Krikkit News and Blog

June 17, 2021 - Sloths may be slow, but they know what's important, and with the official Round Bowen Race cancelled for 2021 due to pandemic measures against large gatherings and organized racing, the Sea Sloth Yacht Club stepped up to the plate once more with a laid back "competitive cruise" version of the race on the scheduled weekend.

Threatening weather didn't prevent 68 boats from signing up, and after a fast, wet delivery to Bowen Island on Friday (and a boat-bubble dinner party during which we put Krikkit's new party lighting to good use), Saturday dawned clear and sunny for the main event. The course had been set up for a clockwise rounding regardless of wind, so when the wind filled in as an outflow the fleet was treated to a picturesque first-ever Round Bowen downwind start (normally the course direction is determined on race day based on wind direction, with an upwind start regardless).

Things got going in light air, but filled in for the front half of the fleet with a nice spinnaker run in about 8-9 knots of breeze (with Coho warping back to 1978 with their blooper). The following breeze curved around Cape Roger Curtis to carry us, still under spinnaker, downwind into Collingwood Channel. Things then started getting flaky, with wind holes opening up everywhere to catch the unwary. Krikkit played the fingers of breeze to pass several mired boats and stay near the front of the second pack, but as we reached the end of Hutt Passage the breeze transitioned and shifted north, leaving us stranded a few hundred feet shy of the magic. The tables turned and we then got to watch as all the boats we'd managed to sneak ahead, now in turn snuck past us, following cat-paws of wind that we couldn't get to. The race then turned into a looooong, sloooow and very challenging struggle around the top of the island and back to the line.

In the end, out of 68 boats that started only 25 finished, so we were pretty damn proud to be 23rd, finishing in 7:15:31 elapsed (7:20:15 corrected).

Crewless in Vancouver

With almost all official crewed racing spiked for the duration of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Krikkit saw out the season competing in the unofficial “Thursdays in the Bay” race training sessions, plus the remaining two races in the VARC Shorthanded Series (the first of these was the WVYC/RNSA Not-Nanaimo Shorthanded race in June) and a single, lone official regatta.

For the “Thursdays in the Bay” we competed double- or triple-handed with our household bubble (Simon, Jen and Ian). There were no prizes or overall scoring, but times were kept and corrected finishes calculated (only for training purposes, of course). It was a nice chance to get out and continue our long-running rivalry with Jasmina, and it was very tight racing … uh, I mean training … with the two boats swapping finishing positions throughout the series and indeed throughout several of the individual races. After the nine races it was too close to call without official overall scoring instructions, although Krikkit did beat Jasmina in four of the seven races where we actually went head-to-head. An added bonus was the opportunity to play with Silik and Mast Transit, as the racing was being run on a single start for all divisions, with about 14 different boats showing up at one time or another.

When it was Krikkit’s turn to do committee, with no official marks available we dragged out our inflatable unicorn, which proved quite popular both with the racers and with passing powerboaters who thought they’d found a free pool toy.

A bit of a “competitive cruise” saw Krikkit anchor in company with the Sea Sloths at Gambier Island on Aug 18/19, but while there was enough wind in English Bay to get some nice sailing as far as about Snug Cove, there wasn’t enough breeze in Howe Sound to finish the inbound race nor properly start the outbound race.

The Ken & Barbie race, scheduled for Aug 29, was postponed due to gale-force winds on the scheduled day, so the Jack & Jill came first on Aug 30. After a pleasant evening at WVYC (transiting in the evening after the winds had abated to 11 knots), we woke to a light SW breeze that proved just barely enough to get us to the Bell Buoy and back. Krikkit was the last boat of the 14-boat fleet to finish, netting us 10th spot, with four boats not finishing.

On Sept 12 the rescheduled Ken & Barbie went ahead under smokey skies and 7-8 knot easterlies. The 15-boat fleet was loaded with stiff competition (a Farr 30, a J/92, a pair of Martin 242s and Melges 24s), and after a pursuit start Krikkit ran a clean race to find ourselves battling hard with several boats during the final reach, finally crossing the line in 6th. With Simon dressed as Policeman Ken and Jen as Party-Dress Barbie (aka “Berlin nightclub Ken & Barbie"), and our bubble machine cranked to “High”, we did manage to win the Best Costume award, and our finishing spot was just good enough (barely!) to eke out Balderdash for 3rd overall in the series.

After that it was the SHAG Single-Handed on September 26, which turned out to be a thoroughly frustrating on-the-water experience. Committee elected to send the fleet to Passage Island and back in light, flakey breeze, lumpy 2- to 3-foot leftover swell and strong current … with a 3:00 p.m. time limit. After trying valiantly, Krikkit missed the cutoff by about 15 minutes. There were porpoises playing near the boat at one point though, so there was that.

The final race of the season was also an actual official race, the TCYC Last Chance Regatta (or “Only Chance” for 2020) on October 17 during a brief relaxing of restrictions, and it was great fun. With an easing 7-knot inshore breeze and slightly lumpy water, committee got off two round-the-buoys races. Simon and Jen competed double-handed against mostly fully-crewed boats, managing a pair of 4th place finishes for 4th overall.

We then closed out the year on December 12 with a TCYC Christmas Lights cruise, doing our best to cast some spirit-brightening light into the dark winter night.

Above: Committee duties.

What the hell just happened?

June 2020 - After New Year's Day's promising start, the 2020 sailing season – together with pretty much everything else in the world – smashed unceremoniously into the shit-covered brick wall of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Everything in March, April and May was cancelled, but by June the concept of "social bubbles" was emerging, and it was deemed appropriate to host formal single-handed races, and informal "social bubble" competitive cruises.

So on June 6th Simon slipped on his sailing boots for the RNSA/WVYC Not-Nanaimo Short-Handed Race, reduced this year from an overnight Nanaimo-and-back event to a single-day Bell Buoy-to-Popham-and-back event with a pursuit start format. The breeze was a nice consistent 8-10 knot southeasterly under initially cloudy skies, and Simon got off the start line with speed, if a few seconds late due to an abundance of caution and a dash of confusion as to the exact timing.

A quick spinnaker hoist led to an awesome downwind ride to the Pophams (big and little), with a couple of tidy gybes followed by a fire-drill takedown in the shifting breeze at the rounding. Several boats elected to head in to the Bowen shore for the beat home (under increasingly sunny skies), but Krikkit chose to stay out, following behind the Express 37 Manana and battling hard with the Hanse 371 Tangleberry, changing places a couple of times and gaining nicely over the inside boats to finish 2nd in Division 2, behind the C&C 32 Covivant (who also won overall).

June 13th was supposed to be the Round Bowen Race, but it too was cancelled. Krikkit still had its slip reservation at the marina however, and we got an invite to join the unofficial SSYC (Sea Sloth Yacht Club) Round Bowen Boat Bubble Competitive Cruise. A total of 15 boats showed up, most motoring over just for the day. Several potential competitors were chased away by a soggy weather forecast, but the Saturday dawned mostly bright and sunny, with 5-6 knots of inflow breeze for the horns-only competitor-run start. Krikkit layed down clouds of bubbles with our new bubble machine, and got away in the second row for a clean beat out of Howe Sound. Light winds at Cape Roger Curtis developed into a bit of a wind hole after Krikkit got through, slowing down the smaller boats. Krikkit and the J/30 Steller J had a pitched 3.5-knot battle up Collingwood Channel under spinnaker in the light air, and then caught up to the bigger boats, which had been parked in the usual wind hole at Hood Point. Because we brought the breeze with us we were able to muddle through fairly quickly and get out into the fresh late afternoon inflow breeze for the final ride up to Snug Cove and the finish line, with Steller J correcting to 1st overall and Krikkit correcting to 2nd. At the docks, there was time for a little bit of physically-distanced socializing, and then a visit from admiral David. Overall, a brilliant weekend and a much-needed respite from the weirdness of pandemic world.

Starting the year right

A Mixed Bag

Krikkit skipped the Deep Cove Regatta for 2019, with plans to do the Howe Sound Regatta instead, but then the crew bailed out for various reasons, and with the weather forecast looking sporty (and Krikkit out of overall VARC contention anyway) Simon and Jen decided against doing it double-handed and pulled the plug.

But there was plenty of other racing going on towards the end of the season:

TCYC's 2020 New Years Day Race found pretty much the entire Krikkit crew away on vacation or otherwise committed, so Simon and Jen decided to get an early jump on the TCYC Sailor of the Year challenge by doing the race double-handed. With sunny skies and 8-15 knots of westerly breeze, the keychain race anchor had a tough time holding us in place for the LeMans-style anchored start. But while we did drag a couple boatlengths back during the sequence, we made up for it with a cracking good start (Simon partially hoisted the mainsail as Jen pulled up the anchor, then quickly unfurled the jib for a port-tack start). We ducked one transom (Dominatrix, back from its post-SOAR boat spa) and crossed third across the start line, then finished hoisting the mainsail on the fly.

With an ebb tide kicking in, and the port tack being the longer tack in what looked like better breeze, we decided to be contrary and not head to the beach with the fleet. It appeared to pay off, too, as when we did finally tack back we converged just behind Excalibur and dead even with Thursday's Child, which is a tough thing for Krikkit to accomplish on the beat. We then held on as best we could for the remainder of the beat, although both the Problem Child and Excalibur pulled slowly away.

The spinnaker run home saw us catch up significantly with Excalibur (and pass the Fugitive) when they both went a little too far north and found a soft spot. We were also ever so slowly reeling in Thursday's Child, and while in the end it wasn't enough to beat them, we did manage to correct to 2nd overall and first in the TCYC fleet and first of the double-handed boats. A grand day out!

- The VRC Ken & Barbie on August 24 with Simon and Denice, which saw Krikkit running near the front of the pack in an offshore breeze until Simon lost track of the finish line near the end of the beat home, and sailed the wrong side of the last freighter to wind up in 7th place out of 14.

- The Kits Yacht Club fall series, in which Krikkit put in a decent showing and come out in 3rd overall.

- The VRC SHAG (Single Handed Anything Goes) race, which was held on September 21 in about 5 knots of offshore breeze. With a somewhat skewed start line, Simon managed to port-tack the fleet from the pin end to grab an immediate advantage, then use the pin-end height to squeak past the mark at the top of the first leg while the boats who started on starboard ended up overstood and the boats who started further down the line had to tack to make the mark. Then it was a case of holding on to the lead for a first overall, with a poleless hoist allowed for a hasty gybe set at the barge buoy, a nice spinnaker run to the leeward mark and a beat home in clean air. A second "demonstration" race saw much the same result, only this time it was committee-end favoured with lots of boats barging and getting shut out.

- The Fraser Lightships Race on September 28, which saw Krikkit head out with Simon, Jen, Chris, Nick, Mike and Griffin aboard. It was was a real gear buster this year, with a solid 25 knots of northerly wind, gusts to 30, and big lumpy waves. Watching the rest of the fleet, the Krikkit crew witnessed several wipeouts and saw two spinnakers explode and one go flying from the masthead. Our own moment of carnage happened during a gybe near the leeward mark, when one of the mainsail's plastic factory slides broke, rapidly taking out the next four slides like dominoes as the sail loaded up. We double-reefed the main to get most of the busted slides out of the track, then jury-rigged the (now reachable) remaining ones as best we could using dyneema line around the mast. It got us home for a finish (8th in the 11-boat fleet) and was probably the right amount of mainsail for beating into that crap anyway.

- The TCYC Last Chance Regatta on Oct 5, 2019. Simon, Jen, Nick, Griffin and Victor headed out for this one under sunny skies and 3-8 knots of breeze that switched from light offshore to medium onshore. Race committee put on six races (al but one of them being two-lappers), but Simon wasn't really on his game for the starts, and with TCYC's two-division fleet Krikkit was battling bigger, faster boats in light air, so we ended up playing at the back of the fleet and finishing dead last overall in the six-boat fleet.

Girl Power

Something entirely new for 2019 was the inaugural Crystal Cup women's regatta on Aug 17-18, and Jen took Krikkit out for this one with Denice, Lisa, Natasha, Brittany, Aimee and MC. Day 1 was a cloudy light-air distance race between Passage and Bird Islands ("Passage Island - insert wind hole here"), with Krikkit finishing 6th in the 10-boat fleet.

Day 2 was a real test of sailing skill and crew work, with four round-the-buoys races in 15-20 knots of breeze and sunny skies. Krikkit ran the blade and full main, using the chicken chute for the first few races and then switching to the big chute as things eased near the end of the day. Race 2 was a beauty, with Jen winning the start and the crew getting the boat clean around the course for a 1st place finish. Combined with a 3rd place in the day's first race and a couple of 6th place finishes at the end of the day, it was good enough for 4th overall in the regatta.

Scrambled brains

Following a weekend cruise to Gambier (with Simon, Jen and Linda aboard, and David joining in flotilla with his boat Freedom), Krikkit signed up for the English Bay Scramble weekend on August 10-11, 2019. For the traditional Round the Bay race on Saturday, Krikkit had Simon, Jen, Denice and Lisa aboard. The start was in light offshore breeze and Krikkit did the inside marks first. It wasn't the winning strategy, as the wind died off almost completely at the Kits Barge Buoy, while the boats that had gone to the outside marks first were able to continue sailing in decent breeze. Krikkit struggled through the finish and headed off to collect the Bell Buoy, but ran out of time to get Passage Island and finished with only three marks, for a sixth place finish in Div 3 (the top four boats rounded all four marks).

For the round-the-buoys action on Sunday, Krikkit had Simon, Jen, Denice and Rob aboard. In weather that started out as Scotch mist and cleared to sun, Krikkit finished near the back of the pack in the first very light air race, raced well for a 3rd place finish in race 2, and then got a little disorganized for race 3 and end up DFL (we'd had to move one of the marks right before the start, and hadn't had time to figure out the lay of the new course).

Haulout and other painful things

"This ain't no disco"

Krikkit got hauled out on July 8, 2019 for bottom paint, leg maintenance and general cleanup, and then launched on July 10 just in time for the VRC Summer Regatta on July 13-14. It was debatable which event was more painful. Here's Simon's Facebook summary of the regatta:

"Basically a two day pain casserole, made with alternating layers of pain and frustration, laced with generous portions of capers and currents, baked in a pain oven and finished with a drizzle of secrecy sauce."

The wind was light and flakey for Day 1's "round-the-buoys" action, with a stonking big current, and Simon, Jen, Nick, Alex and Denice aboard. After much delay and waiting under the AP flag, RC sent us ... to the Bell Buoy?!?!?!? Of course by the time we got going at 12:30 pm, what little breeze there was soon died off and after much struggling against the current nobody in our division finished. We swam afterward, which was the best part of the day.

For the Day 2 "distance race" we only had Simon, Jen and Nick aboard, and RC sent us ... around the Bell Buoy again. Of course. At least there was enough wind to finish this time, but it was a spinnaker run out in an offshore breeze, then a wind death as we reached the buoy, then a spinnaker run back in an onshore breeze, with the committee shortening the course but refusing to tell any of the racers who'd missed the flag/horn signals. Yup, a pain casserole, finished with a drizzle of secrecy sauce. Who can blame us for not taking any photos?

The weekend of June 29-30, 2019 saw Krikkit do something a little different, heading across Georgia Strait to take part in Nanaimo Yacht Club's SIN (Snake Island Nanaimo) Regatta. Along for the delivery were Simon, Jen, Denice and Kia, with Bev and Dan LaCasse joining us for the racing, and Andrea from OCD making a guest appearance on the Saturday.

The racing itself was pretty epic, with multiple tightly contested windward-leeward races in a big mixed fleet. After spending the first couple of races figuring out the fleet and the local conditions and currents, Krikkit started moving up in the fleet, with Simon getting some cracking good starts and Dan coaching the team and making some great calls on the course. So after starting out with a pair of 6th place finishes we then managed a couple of 5ths, a 4th and, on the last race of the weekend, a solid 2nd place finish - good enough to put us in 4th overall for the weekend in Div 3.

Krikkit then proceeded to win the party hands-down, becoming the destination party boat for the entire remaining fleet and collecting the quote of the weekend from one of the nearby cruising boats sometime around midnight when they came out to ask when we'd be shutting it down because "this isn't a disco."

Au contraire, it was a Krikkit dance party!

Simon, Jen, Denice and Kia then took a couple days to enjoy a little cruising holiday at Newcastle Island before heading back across the strait. Good times!

Easter Seals and Round Bowen

After a brilliant race in the 2018 Easter Seals Regatta using the strategy of "go for the low-hanging fruit", Krikkit came back on June 1st, 2019 with Simon, Jen, Nick, Kurt, Sergei and Olga aboard ... and blew the race completely by going-for-broke to the QA mark. We collected the big points, barely made it back inside the time limit, and got trounced by all the boats that went for the low hanging fruit of the inside marks. That's what we get for following the fast Div 1 boats!

Round Bowen was on June 8th, 2019 and was its usual good times, but with a twist: Jen was skippering Maritime Diva while Simon was aboard Krikkit with Kevin, Alex, Kia, Chris, Nick and Dan LaCasse from KYC race committee. Krikkit played the shore off the start, managed the transition zones reasonably well, then made gains in the shifty winds at the north of the Island, with Kevin and Dan making excellent calls. Round Cape Finisterre and quick beat to the finish saw us correct into the top third of the fleet - pretty much our best finish ever in the race!

KYC Thursdays and Sailpast

KYC Thursdays got started a week late

for Krikkit, on May 9, 2019, because Simon and Jen were in Montreal for the first race, but we made up for it in the third week when we were the only Div 3 boat to show up (so we diced with the Martins and Div 1 fleet instead).Then it was time for the TCYC Sailpast on May 11, which Simon and Jen did double-handed. We managed to somewhat pooch the race by sailing into the lee of a freighter, but fun was had regardless, and then for giggles we went over and did the KYC sailpast as well.

Fun in Fifth and First

The 2019 racing season got properly underway on March 23 with the TCYC Spring Tuneup race. Krikkit headed out for this one with Simon, Jen, Nick, Alex and Mike aboard. Race committee got three windward-leeward races off in what started as a light offshore breeze with overcast skies, and later switched to a 5-8 knot westerly onshore breeze and sun.

For the first race in the easterly, Krikkit got a merely okay start but made good choices picking which side of the course to favour upwind, and combined with a little luck it netted us fifth place in a tough nine-boat fleet.

For the second race, after a short delay to let the westerly fill in, Krikkit got an excellent start and made good tactical decisions and crisp roundings, netting us a fourth place finish.

For the third race, Jen handed over the foredeck duties to Mike, and Krikkit once again got an excellent start, but then went to the wrong side of the course for the first beat, putting us into a pitched battle downwind to try and gain back some ground. A hugely entertaining neck-and-neck-and-neck finish with Broos and Blowout softened the blow of correcting to sixth, which put us in fifth place overall once all the scores were tallied.

After skipping the RVYC Day Race due to a combination of limited crew turnout, poor weather forecasts and a flaky registration system that ended up with Simon missing the early registration fee, Krikkit next headed out for WVYC's Collingwood Channel Race and it redeemed itself gloriously from the rudder-breaking misery that took place the last time the race was run in 2017. Simon, Jen, Chris and Nick were aboard for the race, which took place under sunny skies in a perfect 10-12 northwest breeze, with inflows up Collingwood Channel.

Krikkit nailed the start at the pin end, getting us clear air for the early part of the beat out. As the fleet tacked to head to the Bowen shore Krikkit followed suit. It was close racing, with Krikkit ducking OCD and then lee-bowing Voila on the way over, and we then stuck closer to shore than most of the fleet, seeking the flatter water in the partial lee of Cape Roger Curtis. Once around the corner and deep into the channel we popped the chute for the final run to the turning mark battling boat-for-boat with Kodiak and Rhumbline, and managing to finally sneak past OCD, which had run an excellent upwind leg.

We rounded nose-to-tail with Kodiak and Rhumbline, with Kodiak just ahead and Rhumbline just behind, and Incisor leading the pack some distance off. But then the wind gods decided to play some of their favourite Collingwood Channel games, with a big wind hole developing just off the Bowen Bay headland.

Krikkit, which had tacked last of the group after the rounding, had just enough height -- barely! -- to ghost past the headland and punch through into fresh breeze blowing into the bay, where we found ourselves quickly lit up again, now close on the transom of Incisor. Rhumbline and Kodiak, meanwhile, had to tack in almost no breeze in order to clear the headland, and the remainder of the fleet ran into similar trouble.

With the fleet temporarily glued in place behind us, Krikkit went to battle with Incisor, getting into a great spinnaker duel once we cleared the channel and popped the chutes. With plenty of breeze, significant chop, and the finish essentially dead downwind, we squared back the spinnaker pole and headed deep, and were impressed to see Incisor essentially matching our angles under their asymmetrical spinnaker. The impressive depth appeared to cost them a bit of speed though, allowing Krikkit to grind them down and finally cut in front for line honours and first place corrected. A truly fantastic day!

New Year's Madness

As is traditional, Tiddly Cove Yacht Club hosted the annual New Year's Day Race on Jan 1st, 2019. With Simon, Jen, Chris, Mike, and Denice aboard, Krikkit joined a fleet of 17 boats for the LeMans-style anchored start and around-the-buoys race, while Krikkit crewmembers Rob and Kevin (plus a few party crew) took care of race committee duties aboard New Adventure.

The weather was crisp and sunny, with about 5-7 knots of offshore breeze and no chop, so the Krikkit crew opted to deploy the tiny "keychain" anchor. But it failed get a good set, and dragged during the sequence, putting Krikkit close to windward of Godzilla and forcing us to wait until they got launched before we could get the bow down and go.

We made up for the iffy start by choosing the left-hand side of the course for the first beat, taking advantage of a persistent geographical shift and good wind pressure to leapfrog ahead of several of our competitors. Thursday's Child stayed left with Krikkit, and was showing phenomenal speed. Godzilla went right and fell behind, while Stellar Jay saw what was happening and made a late bail to the left to stay close on Krikkit's tail.

With the shifty and puffy offshore breeze, those who could stay in the favourable wind made out well. Krikkit managed to call the shifts well enough to stay in the mix, finishing 6th, a mere 18 seconds corrected behind Stellar Jay. Jason Vandergaag's Schock 35 Excalibur took the win, and Thursday's Child represented for the Div 3 fleet, coming in 2nd corrected.

After the race we anchored near the big TCYC raft-up to enjoy Mimosas, catch some of the beach-side Polar Bear Swim festivities and, for Simon and Denice, do some off-the-boat Polar Bear Dipping of our own. All in all, a fantastic day!

Remembrance Day Reach-for-the-Beach

November 11, 2018 was the VRC Remembrance Day Pursuit Race, and it marked a decade of racing aboard Krikkit: The first race we ever did with the boat was the 2008 Remembrance Day Race.

The race this year was run as part of the VRC Polar Bear Series, and Jen was aboard Godzilla with the Galzillas, leaving Krikkit short crewed with Simon, Denice and Brittany aboard (rather fitting, as that first race back in 2008 also saw us run three-up with Simon, Rob and Ian "Splash" Anderson).

It was sunny and cool, and after about an hour of postponement while waiting for wind, things got underway with a very light and shifty breeze at the start, which faded to nothing during Krikkit and Godzilla's start window. This left the fleet bunching up at the line and almost everyone late. When the wind came back on it was onshore (westerly) with a strong southerly component. As the boats finally got underway Godzilla was a few boatlengths ahead, and the port tack appeared to be the favoured "long" tack.

Aboard Krikkit we didn't see it that way, preferring to run for the beach where we figured there'd be better wind and some current relief. So together with Desperado and The Fugitive we flopped onto starboard after clearing the pin, then doubled down on our decision by cracking off for speed and ducking behind the first anchored freighter while The Fugitive tacked over to go ahead of it.

Our gambit paid off, with the wind gently filling as we worked south, so that we soon had better speed than the rest of the fleet, who'd all tacked over by now but were well to the north and were still sailing in very light air. As the breeze filled it it also lifted us onto a nearly direct heading for the Bell Buoy. A line of much stronger wind then filled in, with a solid 7 knots from the west, getting to Krikkit and Desperado about five minutes before the remainder of the fleet.

With Desperado still ahead of us at this point (it was a pursuit start) we launched into a pitched battle to reel them in, finally catching them just before the Bell Buoy, and then holding them off during a great spinnaker run home, finishing 8th out of 30 boats, and ahead of the other Div 3 boats. Fun times!

Last Chance Mix-it-up

October 13, 2018 was the TCYC Last Chance Regatta with Simon, Jen, Denice, Kevin and Nick aboard. Light winds early in the day built to a nice 8 knot breeze by midday, and race committee managed to get four races off. Simon helmed the first and last races, and turned things over to Jen and Kevin for the middle two races. Whether it was the stronger breeze in the midday, or simply better helming from Jen and Kevin, they each managed a 3rd while Simon pulled off a pair of 4th place finishes, leaving Krikkit in 3rd overall on raw points, tied for 3rd with Jasmina after the throwout, but taking 4th out of nine overall after the tiebreaker.

The day saw the Krikkit crew putting in some excellent crew work, with snappy spinnaker launches and last-second douses to keep things exciting. Unfortunately for Nick it turned out to be the unlucky 13th, however, and he got knocked on the noggin by the boom during the last douse in race 3, putting him out of action for the last race.






Fraser Lightships Turned Dark

September 29, 2018 was the Fraser Lightships Race, and this year it was a long, slow slog. With Simon, Kevin, Chris, Denice, Nick Ashley and Mike aboard, the race started in a very light offshore breeze and strong flood current. On the way out of English Bay Krikkit and Rhumbline make significant gains by dropping anchor twice, holding position as the rest of the fleet got swept back. After spending what felt like two years clearing one of the freighters, a few fingers of wind allowed us to finally sneak around the Bell Buoy and catch a decent bit of Georgia Strait breeze for a nice spinnaker reach to the T10 turning mark.

