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Why Knot?

Race Details

  • Wind: 20g30 W, shifting to 14g20 NW
  • Course: Race cancelled due to high wind
  • Temperature: 26C°C
  • RaceQs Link: Not tonight
  • Results Link: Visit
Course Map


  1. Bowman: Gadget
  2. Mastman: null
  3. Understudy: null
  4. Pit: The Cunning Ham
  5. Foresail Trimmer: Lazy Sheet
  6. Mainsail Trimmer: DaveH
  7. Helm: StarPort
  8. Extra Crew: David Harpur as Mastman

What do you do when the committee boat comes back to the marina waving a red checkered flag, saying “race cancelled, too much wind”?

Go sailing, of course!

Yep, the boys in blue went for a joy ride in big wind tonight to test our mettle, take pictures of the recut #3 jib, and practice reefing the main, and shaking out the reef.

The sky was bright, the air was warm, and we all settled in to enjoy a scream around the bay without the pressure of a race.  I think everyone was relaxed when we all knew the spinnaker would stay down below.

How bad was the wind?  Actually, no problem at all.  When we first set out, the lulls were around 20 knots and the gusts were ferocious (30?  more?), but with a reefed mainsail, very tight shrouds & full backstay (to minimize forestay sag), and our flatter #3, we were able to sail close-hauled without incident.  Sure, we had some water over the rail in the gusts, but surprisingly little.  And in the lulls, there was no weather helm!  This is the first time I’ve ever really experienced the boat so balanced in big wind, so it is a sort of breakthrough.  (But the story on the cut of the jib is not done yet, see below).

There were only a few boats out on the bay:  Pandora came out with us, and later we saw Top Gun, Sandpiper and Don’t Panic (the little viper).  Don’t Panic even flew their spinnaker – I bet they were nearly airborne!

As the wind eased, we shook out the reef, and tested the balance again.  Weather helm was back, but not as bad as it has been in the past.  Progress!

Back at the dock, our resident gourmand broke out home made Vietnamese fresh rolls, with three different sauces: peanut, spicey and sweet.  And while we were dining, the setting sun lit up some little puffy clouds in bright orange, like dragon fire.  Across the bay, a full moon began its ascent.  It’s great to be alive!

Now, about the #3 jib.  Some things are improved, some are not.  In this picture you can see that the shape up top is not good, and this was even with the jib cars all the way forward.  I’d like to see it flatter up top, with all the draft stripes having the same depth even with the jib cars a bit aft.  Back to the sailmaker for another trim, I guess.  Stay tuned.  (Oh, but admire the minimal forestay sag — I’m sure that’s why we were so well balanced!)


One thought to “Why Knot?”

  1. Update on the cut of the jib: the sail loft agrees the shape up high needs to be improved. rather than change the luff curve further, the plan will be to minimize the depth in the top part of the sail by separating the panels of fabric to adjust the broad-seaming (make it less extreme).

    But before we do that, I want to sail with it again in high wind, pay careful attention to the jib car position (they might need to go even further forward) and then take a new set of pictures.

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