see some of our regular competition already hauled out. Too cold (48 degrees!) to dive boat before race, I try to clean bottom twice a week and just did it on Wed but saw an advertisement for a wetsuit in the marina head, made the call and did the transaction. Tried out the wet suit the day after race and boy is it bouyant! Need to get a weight belt I guess. I'm sure it will get some good use over the next 6 weeks of racing.

 

 

 

Rock2Rock, Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, 26-7 September  First place and our first perpetual trophy at one of my favorite yacht clubs  So it was us against "Dragon", a very cool Class 40, (see this link). Dark 'n Stormy rates 81 in ECSA PHRF, while Dragon rates minus 12. We bested them boat for boat across the finish by <insert elapsed difference> minutes, hard to tell as it was foggy when we finished. We sailed a good race and except for almost running aground it was a really fun sail - absolutely love distance racing! Crew was totally geared up for heavy weather but it never materialized. Started with small kite but quickly changed up, disappointed we left biggest kite in car! New moon and a little storm surge action provided faster currents which we worked to great advantage (see jibe past Orient point on downwind leg and last leg in the google earth map below) Pre-race: Hearing there are only 3 boats signed up, including She's the Boss, don't know the third boat. Hope RC doesn't cancel race as we need a good finish in this ECSA bonus point race to enhance season's overall standing. Logistics are coming together, re-installed radar mast, rigger is inspecting rig for any lurking issue - all is fine but don't need any surprises in the upcoming long distances races. Crew: have 4 confirmed and 2 tentative. Ordered a Commanders weather briefing and there are indications of a low moving up the coast and "grazing the area" late next week. I like to do my own weather but for $60 we'll see what insight Commanders can add. Installed a Force 10 one burner propane stove for hot drinks and food and now planning the menu. At least there's no hotel accomodations to book! Until a few days before we didn't know we would even race, Bruce from Gremlin volunteered to serve as RC and that was enough for race to be back on. Weather: All week we long watched progression of a coastal low off Carolinas and a depression (Invest93) over Puerto Rico (later tropical storm Kyle.) At one point meterologists thought they would combine in a Fujiwhara interaction. Turned out we raced between the lows. One low hit Friday before the race and the other end up going east after the race. RC wisely called for the short course (about 64nm) instead of the 159nm course (which meant we lots food) to get us back before the second storm. Commanders weather briefing called for squally conditions with diminishing winds and they were mostly correct but the squalls never came. In fact, except for about an hour of drizzle we stayed dry and in winds 20kts or less. We definitely got value from Commanders weather forecast, esp near NY shore. Leveraging new moon and storm driven SE fetch and tidal surge current vectors. Dark 'n Stormy's Google Earth track of the 2008 Rock2Rock race is hereKey learnings: 1. This was the first time cooking food underway on J105, Yes it can be done if you limit menu to chowder, coffee, grilled cheese etc. and have a separate food cooler and lots of paper towels 2. Electronics, WTF! Garmin lost satellite signal and never recovered. Almost caused us to run aground (see Google Earth track crash tack near Plum Island on return leg in the middle of Eric's nap). Getting back to dock in fog after race wasn't fun either. Need to address this before next week's BOCC 90nm distance race. 3. Bring all sails you're eligible to carry and don't depend on forecasts- wished we had the 110 sq meter chute when conditions lightened but it was in the back seat of a rental car. Here's a picture of our main competitor, "Dragon", a class 40.

Here's pic of Dark 'n Stormy's intrepid and talented R2R crew, ready for heavy weather which never came (in anticpation of heavy tropical storm rain bands we even installed the dodger for the first time since April):