After rounding the mark it was a close reach back to the Bell Buoy, fighting to hold our distance ahead of OCD. Once around the Bell Buoy, however, the wind fell off again in English Bay, OCD snuck ahead, and the race became an endless slow drift towards the finish line in the increasingly dark late evening.

As Mike said in his best Werner Herzog voice: "When we started this race, we were much younger. As we sat on the boat our journey became existential. We could no longer read the race instructions in their early cuneiform as the language had long become extinct. We waited, pondering the stillness of the water and the capacity of the ship's head."

In the end, we gave it our best shot and did better than XS, Terna III and Kodiak, all of which retired, but we came in at the back of the fleet, 6th out of the nine Division 3 competitors.

Shagadelic Autohelm Fail

Waiting for Wind in Deep Cove

The Vancouver Rowing Club's Single-Handed Anything Goes ("SHAG") race was held on September 22, 2018 and saw one of the biggest fleets in recent memory show up. Prior to the start the weather was drizzly and mostly calm, and what little wind existed was shifting around unpredictably. Race committee chose to postpone the start and wait for the wind to settle, which it finally did at around 11:30 a.m.

Simon handily won the start in the offshore breeze, but soon got overhauled by the Express 37 "Manana" and the big Farr "65 Red Roses", and then got stopped dead by a massive wake thrown up by the Coast Guard's response vessel. By the time Krikkit got rolling again most of the fleet was close behind, and Manana and 65 Red Roses were well ahead. After a close rounding of the barge buoy in company with OCD, Simon quickly raised the spinnaker for the run to the Bell Buoy, then quickly doused it again when the wind shifted forward 10 minutes later.

Unfortunately, sometime during the douse the autohelm failed, leaving the boat 45 degrees off course headed toward a freighter. A hasty bit of jury-rigging got the tiller lashed and allowed Simon to get the boat settled on the now-upwind leg and get the spinnaker squared away, but OCD was now within conversational distance -- close enough to find out that Justin, too, had suffered an autohelm failure.

Lots of current combined with light air made for a challenging Bell Buoy rounding, but after getting around Krikkit was able to put its symmetrical chute to good use and slowly pull away from Justin on OCD, who was using his asymmetrical chute and running angles. A couple of gybes and a fast, deep run saw Krikkit cross the line in third place elapsed, with Mast Transit correcting ahead for the last podium spot, leaving Krikkit in 4th out of 10 competing boats. Good fun!

Sept 8 and 9, 2018 was the Deep Cove Regatta with Simon, Chris, Kevin, Ashley, Nick, Mike and Alex aboard, but the wind got the memo a day late. Saturday dawned cloudy and with 3-5 knots of offshore breeze. While most of the fleet drifted around aimlessly, Krikkit and a couple other boats played in what breeze there was, but it was never enough to convince committee to start a race, so in the end racing was abandoned and the fleet returned to dock.

Sunday saw an improvement, with thicker cloud cover bringing both rain ... and wind! After a bit of a delay for the race committee to round up its marks, racing got underway in 6-11 knots of outflow wind, with Krikkit racing 5-up (Mike and Alex had other commitments). It was super close and tactical racing between Krikkit, Rhumbline, Godzilla, Kittyhawk and OCD, with boats swapping positions back and forth on each shift and tack. At the windward mark Krikkit managed to get the inside track on OCD, getting around ahead of them, then called for an immediate gybe to escape a soft spot and pull ahead of Rhumbine. It was then a downwind sleigh-ride battle trying to catch up to Godzilla, with Ultraman II in 1st place somewhere over the horizon.

In the end Krikkit wasn't able to catch the leaders, but held on on for a 3rd-place finish with OCD and Rhumbline close behind. Good times!

KYC Fall Drift Fest

August 2 to September 6, 2018 was the Kits YC Fall Thursday Night Series, which saw the dingy fleet join the keelboats on the race course due to the serious illness of the dinghy fleet's race officer.

With strong currents and light, shifty winds for the entire series, Krikkit played the current game to our best advantage, fighting it out with the Vipers, the 505s and Jasmina for a string of respectable finishes close to (but only once actually on) the podium.

The series saw only six races scheduled, with Krikkit attending the first two (racking up a 3rd and a 4th), skipping the next two to go cruising, coming in respectably in the 5th (results were forgotten and never posted) and then getting shut out with the rest of the fleet in the sixth and final race due to lack of wind. Still, good times were had, lots of bad jokes were told, and we gained a new crewmember when Rob surreptitiously stowed Capstan the Elephant aboard prior to one of the races.

Ken and Barbie

Scramble Time

"No way," Ken replied, "we'll look faaan-tastic in the liquid sunshine."

The race itself had light winds, with a downwind start to the Bell Buoy and back. Krikkit got a great start and put up a good challenge, but Wraith won the day in the light stuff leaving Krikkit in 2nd, with Cayoosh in 3rd, XS 4th and Tangleberry 5th. Krikkit did pick up honours (and a pitcher of beer!) for best costumes though!

After years of cruising schedule conflicts, Krikkit made it out for the Vancouver Rowing Club's double-handed Ken and Barbie race for the first time ever on August 25, 2018.

The day dawned a bit grey, prompting Barbie to ask "Do you think it's too cloudy for our summer outfits, Ken?"

August 11 and 12, 2018 saw Tiddly Cove Yacht Club host the popular English Bay Scramble as part of an international Shenzhen Challenge regatta weekend. The Saturday dawned partly cloudy and cool, with 5-8 knots of breeze and Simon, Jen, Ian, Kevin, Nick and Ashley aboard. After the usual chaotic Scramble start, Krikkit took a contrarian course designed to minimize our exposure to current, getting the Barge Can out of the way first, passing the Start-Finish and then stringing together the North Shore, Passage and Bell Buoy marks. The first spinnaker run saw us dicing with Fourth Dimension back to the Start-Finish, and the Krikkit crew knuckled down to work on boatspeed, with Nick navigating. It was a quick and steady day, with only one slow section on the way back into the bay, and in the end our strategy proved reasonably sound: The only other two boats to follow the same course finished 1st and 2nd in their divisions (Divs 1 and 7), and Krikkit finished 3rd in Division 3.

Sunday saw Simon, Kevin, Ashley, Alex, Nick and Mike come out to race with clouds and light offshore breeze. Committee managed to get three races off but Krikkit struggled against Rhumbline and Stellar J in the light air, posting up a 3, 2, 3 record in a diminished four-boat division, ending the day third overall ahead of the J/24 Josephine. A challenging but entertaining day!

Summer Shorts Success

July 26, 2018 was the final TCYC Summer Shorts race, and Krikkit headed out with Simon, Jen and Alex, plus Brittany, Aimee and Pam from the Maritime Diva crew. With 0-7 knots of flakey WNW breeze it was a game of trying to find the wind. Krikkit got an okay start, but then got buried under Talisman and Jasmina. Trailing the pack on the first lap, we managed to sneak into the lead when the wind died across the course and the leaders ahead of us parked. With a ribbon of breeze remaining just north of the layline, Krikkit sailed out wide and managed to scoop the breeze and keep moving, getting to the windward mark before the other boats got going again. The result was a commanding lead for line honours, and a 3rd place corrected finish.

The previous race on July 19th wasn't quite so successful. With Simon, Alex, Liam, Kurt, Sydney and Tess aboard, Krikkit got shut out at the start line and had to circle around for a 2nd-row start. We then missed the first wind shift and got punted to the back of the fleet, leaving us in a pitched battle with New Adventure and Cayoosh to avoid being DFL. In the end we prevailed against them, giving us a 6th place finish in the race. But with our early successes in the series, combined with our 3rd place finish the following week, it was good enough to give Krikkit the overall win in the series for the first time ever. Good times!

Just Wow!

July 14 and 15, 2018 was the VRC Summer Regatta, and it was one for the record books. For the round-the-buoys action on Saturday, Krikkit had Simon, Jen, Denice, Kurt and Alex aboard, and the wind was on: 15-20 knots of mostly steady breeze and somewhat lumpy seas.

The first race was a long two-lapper. Krikkit got a decent start and managed to hang in to be third around the first windward mark, then poled way back after launching the spinnaker to dig deeper than the rest of the fleet, taking advantage of the good wind pressure to minimize distance, and closing the gap with the leaders. On the next windward leg Krikkit stayed right to catch the ebb tide running up the course, while the fleet went left. It paid off, and Krikkit rounded the windward mark at the front of the pack, holding the lead until a shortened finish at the leeward mark.

Race two was a one-lapper that saw Krikkit get an excellent start, then flip onto port and head for the favourable current to get to the windward mark with a narrow lead at the front of the pack. After a closely-fought leeward leg, with the boats all clumped together, Krikkit arrived first at the leeward mark in very light air, then managed to sneak away just before an enormous wind hole opened up and swallowed the rest of the fleet. Only OCD managed to escape in reasonable time, giving Krikkit a convincing win with a four-minute margin.

Race three was a lap-and-a-half, and by then the tide was starting to change. Unfortunately Krikkit not only got a subpar start, but then misjudged the new current regime and went to the wrong side of the course for the first windward leg, rounding in the back half of the fleet. The fleet was still clumped together like a kid’s U9 soccer team following the ball, so nobody managed to change positions on the leeward leg. But the leeward rounding presented an opportunity when OCD blew their spinnaker takedown, and Krikkit pounced on it, getting past them and setting sights on Talisman for the upwind leg. The opportunity came following a port-tack duck on the penultimate tack to the windward mark: Talisman immediately tacked to cover, leaving Krikkit to climb the ladder unobserved behind their headsail, then punch up above them at the opportune moment, with only a foot to spare behind our transom. The gas masks dropped down aboard Talisman, and Krikkit got the lead around the mark, opening the gap on the leeward leg to finish in 3rd place, 8 seconds corrected ahead of Talisman.

Sunday was a distance race around Passage Island, with Simon, Jen, Denice and Kurt aboard, 8-12 knots of wind, and hot sun. XS and Rhumbline bought their A-games. Krikkit got a decent port-approach start: a little slow off the line thanks to a late tack onto starboard, but well-placed to find a clear lane for the long port tack to the north-shore beach where the favourable current was expected. The favourable current was marked by some major wind-over-water waves, and a little bit of second-guessing (involving consultation with the GPS and speed log, observation of the Div 1/2 fleet, and polling of everybody’s tactical opinions) led Krikkit to tack back into the rough water as we approached the northern edge, while Rhumbline and XS continued to the smoother water but lighter winds further north. Rhumbline tacked back to play the middle ground, Krikkit stayed in the rough water further south, and XS hugged the north shore, and as we neared Point Atkinson the payoff was announced: XS won it by a minute going north, Rhumbline got out next by playing the middle, and Krikkit came in a minute behind after playing the rough water in the south. We made up a little ground against Rhumbline on the close reach to Passage Island, lost it again by heading in just a tiny bit too close, gained it again on the spinnaker run back to the finish line, lost some again on a poor gybe, and ended up a minute corrected behind Rhumbline and two minutes behind XS, who took a well-deserved win.

Famine and Feast

The 2nd TCYC Thursday on June 28 saw New Adventure come out to play with Krikkit, with Simon, Kevin, Patrick, Mike, Alex, Kurt and Colby on Krikkit, and Rob, Chris, Lisa, Andrew, Shael and Ben on New Adventure. The wind, however, didn’t cooperate and there was a strong flood current. After getting a very slow start (which New Adventure handily won), the wind died off completely with Broos and Krikkit leading the fleet but only halfway to the weather mark, and the race was abandoned.

For the 3rd TCYC Thursday on July 5, the wind came back in spades. Krikkit had Simon, Kevin, Alex and Sydney aboard, along with Dennis LaFeaux who was aboard to evaluate the new headsail. But with 25-28 knots of solid wind it wasn’t a #1 night, so we ran the #4, which we put on in the lee of a freighter. Following a decent starboard lineup start, Krikkit sailed conservatively but fast, rounding in in third place and then digging deep wing-on-wing to minimize distance to the leeward mark, passing Cayoosh and New Adventure who were running angles. On the second leeward leg the wind had eased to about 23-24 knots and Krikkit launched the chicken chute — the only spinnaker to fly in the fleet — widening our narrow lead and sealing our win. Super awesome fun, and some great heavy-air practice.

The 4th TCYC Thursday on July 12 saw Simon, Jen, Mike, Denice, Alex, Michelle Flandin and Jeanette aboard, and 14-15 knots of breeze: Good fun for the regular crew but a bit breezy for training green crew. Krikkit basically won the start, allowing for clean, easy roundings at the front of the pack. The second leeward leg saw Brinehog muscle in and start dicing things up, pushing Krikkit well above course then falling back again, until Krikkit countered by getting separation and then executing a quick gybe onto starboard, forcing Brinehog away. We rounded just ahead, but Brinehog passed us on on the beat, crossing with line honours, but conceding the corrected win to Krikkit.

