Well the 2020 season will be anything but normal for the boys in blue, but we will be out on the water!
Our much loved PERSPECTIVE herself will stay grounded for the season at the BSBC compound as the marina and club have been closed for the season. We will sure miss racing amongst the green fleet, continuing to improve as a full crew. And we’ll also miss the big events that we savoured last year: the Susan Hood and the LO300.
Instead, we will be doing battle on “Rock-n-Roll” a race ready Kirby 25 that I’ve chartered for the season. Rock-n-Roll has won many races in the one-design Kirby 25 fleet racing that was popular in Ontario up until about six years ago when crews would trailer their boats around the province to compete head to head in large fleets. In fact, this particular boat won the top prize in 2014. Why? The hull has been fared down to 1000 grit sandpaper, every gram of excess weight has been removed, and the lines have been thoughtfully routed for easy adjustments from racing positions on board. Kirby 25s have a PHRF about 175.
The boat was launched this weekend at RHYC (where it will stay for a few weeks), and Kiwi and I went for a sea trial with the owner yesterday to get familiar with the boat. It is very well balanced, points high and moves quickly. We hit 7.1 knots upwind in 12 knots of breeze (above its hull speed of 6.1 knots), outperforming a Laser 28 (PHRF ~123…a much faster boat on paper). We even practiced double-handing with the kite and were able to launch, jibe and douse smoothly after a couple of clumsy first tries. This is going to be a fun boat!
After a bit of time on the bay, Rock-n-Roll will shift to Bronte which will be her home for the season. Bronte will organize races beginning as double-handed races until the Province shifts to Stage 2. Until then, Tuesdays will be short courses and Sunday afternoons will be distance races. I fully expect we’ll be getting fully crewed races by the end of June.
So not only will we be racing a new boat, we’ll be in new waters against new competitors. We’ll learn how to race in waves and current (which are mostly absent in the bay), make new friends and take on new rivals. It’ll be a lot of fun.
Oh, and Rock-n-Roll has no instruments. So we’ll be using our nose and our gut to feel the wind and make tactical decisions. I think that will make us all better sailors.
Are you ready?
Here are some pictures: