Last year, we — sort of — lead a cruise for Labor Day. We learned about Dog-Stopping. This year, we learned a little more about racing and light-air sail handling.
This year, we decided to participate in the Annual Billy Heinz Regatta at WRSC.
We left the dock just a hair too late on Saturday to be part of the committee boats.
We did, however, bag one of arch-enemies: a mylar balloon. We hates them all, precious, we curses them.
They're a pernicious bit of trash because they also waste helium, which has better purposes than kids toys that turn into litter a/k/a an environmental hazard.
I was able to help out on Sunday. And watch some fine racing among three very competitive fleets. They used fairly complex triangle course requiring three of the large marks and two of the small marks to lay out the triangle itself, plus the start and finish gates.
Race committee is a fun day on the water.
While we motored up on Saturday, we tried to sail back on Monday.
I've been working on sail trim for our kind of ketch. There's a lot going on that I still don't quite get. I'm doing better, but…
Monday the wind was 4-5 kt at most. It was from the SE, and more-or-less on our nose, forcing us to tack our way down the bay.
Our close-hauled angle is bad. It's about 60°, which is crazy far off the wind. And we can only get that close to the wind by pushing the bow up with a substantial amount of helm.
Ideally, a sailboat has "weather" helm. It will tend to round up into the wind unless you steer away from the wind. The normal behavior should be to "pinch."
So far, my light-air setup gives Red Ranger "lee" helm. Which means the yankee is overpowering the mains'l. This seems to mean that I need to reef the yankee when we're beating in light air. I've got to experiment some more to locate an ideal reefing position.
The other possibility is to try and use the mizzen to point us higher. The problem — I think — with beating to windward with the mizzen and the main is dirty air from the main disrupts doesn't create a useful flow over the mizzen.
More to learn! Yay!