Summer Shorts and Waves

On June 21, 2018, hard on the heels of the Kits YC Spring Thursday Series, TCYC started up its Summer Shorts Series. The Krikkit crew entered this one with a two-boat syndicate plan, but week one was a Krikkit-only week, with Simon, Jen, Kevin, Denice, Alex and Kurt aboard. With 10 knots of easterly breeze, Krikkit got a top start just ahead of Talisman and to windward of Jasmina. We shook Jasmina on the first tack, and got inside of Talisman on the second tack, allowing us to nip ahead of them on the rounding, sailing fast and making good tactical calls to hold onto the lead for the rest of the race and take the win.

On Sunday June 24 Krikkit turned out for one day of the RVYC Waves Regatta, with Simon, Jen, Chris and Denice aboard. With Ultraman II skipping the day it turned into a two-boat match race between Krikkit and Rhumbline, in 8 knots of breeze easing to 5-6 knots. With lots of flood current it paid to stick to the beach, and one one tack Krikkit managed to get in a little closer than ideal, actually contacting bottom as the boat stood up during the tack, doing a “stop, flop and go” instead of the expected graceful arc. It was very close racing with Krikkit winning two races and Rhumbline two, with Rhumbline taking the overall weekend only by dint of getting the final win.

Immediately following the race we loaded up the boat for a quick weekday trip to Halkett Bay on Gambier Island.

Back in Black

The final KYC Thursday Spring Series race on June 14 saw Simon, Jen, Rob, Kevin, Liam, Alex, and Ashley aboard Krikkit for the unveiling a new toy: a North Sails 3Di #1 genoa in raw black, replacing our increasingly frayed and brittle mylar laminate #1. With 7 knots of breeze and a massive flood tide, Simon managed to undercook the start, with the contrary current pushing Krikkit outside the layline on the final approach to what was looking like a winning pin-end launch. Flopping onto port to clear the pin and make the line, we then engaged in a nerve-wracking game of duck and cross that put us behind Rhumbline and Jasmina. After that it was a close battle all around the course — Krikkit managed to sneak ahead of Rhumbline on one of the leeward roundings, but they clawed back on the beat and Krikkit crossed in 3rd place, which was still good enough for the overall series win. Fun times!

Round Bowen 2018

Saturday June 9 dawned sunny and warm for the 2018 Round Bowen Race, following a drizzly delivery with Simon, Jen and Denice on the Friday afternoon. Onboard for the race were Simon, Jen, Denice, Kevin, Mike, Alex and Ashley. After a decent but slightly confused start (let’s just say our timers weren’t coordinated), the fleet had to navigate a series of shifty, unpredictable wind holes between the start and Passage Island. It turned into an exercise in frustration for the Krikkit crew, tacking away from one calm zone only to miss a puff and fall into the next hole.

When we finally reached the breeze it came on strong, about 10-12 knots, and we got launched somewhere in the middle of the now spread-out fleet. Short-tacking up Bowen’s south shore in lumpy seas, Kevin took a bad step outside the lifelines, necessitating some on-the-fly first aid for a rather nasty (and exceeding bloody) gash on his shin.

After rounding Cape Roger Curtis we launched the spinnaker to begin a truly epic spinnakker run, digging deep (and often sailing by the lee) to push straight through the Hutt Island passage without gybing, then making short work of the ever-present Cape Finisterre wind hole. But while it was a brilliantly fun and fast race, our effort wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit of the first slow 40 minutes, and we finished exactly where the wind launched us, in mid-fleet. The party was up to the usual Round Bowen standards though, with lots of visiting, good food, a great band, and dancing ’til the rain suddenly returned.

Bronze, Silver and Gold

May 31, 2018 was the fifth KYC Thursday with Simon, Jen, Denice, Rob, Liam, Ashley, Kurt and Kia aboard, and it was Rhumbline’s turn to teach a master class in light-air sailing. The start saw about 8 knots of southerly breeze, and Krikkit got off the line neck-and-neck with Rhumbline. But with the breeze easing off to 4-6 knots, Rhumbline was able to crawl slowly ahead leaving Krikkit struggling in her dirty air. We eventually crossed second over the line, correcting to third behind Marbella.

On June 2 it was the Easter Seals Regatta, hosted by RVYC. With a “choose your own course” rally-style points format, it was a bit of a free-for-all, and Krikkit chose to go the inside route, picking up the short-distance marks first. Ultraman II, meanwhile, went for the big distance, big-points option, running out to the bell buoy. It turned out to be a close race, in more than one sense: Passing Ultraman II near the QB buoy, the Krikkit crew calculated that we could make the high-points “mystery mark” near Point Atkinson before the cut-off time ... maybe. We got round the mark seconds before our calculated “turn-around” time, then prayed the wind would hold for the spinnaker reach in. And what a doozy it was! With the boat blasting along at full clip and Nick calling the speed made good, we were running numbers in our heads the whole way, and it was going to be close! We ended up rounding the “Score doubling” mark with some 45 seconds to spare, and thinking we’d nabbed the win. But it wasn’t to be … Ultraman II’s stategy had paid off with 10 extra points and they took the win, with Krikkit taking second. Still, it was a super fun day, and the party afterward was awesome.

On June 7th it was the sixth KYC Thursday race, and Krikkit was back in form, with Simon, Denice, Rob, Kevin, Liam and Kurt aboard. With 6 knots of easterly offshore breeze and a pin-favoured line, Krikkit port-hunted the start and flipped onto starboard just above the pin layline at the front of the fleet, with Jasmina and Rhumbline close behind. It was a three-boat battle to the windward mark, and after rounding with the narrowest of leads Krikkit gybed immediately onto port to get to the better breeze on the southern shore. Meanwhile Jasmina and Rhubline got tangled up with each other and sailed into a growing wind hole that stopped them dead for a solid 10 minutes, allowing Krikkit to romp off for the win, sailing in the rivers of breeze and keeping an eye out for the many wind holes that popped up and disappeared at random on the course.

A Couple of Beauties

May 17, 2018 was the third KYC Thursday evening race with Simon, Rob, Kevin, Kurt, Alex, Ashley and Kia aboard. With a strong northerly component to the 5-knot NNW breeze, and current running from pin to committee, the pin end was heavily favoured. Krikkit executed a port-tack approach to the crowded line, flipping over onto starboard just above Maritime Diva and firmly in control of the fleet, up-current and up-wind. Rhumbline put up a good fight, catching up for the first windward rounding but then stalling out and getting caught in a freighter shadow following a bad spinnaker hoist, allowing Krikkit to reclaim the lead and hold on for the win. Following that, Krikkit took off for a four-day weekend at Newcastle Island in Flotilla with admiral David aboard Freedom (see the Cruising page).

For the fourth KYC race on May 24 we had Simon, Denice, Liam, Alex and Kia aboard, with patchy 4-6 knots of westerly breeze and a massive flood current. What breeze did exist was decidedly stronger on the north (right-hand) of the course, so with little to no current relief available on the south side, Krikkit chose to cross the line and dig deep on port into the favourable breeze. It proved to be the winning tactic when the wind died off on the south side, leaving the boats who’d “run for the beach” sliding backward in current while Krikkit powered ahead in 6 knots of breeze. With only Rhumbline choosing a similar tactic it was once again a boat-for-boat battle with the tenacious J/29, but Krikkit held on for a win thanks to a couple of exciting last-second starboard-approach spinnaker douses that gained us a few boatlengths each compared to the port-tack approach Rhumbline took. Following the race, Krikkit switched to cruising mode again for a weekend at Gambier Island in flotilla with Flaming Redhead and The Fugitive.

Breezy Good Fun

On May 5, 2018 TCYC hosted the Passage Island Single-Handed Race, and the wind didn’t disappoint for this one, with 15 knots of onshore breeze. After a little excitement with a tangled jib sheet at the start, Simon crossed the line on starboard and then quickly flopped onto port for the beat to Point Atkinson, making use of a near-shore lift to single-tack it past the point and over to Passage island, where he managed to squirt through the infamous Passage Island wind hole without slowing. After rounding Passage he decided “what the heck” and launched the hornet chute in what was now 17 to 18 knots of breeze, rocketing to the finish line at the front of the pack just ahead of Jane’s Addiction. The only other boat to fly a spinnaker was the International Flying 15 FFang, and it was enough to give skipper Tim O’Connell the win, with Krikkit taking 2nd place and Alex Smyth’s J/111 65 Red Roses taking 3rd in the single-handed division under white sails.

A Mixed Performance

May 10th saw 10-12 knot westerly winds for the 2nd KYC Thursday race with Simon, Ashley, Alex, Kevin, Kurt and Mike aboard, and Krikkit made good use of the conditions, nailing the start with a port-tack approach, getting the lead on the fleet and holding it around the course for a convincing win.

May 12th was the TCYC Sailpast Race with Simon, Mike and Colby aboard, and the breeze turned up with enthusiasm again, blowing 17 knots at the start. Krikkit handily won the Sandy Cove start at the pin end, then diced with Cayoosh all the way on the reach to the Bell Buoy turning mark, finally pulling ahead when they stayed on white sails after we launched the chicken chute in the building breeze, giving us line honours and another win, a scant seven seconds corrected ahead of the Martin 242 Broos!

May 4, 2018 — RVYC’s new opener “Day Race” on April 14 (crewed by Simon, Jen, Chris, Denice, Ashely and Dan Eagan) proved to be an interesting challenge, with a 6-8kt offshore breeze for the start and initial run out towards Cates Point switching to light onshore breeze for the beat from RVYC to the Bell Buoy, then switching back to nearly non-existent offshore breeze for the final struggle back to the finish line. With Ultraman II getting pushed into the mud (and out of the race) by one of the Farr 30s, Krikkit ended up being one of only three Div 3 boats to finish, with Rhumbline ahead, Talisman correcting from behind, and Jasmina and Godzilla getting skunked by the wind. In the end, Ultraman II was given redress and tied for 3rd with Krikkit.

Following a weekend cruise to Bowen Island, Krikkit headed out for the WVYC Popham Island race on April 28 under damp skies and in a fleet of 10 Div 3 boats, with Simon, Denice, Kevin and Ashley aboard. After a down-to-the wire run to make the start in time, Krikkit crossed the line under spinnaker a few seconds late but at absolutely top speed, putting us in a good position against the fleet. With a successful downwind run, Krikkit was third around the Popham Island mark, but a single bad tactical choice on the upwind beat saw us stick too long on the wrong tack, catching adverse current, missing a favoured wind shift, and getting spat out near the back to finish 9th. Ouch!

With False Creek Yacht Club handing the Thursday Evening racing over to Kitsilano Yacht Club, things got off to a slightly disorganized start with a somewhat diminished fleet, and even the wind failed to show up the first night (May 3). Simon ended up joining KYC to support the racing, making Krikkit a dual-club boat.

The Scientific Method

April 12, 2018 — Looking to resolve some lingering ratings issues, Simon had Krikkit measured for an ORC certificate in February 2018, and got the new certificate issued in March. Under ORC, Krikkit was assigned a GPH number of 658.7, equivalent to a single-number PHRF rating of 129 (versus Krikkit’s actual as-sailed PHRF rating of 120).

In simplified terms, while PHRF is an observed-performance rating system underlaid by basic rig and waterline measurements, ORC is a strictly measurement-based velocity prediction rating system that calculates a boat’s real-world performance potential using a much more comprehensive set of actual rig and hull profile measurements. It uses computational fluid dynamics to refine the hull performance model, and because the assigned rating is based strictly on the measurements, there’s no “observed performance” component and hence none of the subjectivity that can come with this. This has particular advantages for modified or limited production boats where there isn’t sufficient observed data to develop an accurate average.

Armed with Krikkit’s new ORC certificate, plus ORC certificates for other Div 3 vessels, a comparison of the local fleet’s PHRF numbers versus their Schell regressions, several accepted rig modification formulas, and a variety of other data, Simon returned to PHRF appeals room. The goal: to get Krikkit’s PHRF rating set more in line with its ORC rating, its Schell regression number, and its actual on-the-water performance against the fleet’s top competitors. It’s never an easy sell to get one’s own rating changed, and even more difficult to get everything you ask for, but in the end the committee agreed that Krikkit’s assigned mainsail credits were insufficient to fully account for the amount of missing sail area, and so they adjusted the boat’s rating by 3 seconds/mile and issued a new PHRF certificate in mid-April, with an as-sailed rating of 123.

The verdict? “Close enough, let’s go sailing!”

Scrub Down, Tune Up

April 9, 2018 - With the season set to get underway, Simon dove Krikkit on March 23 to change the propeller hub zincs and scrub the bottom in preparation for the TCYC Spring Tune-up on Saturday March 24. Race day saw Simon, Jen, Kevin, Alex, Nick and Mike onboard, and shifty, variable breeze out on English Bay.The first race got underway in an oscillating 7 knot westerly. Krikkit got a good start and managed some gains by taking the favourable course on the 1st downwind leg, hanging with the leaders to come second across the line out of seven boats, and second corrected.

By the second race the wind had eased a little and swung south, turning the race into a reach-reach drag race. Krikkit got a solid start, but with no passing lanes and limited tactical options there was no way to overcome the speed advantage of the sport boats and light-air specialists, so it was all Krikkit could do to hang on for 5th.