One design Regattas

NYYC Rolex, J105 East Coast Champsionships, July 25-27 We finished DFL at the NYYC Rolex J105 East Coast Championships but learned a lot in our very first one design regatta event was equivalent to a couple months of Wed nites. Boat is competitive, but we are not - had some great legs and some horrible ones but never finished embarrassingly last. Smallest errors are magnified at this level of competition. Still didn’t have a knotmeter for targets, but we did have a tactical compass for first time will never sail a race without it again. All our starts were fine – actually seemed easier than PHRF starts because all boats have same performance characteristics. Sunday weather was wild (so was double handed ride up on Thursday but that’s another story). Raymarine registered 38kts but winds were definitely higher (http://www.nyyc.org/ says it was 48-50kts), heavy rain, some hail and we saw vortice-like cloud before visibility dropped to 50 meters or less, lightning strikes were far away though. We doused early but jib destroyed on furler or possibly damaged on prior upwind leg, cunningham broke, and a crew member’s phone went inop after trying to take video once things settled down a bit. Other than that we were fine. NYYC RC never should have sent us 6 legs with the squall approaching. We withdrew from race later learning race committee abandoned, but noise level from wind and rain was too deafening to use radio and we were too busy taking sails down and staying away from other boats anyways. Saw lots of torn sails and we heard of a dismasting, possibly a J109. Great company, bringing bikes was a great idea. Excellent dinners and fun cocktails. Great score on the B&B, and oh ya the racing....big learning curve, we now know after two days of hot beating sunshine, we should not complain about the weather and ask for anything different because you might not want what you get! Thanks to all of you for working together as a team and staying calm during an umpredictable and a bit frightening experience. Special thanks to Eric and Andy for hauling Dana back on board!!! Love those lifelines!!!

Storm Trysail - Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, October 11-12, Larchmont NY First place. 288 college sailors from 30 schools aboard 36 boats in fleet, 12 J/105's in class. Dark 'n Stormy was assigned to the Cornell University's sailing team with crew boss Eric acting as safety offficer. After first the day of racing Dark 'n Stormy was tied for first place with Drexel and Georgetown. A third and a bullet on the second day of racing put the Cornell team on top with a decisive victory. Cornell was also awarded third place overall (Hoffman Trophy) for the best winning percentage across two days of racing in the fleet of 36 boats. Full results here. Lots more pictures and videos here and here. Also article here

 

Manhasset Bay Fall Series, October 18-19 and 25-26 2008, Pre-race: This will be our second one design event and last chance this year to sail one-design. Built spreadsheet matrix of crew availability, real pita keeping track of everyone's availability. Need to make go/no go this week and work on logistics for delivery to a mooring somewhere 12-15hrs sail away, probably Larchmont, NY. As of 7 OCTwe are a GO! Contributing DnS to StormTrySail Intercollegiate Regatta 10-11 Oct in Larchmont in exchange for mooring there for next three weeks. Casting off 0230 Fri for 76nm delivery, at least autohelm is kinda working now. Delivery Fri 10 Oct,  uneventful 13hr motorsail from Noank CT to Larchmont NY (obtained a mooring for the next 3 weeks in exchange for donaint boat to Intercollegiate regatta - see above) . Actually sailed for about 40 min. Nice warm sunny day just no wind. At least the autohelm workaround worked and the gas tank gauge proved accurate. Woke up at 0210 to cast off at 0230, open thruhull but couldn't find boat keys! Had to hotwire ignition. After journey and getting back late to cars for drive home I stopped at marina head to find the boats keys hanging on bulletin board - must've dropped them in the parking lot after last weekend's sleep deprivation in the BOCC race. Another long start to this weekend with long delivery, missing the train we wanted by 10 minutess due to holiday weekend traffi, sleeping 3 hours out of 42, long drive home. Logisitics, jeez, Larchmont is far from home, thinking..standby all

First weekend: need to write this up

Second weekend: It took just a couple tries early Saturday morning but I successfully bled the diesel engine fuel system of air and it performed well all weekend. I was really concerned about it all week with the boat being so far away so I researched a lot online, talked to a bunch of folks, bought extra primary and secondary filters, diapers for fuel mop up etc. I was pleasantly surprised to have success – first time I actually had to do this - I’m beginning to like diesels. Anyways, we blew the start on Saturday but caught up to the fleet quick but since we were very short handed (only 4 crew total) and given heavy weather (20+ kts, gusting higher) we decided on a ‘get the around course safely’ strategy. Most J105s didn’t fly spinnakers; “Planet Claire” did just in front of us, broached and had a man aboard. We made to assist but “Snow Lion” was on the scene first so we stayed out of the way. Heard later in the bar their main trimmer lost his balance during the broach and went overboard in full foul weather gear without a PFD and was struggling to stay afloat but was recovered quickly. Another J105 (Andiamo) broke their boom and a boat in another class had another MOB with a slight head injury but have no further details. Saw a Farr 40 destroy a chute and a couple spinnakers in the PHRF class were blown too in multiple wipeouts. During the race a cam cleat on our traveler failed, we lost the top batten again (despite our early morning attempt at sail repair from last weekend’s issue) and the car which holds the clew on the boom failed - we rigged a sail tie temporarily (more winter projects). With the forecast predicting conditions would worsen further as the day went on (gale warnings were up), with our equipment issues and being short handed I radioed the RC after finishing to say we wouldn’t race the second race (and we later decided not to race on Sunday too as the repairs could not be done in time), but they abandoned the second race after starting the first class due to the conditions so we didn’t lose any points and we had our choice of moorings in unprotected Larchmont harbor, picking up a mooring was a real challenge in those seas – took a couple tries. Lots of carnage on the race course – we even briefly discussed about sticking around just to watch the second start to see more action but sailed back instead avoiding the start of the heavy rain and getting good seats in the Larchmont YC bar for Dark ‘n Stormy’s, lunch and trading war stories with crews of other boats. Later we drank plenty of Guinness, had dinner, sampled a few pubs in Stamford and crashed around 2200. Our 76nm ride back to Noank got off to a late start on Sunday: The yacht club pulled their launches the previous day because of the conditions in the harbor and we had to wait awhile for a ride out to the mooring. The day started off slow motor sailing under blue sky and warm enough for t-shirts and shorts but around noon we hoisted the small spinnaker with snuffer in 12kts which built all night to around 18kt, got in around 2130 after a really great double handed sail under very clear sky full of stars to end the season. Dark'n Stormy is home after 3 weekends of racing in New York and now it’s time to strip and clean her before marina turns water off prior to hauling in a couple weeks.

Summary (more to come soon) and results: here:

Other Races:

Mudheads Race to Nowhere, 3 Sept 2008 First Place, 2008 winner of Broken Oar Trophy: This year’s Race to Nowhere was actually a race to somewhere with a course around Flat Hammock North and South Dumpling Islands. Conditions were brutal and challenging thanks to remnants of hurricane Gustav. The fleet was immense but Dark ‘n Stormy with full main and #3 had a great start at the pin. Short handed and using the snuffer for the first time, Dark ‘n Stormy jibed into strong ebb to get carries down to the first mark and a commanding lead. Course was shortened and we finished ahead of perennial favorites Jolly Mon, Remedy, She’s the Boss and Quantum Leap (who mis-read sailing instructions and went clockwise around the islands. :) 

Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup http://chineseyachtclub.com/index.html October 3-4. First in class, First overall corrected and winner of the historic 2008 BOCC CUP !!!!!  In addition, we set a new boat speed record of 16.83 kts. Average speed over the 92nm course was 10.23 knots. Overall the best race we've ever had and a great race to end 2008 PHRF racing season. Our focus now changes to one design for remainder of 2008.

