19 November 2007

Screaming Reaches

Got some good practice time in the Megabyte's aft hiking straps yesterday. Turns out they're pretty dang useful when screaming along on a full plane. I sailed out of Martinez with the old rig and headed under the Benicia bridge for the mothball fleet. Found some big wind over there on a broad reach down the inside of the fleet. Had to sit about as far aft as I could get to keep the bow from plowing into the backside of waves. The boat was just screaming along on a plane for about a mile. Wow. Fun.

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12 November 2007

Death rolls for turkeys

Finally had a chance to meet Megabyte Fleet 3 for some friendly racing at the annual Lake Washington Sailing Club Turkey Shoot Regatta (yes, they do give turkeys as prizes. ) Very nice group of enthusiastic sailors. We had six boats all with the new Mk II rig, and the gusty wind was certainly testing the new rigs. The last race of the day got pretty nasty with big gusts and large shifts. Headed for the final leeward mark, I managed to build up a lead. I was flying downwind on the edge of control with the vang eased off on that big old windsurfer-like sail --bad idea. A big gust hit, the boat got all squirrely, and death rolled (as my friend Dean says, "upside down is slow.") That whole de-power thing with the new rigs doesn't apply downwind! Too much twist, and bam! More vang next time. With the boat now upside down, I thought for sure, that was the end of it for me. Then, I saw Charles (#338) do the same thing right behind me. I got my boat up first and pointed at the mark. 50 yards later I rolled it again and Charles went on by. By this time, I was tired and struggling with the boat. Charles swung by to see if I needed any assistance--very nice gesture. Once I finally got her back up, Charles sheeted in and I followed his transom to the finish line as usual. :-)

02 November 2007

Megabyte Mk II first sail

Picked up the new rig for the megabyte today and headed straight for the water at Rio Vista. Wow, fun sail. The thunderous cracks as the full length battens snapped the Mylar to each new tack gave me flashbacks of windsurfing in this place many years ago.
This new sail is going to be fun to play with and learn how to setup just right. After one sail, I see that some rigging modifications are in order. I will need to lengthen the control lines for the vang and outhaul. Most importantly, I'll need a bit more purchase on the cunningham which seems to be the major shape knob for this kind of rig. That's just like the old windsurfing days, too. Pull on lots of cunningham to bend the mast and make the leech just floppy enough.
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