Race 3 was reset to go around a freighter in light SE breeze, and once again the sport boats and light-air flyers took off, but then Ultraman II ripped their spinnaker during the takedown at the bow of the freighter, luffing up to recover the spinnaker and dropping a couple places back in the fleet as a result, leaving Krikkit in 4th just ahead of Senza.

Race 4 was an intense, super short two-lap windward-leeward dash in a nice 8-knot easterly. Krikkit managed to hang in there and get the spinnaker up and down in short order, getting around the course quickly and cleanly. But still, with no time for corrections to really count, it all came down to the start order - and with a middling start, Krikkit finished in 4th place, six seconds behind Senza despite Senza not flying their kite on the second leg.

Race 5 capped off the day with another, longer race in an easterly breeze. Krikkit handily won the start, and while the fleet managed to sneak ahead on the first windward leg, Krikkit stayed in close contact and then pushed back into the top three by taking a starboard-gybe rhumbline to the leeward mark, coming in with rights and gaining several positions to put us into third place for the race, and third overall. A great result from an awesome fun day of racing!

Mid-winter Shenanigans

The New Years Day Race saw the morning dawn cool and foggy, and we motored out under the Burrard Street Bridge in a moody mist. As the dawn turned to morning the fog burned off, leaving us in sunny skies but with precious little wind. Race Committee set up a short course that looked awfully long in the light breeze, and although Krikkit got a decent start we got hammered by the fleet on the way to the windward mark. Turning downwind, we made up ground by running a deeper course, spinnaker poled way back, and managed to catch up to the back of the fleet at the leeward mark, coming in on starboard with rights. Unfortunately Clara Allegra didn't quite realize that starboard means starboard, and came blasting in on port, claiming a right of way that didn't exist. Krikkit had to snake around the bow of Clara Allegra and then do a 140-degree gybe, which absolutely stopped us in the light breeze and resulted in us getting spat out near the back again, then clawing our way over the finish line in 7th place out of 11 boats. Still, it was good fun and a great way to start the year, and Simon and Denice did the traditional Vancouver Polar Bear Swim off the back of the boat afterwards.

March 12, 2018 - For the most part Krikkit stayed away from winter racing in 2018, but Simon, Rob, Kevin, Denice and Nick did get together for the traditional TCYC New Years Day Race on January 1st, and then on February 11th Simon, Jen, Clare and Kurt made it out for a day of VRC Polar Bear racing.

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The VRC Polar Bear Sunday in February was another sunny one, and offered a nice 8-12 knot westerly breeze (indeed there's method to our madness, and that's why we were out there!). Krikkit pulled off a couple of stellar starts (we won the first start and were top-three in the next start) and managed some clean-and-snappy boat handling at the marks. The first race saw us hang on to the 10-second advantage we'd gained at the start, finishing seven seconds ahead of XS. The second race saw us fighting for third place until Talisman, who had a clear lead, blew their spinnaker takedown on the final leeward rounding and slipped behind us, leaving Krikkit in second after XS. All in all, a grand day out!

Remember. Race. Party.

Nov 26, 2017 - With the series racing wrapped up for the season, the Krikkit crew got out for one last kick at the can on November 11 in the stand-alone VRC Remembrance Day Race, with Simon, Kevin, Denice, Mike, Ashley and Nick aboard. It's the first time Krikkit has made it out to this race in several years, and the weather cooperated with a nice steady offshore breeze, and no rain until after we'd doused the spinnaker and rounded the leeward mark (the Point Grey Bell Buoy). Following an appropriately sombre and reflective two minutes of silence, the race features a pursuit start, with the slowest boat leading off and faster rated boats getting launched incrementally at appropriate intervals after that. Krikkit started with an immediate handicap, being launched at the same one-minute interval as Windyfeat, which rates five seconds faster. We had fun chasing down Horatio, Sorcerer and Jasmina (and almost holding off Windyfeat) during the initial spinnaker run out, and we managed to just about catch up to Sorcerer and Jasmina as we all rounded the mark (Horatio had fallen behind after strong start). Jasmina ran wide on their rounding allowing us to get right on their transom, and then the rain and the upwind battle both got started. Krikkit finally nosed ahead of Jasmina at an anchored freighter - we ducked behind it and caught fresh breeze on the other side, while they tried to clear ahead of it and got stuck in light air on its leeward bow. Sorcerer, however, got us both by going further north into better breeze and favourable current, and meanwhile the rest of the fleet (all the faster-rated boats) ran our same course but put their windward speed to good use, pulling ahead by sheer brute force. Horatio chose to retire, leaving Krikkit and Jasmina fighting it out to avoid being last-to-finish. After trading positions back and forth for several tacks, Krikkit managed to lee-bow Jasmina on the last tack, somewhat shy of the layline for the pin but in a position to hold Jasmina off, climb the ladder, and punch up at the last second clear the pin and cross ahead, 8th out of 10. An entertaining battle, if not exactly a stellar overall result. On November 24 (and with Jen out of town), Kevin, Mike and Ashley joined Simon at the shipwreck-themed VARC awards party, with the Krikkit crew dressed in our finest on the grounds that if you're going to be shipwrecked, you might as well look good! It was an entertaining evening, with drinks, appies, chit-chat and even a bit of dancing, and Krikkit picked up an engraved beer mug for placing 2nd in the Regatta Series and 2nd Overall. Well done, crew, and thanks!

Back to Front

Oct 24, 2017 - The last three official races of the season were the Fraser Lightships distance race, TCYC Last Chance Regatta, and RVYC English Bay Championship Regatta.The Lightships saw Simon, Jen, Marek, Clare and Kurt joined by newcomer Nick, who recently moved from England and is no stranger to sailing. The race started out with a nice spinnaker run, but then the wind shifted and eased, leaving us beating south in light breeze and strong current – not Krikkit's favoured conditions. Windyfeat made huge gains on the fleet on the southerly leg by going out further into the strait (apparently there was either more wind or less current out there). After rounding the mark we got the spinnaker back up, but the wind eased even further and died off. When it came back on it was from the north, so we were beating again, with the leading boats getting the wind earlier and the trailing boats – Krikkit included – getting it last. We crossed the finish line near the back of the fleet and corrected to pretty much dead last, with just one non-finisher behind us on the score sheet. Somehow it didn't really matter though, because it was an incredible day, with a huge range of nature-viewing opportunities: porpoises, seals, a killer whale, a big sea lion eating a salmon, and a massive end-to-end rainbow. (Photo of Krikkit and fleet by Richard So from Ultraman II - )

The Last Chance Regatta saw Simon, Denice and Nick go out shorthanded in some nice fresh breeze to do battle in five very short races of varying format. Simon drove the starts and then swapped to foredeck, handing over the helm to Nick, while Denice did everything else. With the short courses it was a real challenge (one leg was so brief we simply ran out of time and manpower to get the chute up), and towards the end of the final race we were so knackered that we thought we were finishing when there was actually another half-lap to go. We went backward through the line and decided not to correct our mistake, finishing the race "for the honour" but scoring DNF. It was our throwout, however, and with an otherwise strong performance we came away with a first overall.

The RVYC Championship/Closer Regatta opened with a bang – 12 to 17 knots of steady (if slightly shifty) breeze and sheets of rain at times. With Simon, Jen, Kevin, Denice, Ashley and Nick on board Krikkit was fully crewed up and ready to do battle with Godzilla for the last two spots on the VARC Overall and Regatta Series podiums (Ultraman II already had the series wins clinched). With the 94-percent headsail Krikkit was nicely powered up and pointing well, and thanks to some truly superb crew work we were able to capitalize on a couple of great starts and pounce on any errors our competitors made, keeping us right in the mix.

We ended the day with a narrow lead: two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes versus Ultraman II's two firsts, a second and a third. The Sunday had much sunnier weather, but very light and flaky winds. In the end it wasn't enough for race committee to commit to a start, so we had fun sailing slowly around, but never actually raced, clinching the win for the weekend. A happy end to an eventful and at times extremely difficult season.

Unscheduled Fun

Sept 18, 2017 - With Deep Cove's uncooperative wind leaving us potentially short a scoring day for the overall Regatta Series, the Krikkit crew decided to do back-to-back weekends and attend WVYC's one-day Howe Sound Regatta, a race we've usually ended up missing. With just four aboard – Simon, Jen, Kevin and Ashley – we weren't looking for big wind, and we didn't get it, instead getting very light breeze and lots of current. Race committee only managed to get two races off, and Krikkit managed a couple of excellent starts and made some great tactical choices to stay in the mix with the lighter, more powered-up boats. We ended up tied with Incisor for third overall, with Incisor taking the tiebreaker. After the race we dropped by to enjoy some hospitality and food at WVYC - a perfect end to a fantastic day.

The following week Simon competed in VRC's SHAG (Single-Handed Anything Goes) regatta, hanging within a few seconds of Trevor Salmon aboard Manana to take home two second place finishes and second overall.

Craziness in Deep Cove

Sept 11, 2017 - Transcending what turned out to be plentiful rain and a distinct lack of wind, the 2017 Deep Cove Regatta was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable weekend for the Krikkit crew. Jen and Simon delivered the boat from Vancouver, with the crew meeting at the cove on a wet Saturday morning. With no wind to speak of at the start, Simon took the opportunity to go body boarding behind Krikkit, skimming around the waiting fleet at 5.5 knots. A light easterly finally filled in, the rain dispersed, and racing got underway. Some dicing with Ultraman II at the first start caused us to miss the favoured end of the line, and we got off on the back foot, fighting dirty air and getting on the wrong side of the shifts to end up sixth out of seven boats. In race two, with the lessons of the course still stinging, we managed an excellent start, port-tacking the fleet at full speed from the pin-end and calling the shifts correctly to stay in the lead as we headed down the first leeward leg. But with the wind dying off again and a freighter coming in to anchor, race committee shortened the course. "Your finish will be when you round the leeward bun," they announced. Which is just exactly what the leading Farr in Div 2 did: pass the bun, head upwind a bit, then go around the top of the bun and back through the start/finish line (which was only about three or four boatlengths downwind from the bun). As they crossed the line, the Krikkit crew, under spinnaker and thinking we were about to finish at the bun, heard a whistle. "That was the Farr's finish!" someone yelled. What followed was a high-speed crazy-Ivan circle: Douse, round, tack, relaunch and carry on through the finish. Which wasn't the finish. The bun was the finish, and the whistle we'd heard was for us, not the Farr! Our circle was quick enough that we were still leading the next two boats in line, and thinking we'd screwed up they ignored the bun and went straight through the line … and therefore got no whistle, and had to douse spinnakers and beat back to the actual shortened-course finish at the bun. We captured first place, and they still haven't forgiven us for the unintentional psyche-out! The day was topped by the freighter captain coming onto the VHF radio and announcing, in a thick Russian accent, "All zee sailboats in zee sailink race, I am large freighter and I am comink to kill-yuuu." It seemed like quite the threat, until we realized he actually meant he was going to anchor in anchorage "K" (kilo)! Sunday saw sunshine but no wind, so there was no racing, and Krikkit's opposite-extremes race scores from Day 1 were good enough for third overall.

Thursday Evening Wrap

Sept 7, 2017 - FCYC's seven-race "Fall" 2017 Thursday Evening series saw Krikkit once more battling hard for the lead against Frank Rogers and his crew on the Santana 30-30 Jasmina. Most of the races took place under smokey skies due to forest fires raging in the interior. The resulting light winds meant we were never really in our element, but thanks to some great starts and solid crew work we managed to pull together a string of 2nds and 3rds (and ended with a solid 1st) to take 2nd overall. It was great fun, despite how serious Kevin, Patrick and Rob look in the one photo!

Scramble Time

Aug 22, 2017 - After returning from cruising the Krikkit crew jumped straight into the FCYC Fall Thursday series, getting off three races (and scoring a 2nd, a 3rd and a 2nd) before heading out for the English Bay Scramble, with Simon, Jen, Kevin, Denice, Liam, Patrick and Kristina aboard. With Simon tied up arranging the Crew Challenge games for the party, Jen took command of the boat decorations and crew uniforms, and decided we should go as orange food-coloured boat snacks, complete with a giant inflatable pretzel. The race itself had decent wind and a massive predicated flood tide, so Krikkit elected to head for the Bell Buoy first, before the current really kicked in, followed by Passage Island, through the start/finish, then to the North Shore Mark and Kits Barge Buoy before beating back to the finish line. It was a solid tactical choice, but unfortunately four of our closest competitors made the same choice, and a fifth found an equally fast way around, netting Krikkit 6th out of 14 boats in what transpired to be a fast and fun race.