Preface: This Cup is the second oldest in this country, the oldest is the America's Cup. The BOCC Cup was created in 1904 when the Brooklyn Yacht Club became jealous of the attention paid to their rival the NYYC and the America's Cup. More detail on BOCC history here including list of past winners. The Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup race hasn't been held for 30 years. Shelter Island and Chinese Yacht Clubs in Greenport, NY have gotten together to reinstate this race as part of Greenport maritime revival program. One night at Seahorse over beers Mudheads leadership told us about this race (we had never heard of it) and said wouldn't it be great if we took 5 of the best boats of different performance characteristics and 'stack the deck' with top Mudhead sailors to wrestle the Cup away from Shelter Island? Dark 'n Stormy was in from the start, but enthusiasm dwindled in the coming weeks especially after it was learned the deed of gift says the actual Cup will remain with Shelter Island YC. So in this race there's just two Mudhead boats, us and Dragon (a Class 40 racing double handed) and finding crew for distance race on short notice is presenting a challenge, so far a total 3 core crew confirmed for this 90nm race , 1600 start, course Greenport, NY around Block Island, RI and back. Is that really 90nm? Registration is now closed and it looks like a total of 26 boats, including (5)J105s and (3) J109s, are entered. Had to get a ELI PHRF cert so we went with class sails only rating as we're hoping for breeze! This race is weekend after Rock2 Rock (159nm) and we're pumped about distance racing, quite different from the typically windward/leewards courses and with all whole new set of logistics. Pre-race: Ordered up a Commanders forecast, a total of 7 crew committed, working up menu, making good use out of new wetsuit and looks like a good autumn racing forecast. Logistics looking like delivery Fri morning cast off 0900 to Greenport for 1400 skipper's meeting and a 1600 start. Delivery: Double handed 20nm beat into SCA conditions: 25+kt and big waves in LIS, luckily flood pushed us to Plum Gut entire beat. Glad we had dodger on but nevertheless got soaked plenty of times. Tethered on the whole time. Waves eased in Gardiner's Bay but wind picked up. When we heard an ominous whistling under a darkening sky, probably presaging passage of the leading edge of a forecasted cold front, we brought the reefed main down and motored into Greenport. Checked reading from Ledge Light on the Blackberry right then and it was reporting 36kts gusting to 43. Arrived too late and missed skipper's meeting so we did a touch and go at Mitchell Marina to pick up rest of crew, the five "ferry boys" - due to work commitment they were to take a 23' Chris Craft over to Greenport. Wind and waves prompted them to take ferry into Orient Point. They reported even the ferry was having difficulties in the weather having to slow down, sick passengers, etc. So with crew on board barely 30 minutes before the start we stowed gear, changed headsails, rigged spinnaker, checked in and had time for just one tack before the start. Turned out having fresh crew was one key to our success. The race: Downwind start outside Greenport, 26 boats and relatively short line.The start of the race was absolutely spectacular - downwind start going around a point with 25 knots of breeze. Lots of wipeouts, spinnakers blowing up, saw a spinnaker pole broke, two boats withdrew, one with torn mainsail but we held it together. Downwind leg was awesome, sailing wicked fast down good size waves. My fingers really cramped up on one hand (couldn't move three of them really weird never happened before) so others got to enjoy fast J105 driving too. We made the run to the first mark on Block Island in approx 4 hours - totally amazing hitting 12-16 knots through the water regularly on the 40 mile run. New boat speed record for us, 16.83kt!!! Everyone, especially those crew new to J105, were just simply amazed at the control at such speeds. Wicked fast and plenty of water over bow at peak speeds. After a couple jibes in the dark we were reaching up the east side of Block. Relinquished helm after 1BI, this time less reluctantly as it got cold under a very clear sky with shooting stars, but sleep and cooking was impossible while pounding upwind in waves, couple of us almost seasick for the first time which cleared quickly when back on deck. After 1BI we first went south and then went north of rhumb line for more wind per Commander's suggestion and mostly reached for home for the class gun (our first!) at 02:03 Saturday morning. Here's the Google Earth files: downwind track and return track (for some reason the Velocitek output two files and I can't stitch them together). Post Race: unfortunately bars were closed when we arrived back in Greenport so we huddled around the Force 10 propane stove below, cooked up hot grilled cheese sandwiches and drank all the rum and Heinekens onboard which clearly wasn't enough for this crew so we crashed around 0400, 2 guys slept in the Volvo support vehicle after moving it from IGA to Claudio's (where it was hoped they were less likely to get pinched for vagrancy) leaving 3 semi-dry berths, 2 wet berths, 3 pillows, one sleeping bag and one blanket for five of us - didn't matter because we were exhausted, maybe got a good 3 hours of sleep then showered off Friday's salt, ate a leisurely breakfast at uncrowded corner diner, cleaned up boat, dried out gear in warm sun, replaced the top batten we lost, attended a good awards party with good chowder and beer then a nice fast ride home through Silas passage while practicing double handed techniques with snuffer. Full results are here. Overall the best race we've ever had, a most excellent crew and challenging conditions made for a fantastic couple days of autumn New England sailing. Already looking forward to defense of cup next year! (Click on (some) pics to view full size:

 

 

See Dark'n Stormy on front page of Sailing Anarchy on 8 OCt 2008 . See also this thread on Sailing Anarchy for more race commentary.

I ook a digital video clip of us downwind sailing, nothing spectacular, actually more of an experiment and posted it to YouTube. (it's my first post to YouTube - easy - wish I started earlier in the season..could be a good training aid..

More BOCC videos from fellow anarchists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkvcDDcRgP8 shows part of start and some cool broaches

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZD2w0hhGnQ from Lunatic Fringe