A Bumpy Return

On June 28, 2017, exactly two months after hitting the log in the Collingwood Channel Race, Krikkit was relaunched with its new rudder, just in time for a quick sea trial before participating in the second TCYC Summer Thursday evening race, where we had good fun, and a swim after, but managed only 10th out of 13 boats. Following that it was a quick weekend trip to Bowen Island, another Thursday (managing a 4th this time) and the the VRC Summer Regatta. For this regatta we had Simon, Jen, Kevin, Denice, Dennis Lafeaux, Pete and newcomer Kristina aboard. Saturday had sunny weather and decent breeze, but lots of adverse current, especially at the windward mark. The Krikkit crew had good fun in the nine-boat fleet, racking up a 3rd, a 5th, a 3rd and a 2nd in the four round-the-buoys races, but then suffered a gut-wrenching failure when the topping lift shackle blew open during the mainsail takedown, dropping the boom on Kristina's head and necessitating a visit to the local hospital for a concussion evaluation and precautionary CAT scan. It was an unhappy end to an otherwise brilliant day, and an inauspicious return to VARC racing following the rudder-wrecking Collingwood Channel race. The crew regrouped for the distance race on Sunday however, and with Dennis calling tactics Krikkit managed to sneak away in a light-air downwind start and get into the ebb current as the wind died off, while also placing ourselves exactly where the wind first filled back in, allow us to re-launch a full 15 minutes ahead of the fleet and netting us an insurmountable lead and a 1st-place finish, which we dedicated to Kristina who had to sit the race out to nurse her head. Hard on the heels of the VRC Regatta was another Thursday evening (8th out of 12) and then off for a cruising vacation (see the Cruising page).

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors

May and June 2017 saw Krikkit parked on the hard at Granville Island courtesy of the insurance company, getting its bottom paint repaired, a new rudder built by Idaho-based Ruddercraft, and various occupational therapy tasks (including tiller refinishing) completed by Simon. Meanwhile, the Krikkit crew deployed "the backup boat", participating in the FCYC Spring Thursday Series aboard Rob's Jeanneau Sunshine 36 "New Adventure". It was a nice opportunity to see how the big Jeanneau measured up in short-format racing, and we were pleasantly surprised with its speed and pointing ability, racking up a decent string of 2nd and 3rd place finishes.

In other news, with Krikkit on the hard, admiral David decided to assume command of his own ship, and so after 27 years of boating partnership Krikkit spawned a Mirage 24 (designed by C&C) called Freedom, which Simon helped haul out, paint, polish, and deliver to Bowen Island, its new base of adventures with David.

Nasty, Brutish and Short

On April 29th Krikkit headed out for the WVYC Collingwood Channel race with Simon, Kevin, Alex, Ashley and guest crewmembers Miles and Eric (from the Ranger 29 Horatio) onboard. It started out as an awesome day on the water, with overcast skies, mostly flat seas and a nice 10 knot easterly breeze at Passage Island setting the fleet up for a downwind start. Krikkit got across the line in a respectable spot near the front of the pack, and after a quick gybe we launched the spinnaker and got the boat lit, charging along in company with Godzilla. But then it all turned to crap less than five minutes later, when we plowed into a semi-submerged 50-foot log at full speed. The bottom left photo shows the WVYC mark boat standing off one end of the log, which is perpendicular to the camera and pretty much filling the frame - not that you can see it (and no, it's not the obvious dark line, that's just a wave - the log is several yards past that).The log smashed Krikkit's speed impeller, smacked into the keel and rolled all the way under it, and then bounced up and bashed into the rudder, bending and jamming it against the hull. The crew were magnificent, getting the sails down and secured with out any damage (despite the boat spinning donuts in the breeze), and we were lucky the log didn't hit the sail drive, which could have potentially caused serious water ingress problems. But still, with the helm stuck over at about 20 degrees deflection we were completely crippled, unable to make steerage, and had to call a C-Tow rescue boat, which pushed us home on the hip, struggling to stay on course against the bent rudder.

It was a long and disheartening ride back to the marina, with the skies opening up in a deluge of rain to suit the mood on board.The boat was hauled as soon as possible the following Monday and the rudder pulled for examination, revealing a badly bent rudder shaft and a wide spilt along the top of the rudder blade, effectively writing it off. With delays to sort out the insurance, ship the old rudder to the rudder shop, build a new rudder, ship it back and install it, the collision put Krikkit out of action for the entirety of the FCYC Spring Series and made the boat doubtful for Round Bowen. It hasn't put the Krikkit crew entirely out of action, however, as Rob registered New Adventure as our "back-up boat" for the FCYC Spring Series, giving us an opportunity to practice for the SOAR Regatta, which will also be aboard New Adventure.

Rating Wars, Part 2 (and what's with the diesel smell?)

April 12, 2017 - Following our brilliant New Year's Day race, Krikkit opened the regular 2017 racing season by missing both the TCYC Spring Tune-up regatta and the RVYC Opener regatta - partly due to ratings issues and partly due to the fact that, in the course of servicing the engine's heat exchanger and fuel pump over the winter, Simon discovered that the diesel fuel tank was leaking. Removing the old tank required cutting out a large portion of the starboard quarterberth using a jigsaw, all while working in the smelly fug of diesel fuel.But this was thoroughly pleasant work compared to what was going on in the background: The dreaded Spring 2017 ratings appeal to get our rating back in line relative to the fleet. Folks who want to know all the gory details can visit the PHRF BC web page at but for those wanting the short story, Krikkit launched two appeals, one seeking a re-evaluation of the Div 3 fleet base ratings as a whole, and one seeking a re-evaluation of the changes made to Krikkit's rating following the Fall 2016 appeals. The upshot is that the committee declined to hear the fleet appeal, but did hear Krikkit's individual appeal, agreeing that there was a data error resulting in an incorrect mainsail code, that the boat's base rating is just its base rating (net of any modifications), and that the mainsail credits had been incorrectly deleted. So they gave some (but not all) of the sail credits back, leaving Krikkit with an As Sailed rating of 120. The good news? Krikkit now has a new diesel tank, and a plan …

New Years Awesomeness

Jan 9, 2017 - The new year dawned lumpy and breezy but nice and sunny for TCYC's New Years Day race, which features an anchored Le Mans-style start. With only Simon, Jen and Denice aboard, Krikkit anchored well away from fleet at the favoured pin end, and although our tiny "keychain" dinghy anchor dragged in the waves we managed to raise anchor faster than anyone else and be first across the start line, with Hurricane close behind and moving faster to quickly overtake us. Given our short-handed crew we decided to run the #3 headsail and smaller hornet chute in the shifty, puffy 10-12 knot northerly breeze. This choice paid off when the wind piped up to 15 knots, leaving most of the fleet overpowered while we were completely in our element. Krikkit hung on to Hurricane for most of the race and then managed to pass them at the final leeward mark when they blew their rounding, pulling ahead of them enough to cross with line honours and a clear win, even at a rating of 100. A fantastic day!

Crossing the Bar

On Friday Dec 2, 2016 the Krikkit crew lost one of their own, with the passing of Shelagh - Simon's mum and one of Krikkit's "co-Admirals" - following a brief and unexpected fight with cancer. Sweet, graceful, drily humourous and fiesty-spirited, Shelagh was a loving grandmother, mother, and wife. As well as sailing, she'd been an active hiker, skier and squash player, and even a pilot in her youth. An avid reader, she was also the one person who always looked forward to Krikkit's website updates and read them all with enthusiasm. She will be dearly missed.

Rating Wars, Part 1 (and a dîner en noir)

Nov 19, 2016 - No one really wants to talk about ratings, but in mixed fleet sailing they're a fact of life. When ratings are set correctly and everyone is in agreement, the PHRF handicapping system under which Krikkit races works well. And of course ratings are always set correctly and sailors are always in agreement, right?Unfortunately, because Krikkit is modified from its original design, when the boat was initially rated in BC its certificate was built in a slightly unconventional manner, leaving the boat's sail area credits somewhat open to interpretation, especially given that like pretty much all boats in BC, Krikkit has a base rating a few seconds slower than in other jurisdictions.The upshot, for those interested in such things, is that because the certificate left Krikkit's mainsail area credits open to interpretation, it also left the boat's rating open to appeal based on the fact that the sail area credits were assigned using the original rig height, not the actual modified rig height. This generated accurate sail area credits, but created wonky sail codes: Krikkit's full-hoist, roachy mainsail showed on the certificate as a Code 3 sail because that's what it would be if hoisted on the original rig.Possibly inspired by their two-second loss against Krikkit in the Fraser Lightships race, Ultraman II appealed Krikkit's rating at the Fall Appeals meeting, arguing that Krikkit's actual modified rig height should be used to generate the sail codes, rather then the standard rig height. In a sense it was a fair argument, provided the credits were shown elsewhere instead (i.e. designated as rig credits). Unfortunately, with Simon unable to be at the meeting to present a defence, the handicap committee ignored the race results and simply changed the rig height number and deleted all of Krikkit's sail area credits, leaving the boat with a rating 12 seconds faster than it was previously (114 versus 126) and unrepresentative of the boat's performance capabilities. Appeals only get heard every six months, and there's no arguing a rating outside of the appeals process, so Krikkit was stuck with the decision until the spring.With life and ratings issues conspiring to leave him feeling less than celebratory, but with an award for second overall in the VARC Series to pick up, Simon attended the VARC Awards all in black.

Bittersweet Wins

Oct 30, 2016 - The day after Krikkit was launched following its fall rudder-bearing repair came the RVYC English Bay Championship on October 22-23. Krikkit came out of the gate swinging, catching an early wind shift to execute a port-tack start at the pin end in 8 knots of easterly breeze, and crossing the line some 40 seconds ahead of the fleet, which had gotten bunched up on starboard tack at the committee end. We then sailed to the better breeze at the beach, and lucked out when the wind shifted back just as we tacked, lifting us onto the layline to the pin and putting us into a truly dominant position. With no traffic at the marks we ran a clean, fast race and chalked up a well-deserved win, which we dedicated to Simon's mum (and Krikkit "co-admiral") Shelagh, who the day before the race had been diagnosed with advanced and untreatable bile duct cancer. It was a bittersweet win and was the only one of the weekend,because the wind eased off after that, leaving Krikkit struggling against the more powered-up boats.2016 racing ended with the TCYC Last Chance Regatta on October 29, 2016, and it was a brilliant day of racing that ended with a three-way tie for 1st place, with Krikkit, Senza and Raven each taking one win, one second, and one third in 6-10 knots of NE breeze. Simon turned the tiller over to the crew and concentrated on coaching, with Kevin running the first race (and getting the win), Liam running the second race, and Jen running the third race.

New Rudder Bearings!

Oct 21, 2016 - Following the Fraser Lightships (which heard the rudder bearing hammering the entire way) Superstition Boatworks on Granville Island finally got a time slot in which to replace Krikkit's worn-out lower rudder bearing. It turned into a long, complicated and expensive project that involved far too many sharp power tools and sledgehammers for Simon's taste, but resulted in a beautifully smooth (and quiet!) rudder action thanks to a new Jefa bearing, a completely stripped down and refinished rudder, and a smoother-than-ever bottom (when the boat is hauled out for three weeks, you might as well keep sanding, right?).

Too Good to be True?

Oct 3, 2016 - Krikkit transitioned from summer to fall with a pair of successful races, starting with the always-entertaining VRC SHAG single-handed race on Sept 24. After a brief postponement waiting for wind, the race got underway in a very light (2-3 knot) easterly breeze and ended up being an exercise in concentration. With race committee using time-on-time corrections there was little hope against the small boats (Slingshot and Mast Transit), but with Simon concentrating fiercely (and Manana retiring early on) Krikkit stuck it out to finish third overall.Following that was the Fraser Lightships race on October 1st, and it was one for the record books: Krikkit got a top-three downwind start in a decent northeasterly breeze, and held with the fleet to the Bell Buoy, battling furiously with Terna III. At the mark the big asym boats were holding their spinnakers for the "reach down the beach", so we decided to try and match them with our symmetrical chute.

We were the only Div 3 boat to do so (everyone else doused), and by moving the spinnaker pole way down and all the way forward we were able to hold the chute for 20 minutes more than any other boat in the fleet, setting new boat speed records in the gusty 20-plus knot breeze and clawing back lost ground against Godzilla and Ultraman II to round the T10 mark with the front three boats elapsed, and well in the lead corrected. We then began the task of trying to hold onto the lead during the close-reach and beat home. Ultraman II gave us a real run for the money, but in the end we squeaked in for the win, two seconds ahead of Ultraman II after three hours and 10 minutes of racing. What a day! What a race!

Deep Cove

Sept 29, 2016 - Despite a wedding taking a number of Div 3 boats out of the action, Deep Cove saw a decent-sized and competitive fleet of 10 Div 3 boats racing under sunny skies, with two round-the-cans races on Saturday and a distance run up Indian Arm on Sunday. After a postponed start (and some swimming off the stern) while waiting for wind on Saturday, Krikkit managed good starts and excellent crew work once the breeze kicked on, winning the first race and then taking a 7th (with the top seven boats all finishing within about 10 seconds of each other) to finish 3rd overall for the day. Sunday was an exercise in trying to find the wind rivers while dealing with a filling breeze that was bringing in the back-marker boats, and Krikkit played the game middling-well to finish bang in the middle, 5th out of 10. All in all, an awesome last "summer" regatta, and the club volunteers at Deep Cove made an awesome drone-footage video of the first day's racing (Krikkit gets some quality camera time on the downwind legs: We're the only boat with the green spinnaker, centre screen from 4:30 to 4:50 and again from 5:07 to 5:21).

Summer Shorts and Fall Series

Sept 9, 2016 - TCYC's Summer Shorts was popular this year, with a big fleet of 15 boats competing in the "fast" fleet including Krikkit, Jasmina, Thursday's Child, the J/35s Senza and Aorangi, the X119 Brinehog and a bunch more. The racing was generally good fun, despite an incident that saw Aorangi, Senza and Brinehog all attempt to occupy the same space at the windward mark, all at the same time. Krikkit nailed the start in that race, avoided the pile-up, and stayed near the front of the fleet in building breeze, crossing second over the line and third corrected. The following week saw Simon entirely outnumbered by Krikkit's otherwise all-female crew, and we had a fun race despite a bit of excitement at the start that saw Simon turn Krikkit into a temporary traffic pylon at the pin after a slightly bad tack during the start. Fortunately OCD was on the ball and skirted around us! The overall series results saw a very well-sailed Jasmina take the win, with Brinehog in 2nd, Senza in 3rd and Krikkit in 4th.

The FCYC Fall Series was a bit of a mixed result - Krikkit essentially won every race we entered, but had to skip the first race due to Simon and Jen's work commitments, and then skip the 4th and 5th races due to our cruising schedule, keeping us out of the overalls (we were second in points, and could have finally gotten first overall if we'd have done all the races!

Fantastic Summer Fun

Aug 15, 2016 - One of Krikkit's most successful regatta performances to date saw us place 3rd overall in the VRC Summer Regatta. Saturday saw the nine-boat Div 3 fleet sent out on a medium-distance coastal race under cloudy skies, with lots of genoa reaching playing into Krikkit's hand and netting us a win for the day. Sunday bought a breezy triplet of round-the-buoys races, with the Krikkit crew enjoying some great crew work, warm camaraderie, and only a couple brief (and quickly recovered) moments of rig-knitting craziness to net us a 5,3,4 record for the day. Then on August 13 we headed out for the TCYC English Bay Scramble. With a big flood tide on tap, we strategized our course to stay out of the current as much as possible, and then stuck with with our strategy, sailing fast and avoiding the wind holes to finish 2nd in Div 3 and 1st in the TCYC fleet. Following the race we swam off the back of the boat, then headed off to the party where for the second year in a row Simon organized Crew Challenge games, which were won by visiting Nanaimo boat Dilligaf. A fantastic day!

Spring Series and Sailpast

June 24, 2016 - Casual spring sailing this year included a fully-crewed TCYC Sailpast and race (an event Simon has traditionally done single-handed), and some tight Thursday evening racing against Jasmina, Thursday's Child, OCD and Equilibium, with plenty of breeze on most nights, and good racing. Despite a couple of first-place finishes for Krikkit and several 2nd-place finishes, Jasmina once more put in strong performance and held off Krikkit for the overall series win by 8 points to 12 points. Good times!

Round Bowen Reverse Handicap Race

June 5, 2016 - With light, flukey winds that kept filling in from the back of the fleet, this year's Round Bowen Race turned into a bit of an exercise in PHRF handicap sorting. After a nice inflow start and a fast spinnaker run around the bottom of the island, the wind died off and the fleet battled through what appeared to be a typical transition zone just beyond Cape Roger Curtis, only to be surprised when it filled from astern and compressed the fleet into a compact ball. This happened several times, with the faster boats legging out each time, only to get becalmed and watch the slower boats catch up again. The final wind-driven restart saw the majority of the fleet – with the exception of a few fleet-footed outliers including Kodiak – take off from Hood Point in a single group and all finish within about an hour of each other, with the results largely reflecting the boats' PHRF ratings in reverse order. Krikkit's biggest excitement of the day was doing a little impromptu log towing: We somehow snagged a crooked 7-foot tree limb around our sail drive leg in one of the slow sections of the race, and didn't realize it was there until the breeze came back on going upwind beyond Hood Point and we simply couldn't get the boat up to speed. In the end Mike held Simon's legs while Simon went head-first over the side at 4 knots to wrestle the offending log off the saildrive, adding about 2 knots to our forward progress - but not before four of our closest competitors had slipped past, leaving us exactly mid-fleet.

A Whale of a Time

May 30, 2016 - Hard on the heels of the winter season, Jen and Simon kicked off the 2016 spring sailing season on April 2nd with a competitive double-handed performance in four short round-the-cans against a fleet of fully-crewed boats, in breezy conditions, in TCYC's Spring Tuneup - all part of the Sailor of the Year Challenge. VARC racing got off to a rousing start the following weekend at the RVYC Opener with plenty of fresh breeze, great crew work, and a grey whale putting on a show right in the middle of the fleet, tail flukes and all. Best of all, Krikkit managed a string of 2nds and 3rds and only a couple 4ths in the tough eight-boat fleet, ending up 2nd overall for both days.A couple weeks after that on April 30 it was the WVYC Popham Island race, which was a fun but slightly frustrating race for the crew of Simon, Kevin and Liam: we'd waited a little too long for a no-show crewmember and ended up having to race just to make the start line, which to compound our troubles had been set further out than its stated position at Passage Island. We ended up crossing the line about a minute late in plenty of breeze, then began the work of reeling in our competitors. But it was tight racing, so in the end the time lost at the start line cost us two positions, kicking us from a potential top-half finish into a bottom-half finish. The final run to the line nose-to-nose with Talisman was good fun though!

Then there was the TCYC Passage Island Race on May 8, which Simon ran single-handed as part of the Sailor of the Year Challenge. It was a brilliant romp under sunny skies and pleasant sailing breezes, and by successfully taking the short route straight through the narrow heart of the dreaded Passage Island wind hole, Simon managed to pull off an excellent finish, placing 1st in the single-handed division and 2nd overall.

Winter Madness

March 27, 2016 - Following our great 2015 summer season and VARC Div 3 overall victory, the Krikkit crew convinced Simon that we should continue the fun into the winter by signing up for the Vancouver Rowing Club's 2015/2016 Polar Bear winter racing series. The series, which runs every other Sunday, consisted of five races over three Sundays in 2015 (Series 1), and six races over five Sundays in 2016 (Series 2).

VRC kicks the winter season off with a rookie racing seminar, which Simon attended, with the result that we had rookies Jose and Mike assigned to the boat. As it turned out, they were the only crew aboard for the first race apart from Simon and Jen! Kevin was back on the roster for the second weekend, with Veronica from Godzilla joining us while Godzilla's mast replacement was still pending. Simon, Jen, Veronica and Jose formed the core crew for the rest of the season, with Kevin and Sean attending several races, Rob coming along for one race and Alex coming along for one race.

Weather-wise it was mostly light winds, while on the one truly big-wind weekend Simon forgot the recently-repaired blade at home … go figure! And while there were a couple of sunny weekends, it was also often sopping wet, allowing us to admire our sails at home all winter as they were spread around the house drying. The joys of winter racing!

Krikkit got off to a bit of a rough start, with a DNF (along with 75 percent of the fleet) in the first race, then a good second race, then leaving the blade at home for the 3rd and 4th races and placing poorly as a result. The final, 5th race of the 2015 series was an exercise in light-air frustration and poor tactical choices that spat us out the back, leaving us in 6th overall out of 13 boats for Series 1.

Series 2 got underway on Jan 3, hard on the heels of the TCYC New Year's Day Race (itself a sunny but calm affair that had no official finishes due to an expired time limit, but which saw the entire fleet unofficially cross the line all within a few seconds of each other, then raft up while Simon, Jen and Denice went for a quick New Year's Day skinny dip). For Series 2 we got our act together a little, pulling off some excellent starts and making smart tactical choices to keep us in the mix, having some great boat-for-boat battles around the course and finishing consistently near the top of the fleet to wind up 3rd overall out of 15 boats (woot!), even after taking a throw-out to attend the North Sails Trim for Speed course. Will we be back next winter? Hmmm … well ... you know, it was very wet!

What a Season!

Dec 17, 2015 - Krikkit closed the 2015 summer racing season with a pair of regattas that couldn't have been more different in character:

The TCYC Last Chance Regatta on October 17 was a casual, fun day out in light wind and fine weather, and with a solid lead in the series Krikkit was under no pressure to perform. Race Committee managed to get three races off in 5-7 knots of breeze, and the Krikkit crew sailed well to pick up two seconds and a third in the six-boat fleet, finishing second overall in the regatta and first overall in TCYC Div 1 for the 2015 season. Woot! (Pic at left: The Krikkit crew at the TCYC Last Chance Regatta)

The RVYC English Bay Championship on the weekend of October 24-25 was for all the marbles. With Krikkit ahead of Ultraman II in VARC Div 3 by only the narrowest of margins, we needed to do well if we wanted to stay ahead and eke out our first-ever overall victory in the annual VARC regional championship.

Saturday dawned clear, sunny and calm, with no wind for the scheduled race start. Simon managed to kick things off, literally, by losing a shoe overboard (we quickly recovered it) and then eventually racing got underway, but Krikkit misjudged the start line and ended up "over early" for the first race - even worse than finishing last! In the second, shortened race we struggled in the light air against the lightweight boats in our fleet, winding up fourth out of six boats. Things weren't looking good!

(Right pic: Simon, in the middle, accepts the prize for First Overall in VARC Div 3, together with third place finisher Alan Ip from Godzilla and second place finisher Jason Saunderson from Ultraman II.)

Down to the Wire

Oct 9, 2015 - Some awesome racing in the late summer and fall helped land Krikkit in the unfamiliar position of going into the final regatta of the regional VARC series defending 1st overall.

The English Bay Scramble took place on Aug 15, just before Krikkit left to go cruising. The race saw Simon, Jen, Kevin, Denice, Marek, Alex and Jillian aboard, with good southeast sailing breeze and an ebb current turning to flood later in the day. Krikkit opted to run for the Kits barge buoy first, then cross the start/finish line before stringing together the North Shore, Passage, and Point Grey marks all in a row. It turned out to be the winning strategy, with Krikkit and Rhumbline (which chose the same route) battling towards the finish in the lead, and Ultraman II (which had run for the North Shore and Kits marks before crossing the line and heading for Point Grey and Passage) chasing to catch up. Rhumbline pipped us at the line for 1st place, leaving Krikkit and our menagerie of inflatable animals in a well-fought second placed (our inflatables won 2nd too, behind Equilibrium's inflatable "Bozo the Clown" skipper).

Sunday brought cloudy skies and plenty of wind (and Simon's Halloween devil's horns - see pic at right), and with seven boats now on the course in Div 3 it turned into a knock-down-drag-out battle. Race 1 was awesome, with 8 knots of breeze, a good start, and a finishing position that we were pleased with. Race 2 the wind piped on hard (17 knots), and Krikkit nailed the start and had a commanding position coming up to the first tack, windward of everyone. Unfortunately the first boat to tack failed to duck us, and we had to crash tack to avoid a serious collision, swinging past the other boat a hand-width apart. With the crew now washing their legs on the low side of the boat we were unable to release the genoa in time and it tore against the spreaders, spoiling our race and leaving us fifth place. For race 3 we got the old Dacron 135 on, which isn't a bad sail in breeze, but we were frazzled and it just didn't go smoothly, netting us a disappointing sixth. Race 4 we regrouped and ran a smooth race to notch up a respectable fourth-place finish. It wasn't quite the performance we'd been hoping for, but when all the numbers were crunched it was enough, by a mere 0.009 of a point overall, to net Krikkit first overall in VARC Div 3 for the year! Woot and Double Woot! An awesome result, and it certainly left the Krikkit crew happier than the poor Godzilla crew, who broke their mast after snagging another boat's spinnaker halyard. All in all it was an unusually exciting weekend, and for Krikkit an unusually rewarding one too!

For those interested, the VARC Results are available online. Not counting the 46 boats that competed in only one or two races, a total of 15 boats qualified for standings in VARC Div 3 in either the Regatta Series or the Distance Series, with four boats winding up in the battle for the Overall win.

After returning from cruising we wrapped up the FCYC Fall Series with some strong finishes but no overall honours (taking two weeks off comes at a cost!), and then headed out for some brilliant racing at the Deep Cove Regatta on Sept 12 and 13. Day 1 was traditional multiple windward-leeward racing in a competitive eight-boat fleet, with clean crew work and good pace netting Krikkit 4th, 4th and 3rd, finishing the day in 4th overall. Day 2 was a longer race up Indian Arm, with a light-air downwind start. Krikkit timed the start well but almost got tangled up with Jasmina and Radiant, who'd stalled each other out on the line. But we got clear and legged ahead of the fleet for a bit before getting hunted down and eventually passed by Ultraman II. A heavy-air beat back to the finish saw us cross the line still ahead of Radiant and in 2nd place behind Ultraman II. Woot!

Following this on Sept 27 Simon went out for the VRC "SHAG" (Single-Handed Anything Goes) race. An uneven fleet put Krikkit and Thursdays Child in Div 2, and Krikkit got a great start, hanging with the Div 1 boats to finish first in Div 2 (Thursday's Child retired after its skipper pulled a muscle fending off another boat after an unexpected tack).

Then it was the Fraser Lightships on Oct 3, with Krikkit hoping to improve on our mid-fleet result from the spring's Collingwood Channel Race. Simon, Jen, Denice, Marek, and Jillian were aboard for this one, which took place in glamour conditions with sunshine and 12-15 knot northwesterly winds. Krikkit got a solid start and diced for the entire outbound run with the Wilderness 30 LRT, passing them at the turning mark for a close (and slightly overpowered) reach home and a fourth place finish in the 11-boat fleet - a nice improvement over our springtime performance!

Diary of a 23-hour thrash battle, Krikkit-style

Ripped from Krikkit's log book, here's a quick account of our recent return trip from just north of Desolation Sound. In a sense maybe it belongs on the Cruising page instead, but that page is supposed to be more about the pictures and pretty scenery:

With the TCYC Last Chance Regatta set for Oct 17 and the final VARC regatta (the RVYC "English Bay Championship") on Oct 24/25, it's down to the wire, with Krikkit in a solid position for the TCYC Championship but looking to pull a rabbit out of the hat to stay ahead in the VARC Div 3 Championship...

Friday Aug 28, 2015, 9:00 am - If you wanna get from north of Desolation Sound to Vancouver before the 45-knot weather bomb drops, it means beating south in the "light" southerlies -- double-reefed with the blade up in 25 knots gusting to 30, and great big Georgia Strait waves.

Friday, noon. Still beating. Still 25+ knots. Wind-driven surface current knocking almost 2 knots off our true forward progress.Friday, 3:00 pm. Still beating. Still 25+ knots. Retrieve broken leech-line cord that's flailing out of the blade. Six hours is a long time to be on the helm battling 25-knot Georgia Strait seas.

Friday, 4:00 pm. Still beating. Wind only 20 knots, seas calmer in Malaspina Strait. Jen on helm. Shake 2nd reef. Patch hole in mainsail. How'd that get there?

Friday, 6:00 pm. Still beating. Wind down to 17 knots. Shake 1st reef. Wind direction indicator connection jiggles loose, now stuck showing 10 degrees off the starboard bow.

Friday, 8:15 pm. Sunset. Still beating. Texada Island is really frickin' long. But it's actually quite beautiful out here now.

Friday, 9:00 pm. It's dark. Texada Island remains ridiculously long. Why is the tide always against us? Wind getting really light now.

Friday, 9:15 pm. Motoring. Because weather bomb coming.

Friday, 10:15 pm. The moon is a beautiful friend, lighting our way forward and clearly showing the big lurking logs. LIKE THAT ONE! YIKES! TURN TO STARBOARD!

Friday, 11:30 pm. The cockpit display's distance log only goes to 99.99 miles, then it gives up and starts again. On the bright side, I figured out where to whack the hatch turtle to bring the wind direction indicator back to life. Friday, midnight. Hot tea for all, and chocolate. A treat to rouse the spirit. Saturday, Aug 29, 1:00 am. Moon gone. Can't see the logs anymore. Not until you pass six inches from the bastards and the disturbance of your passing makes them light up with phosphoresence. Just missed one big monster. Saturday, 3:00 am. Getting windy again. Tired. Something about Sechelt or something. Do the White Islets actually follow you around, or are they just much bigger than they look? I hate them. Saturday, 4:00 am. Gerfurtent. Pabble-wonk. Oh look, a leprechaun. Salty sandwich. Frangensnicht. Hmm, maybe it's time for a 5-minute power nap. Dream of motoring under a warm sun. Saturday, 4:45 am. Holy crap, there's a lot of wind coming out of Howe Sound! Saturday, 5:30 am. The power of 47 knots of wind is hard to describe adequately, but the seas it drives are easy to describe: Go to the Banzai Pipeline surf break in Hawaii. Take a picture. Now put it in the middle of Georgia Strait and drive your 36-foot boat through it. I make light of it, but the truth is it's genuinely frightening, especially in the dark when you're also navigating past two inbound cruise ships and an outbound freighter. Saturday, 6:45 am. Torrential, biblical rain, and gusting winds. Is this actually False Creek? I can't see a thing!Saturday, 7:45 am. Tie up in your own cosy berth. Haul crap out of V-berth and dump randomly in main cabin. Crawl into sleeping bag and crater for 3 hours. Listen to the wind scream furiously in the rigging. 81 knots at Point Atkinson now. Glad we made it before it got really bad…

Hot Stuff

Monday July 20, 2015 - The hot weather in June and July generated some steady strong thermal winds, making for some brilliant local sailing. Perhaps it helped that we finally decided it was time to stop borrowing Raven's bottom brush and make one that Krikkit could call its own. It's always faster to have your own bottom brush, right?

On the weekend of June 14 the Krikkit crew headed off for the Round Bowen race, picking up guest crewmembers Alex and Margaret in Snug Cove at the complimentary pancake breakfast (Yup, the Bowen Island Yacht Club sure knows how to treat visiting boats right!).

The race itself was an absolute blast, with sunny skies, a great committee-end start for Krikkit, some heavy-air beating in big waves at the south end of the island, an awesome flat-water spinnaker run up Collingwood Channel, and some great duelling with our closest competitors. At the Cape Finisterre transition zone Krikkit managed to keep ghosting forward in the light stuff, then timed our spinnaker douse perfectly as the wind came forward, pulling ahead of the fleet to finish third in a 30-strong division. (Left pic: Kevin, Mike, Kate, Margaret, Alex, Simon, Denice and Liam at Bowen Island. Right pic: Kevin, Margaret and Alex at the finish of the Round Bowen Race.)

The FCYC Thursday Night Spring Series remained an extremely hard-fought series to the end, with Krikkit eventually taking 2nd overall (yay!), missing 1st overall by a mere seven seconds (boo!). Krikkit won races 2 and 4, but lost to Windyfeat (a Peterson 35) by three seconds in Race 1 and four seconds in Race 7.

Race 6 was a bit of an off night, with a variety of minor snafus that culminated in Simon having to climb the mast during the first spinnaker run (with both the spinnaker and the headsail flying) in order to sort out a halyard tangle (photo at left).

Then on the weekend of July 11/12 it was the VRC Summer Regatta, held under cloudy skies and solid offshore breeze. With Alex and her friend Nat joining Simon, Kevin, Marek and Kate on Saturday, Krikkit put the breeze to good use to barrel around the reachy triangular course at top speed, netting two first place finishes in the 11-boat fleet. Sunday saw Jill subsititute for Nat, and with lighter winds playing on a windward-leeward course layout Krikkit was hard pressed to keep up with the Santana 30/30s and J/29s, ending up with a trio of mid-fleet finishes. Still, a pretty spectacular weekend of racing, and our best overall regatta result yet!

(Right-hand photo: Krikkit charges along under spinnaker, battling to get ahead of Talisman.)

On-the-water Updates

Sunday May 31, 2015 - Hard on the heels of Krikkit's late-April haulout was the WVYC Collingwood Channel Race on May 2. It was a breezy and quick one this year, with steep lumpy waves adding to the excitement on the first leg. The wind forecasts had been predicting 8 knots of breeze, and that's what Krikkit saw in English Bay on the way out, so we put up the big genoa. It seemed like a good choice when the wind lulled just prior to the start sequence, but then at the five-minute horn the wind came on hard and Krikkit started well overpowered, beating upwind in 18-20 knots of wind. We ran the the sails with lots of twist to spill the excess wind, and this worked nicely in the lumpy seas, allowing the boat to stay powered up while driving a snake-like course up the wave faces and down their backs. We stayed near the front of the fleet until Cape Roger Curtis, where a wider-than-average rounding cost us a couple of places. From there it was some awesome flat-water sailing in Collingwood Channel, heading north under spinnaker and back south under whites sails before rounding Roger Curtis again for the final spinnaker run home and a solid mid-fleet finish. (Left photo: Mike and Simon at the end of the Collingwood Channel Race.)

Next up was the TCYC Sailpast Race, which Simon ran single-handed. It was great fun threading the boat under spinnaker through the outgoing RVYC Parade and then again through the incoming side, and by digging deep and maintaining a rhumbline course Krikkit was able to pull ahead of the fully-crewed J/35 Senza and nip them at the finish for a 1st place overall finish, and 1st place single-handed. The following week Simon, Kevin and Liam ran Krikkit in the TCYC Passage Island Race with a full crew of guests and teenagers along for fun, running a clean race but adding an extra tack towards the Bell Buoy on the first leg out of the bay, which cost us distance against the fleet and netted us a fourth-place finish.

In the FCYC Thursday series Krikkit has been having some very competitive racing against Windyfeat for top spot, with Godzilla nipping at our heels in third. (Above right photo: Denice and Mike heading out for Race 3). In the fourth race of the seven-race series Krikkit tied things up dead even, making the final trio of races into essentially a best-of-three series …

Kevin and Rob (left photo) and Susie and Talica (right photo) heading out for Race 3.

Getting Slippery

Spring Things

Tuesday April 21, 2015 - The weekend of April 18-19 was haulout time for Krikkit, with bottom-painting, name graphic renewal, hull polishing, zinc changing and sail-drive leg oil changing all on the agenda in preparation for the coming season. It was nice to see the keel come out of the water clean and smooth, allowing us to concentrate on the rest of the bottom this year. Ahhh, nothing like working in a plastic tent full of bottom-paint dust! Next time around I'm buying a quick-change vacuum-attached sander, and getting out of the tent and into the world of dustless sanding! For now we won't claim that the bottom is perfect yet, but it's moving in the right direction and it feels nice and slippery!

Tuesday March 31, 2015 - The TCYC Spring Tuneup on March 21 saw Krikkit unveil its not-so-secret winter improvement project: A brand new carbon main, a brand new 0.6-oz spinnaker, and a new-to-us carbon-kevlar 150 percent #1 genoa. Simon and Kevin raced the regatta double-handed to post a double-handed result towards the TCYC Sailor of the Year challenge, and the day began well with an early start to get the new mainsail onto the boat. Things went sideways however when we realized the batten car sliders were one size too big. Some futile attempts were made to file the sliders down to size before Simon abandoned the effort and drove to West Marine to grab some temporary sliders which we zipped-tied to the sail and headed out, too late for the first race but in good time for the second lighter-air race.

We got a good start together with Flaming Redhead, while Windyfeat and Kootka duked it out and slowed each other down. Krikkit was then able to ghost to the front of the fleet in the light air during the first leg, and hold the lead around the course as the breeze built just a tiny bit, finishing ahead of Kootka for line honours and second place corrected. Missing the first race left us in fourth overall though, and we were too busy to take photos, and race committee didn't take photos either.

A week later, with the batten slider issues sorted out (and new jib sheets to replace the worn-out old ones), Krikkit hit the first day of the RVYC Opener Regatta with Simon, Jen, Chris and Kevin aboard (photos above left and at right).

With boisterous but quickly easing westerly winds we got a quick race off right away, finishing fourth in the six-boat Div 3 fleet. We then spent the lunch hour drifting around the start area, and Krikkit got friendly with the committee boat, catching a river of current to cosy up to the boat's bow and leaving us shouting, running around and generally making fools of ourselves. Of course committee had the camera at ready.

The wind then piped up and we got two-and-a-half more races off in shifty 5 to 12 knot southerly breeze, with steadily improving starts for Krikkit. We won the final start just windward of the Ross 930 Ultraman II, and their crew hiked out hard to try to pinch us out, breaking a stanchion in the process and putting themselves out of the regatta. We ended the day 4, 4, 5.

Day two saw Elaine Muldrew join us for some wet and woolly sailing in 16-18 knot northeasterly winds and buckets of rain (far too wet to be taking photos again!). Krikkit ran the blade and chicken chute for the first two races, notching up two second place finishes, and then switched to the #1 and big chute for the final race in lighter winds, but got entangled with the Div 7 boats off the start and never found our space or pace, eventually blowing a gybe near the leeward mark, switching to a disaster takedown, and making another (much higher-speed) run at the committee boat as we tried to get pointed downwind enough to douse the chute. All-in-all it netted us a third-place finish in the race for 2, 2, 3 record on day two and second overall in the regatta -- our best result ever in a major multi-day regatta!

A Great Start

Saturday Jan 10, 2015 - The new year got off to a great start for Krikkit with the TCYC New Years Day Race on January 1st under cool, sunny skies and very light wind. Simon, Rob, Kevin, Liam, Denice, Mike, Shareen and Patrick shook off their hangovers to make it out for this always-popular event (well, maybe Patrick didn't need to shake off a hangover) .

(Bottom photos, L to R: Krikkit, at the left, anchors for the Polar Bear Swim; Simon and Shareen get ready to swim; Simon and Shareen starting the new year in style.

After the race we anchored again to watch the Polar Bear Swim, and Simon and Shareen decided to join in with an impromptu dip in the icy waters of English Bay. Who needs bathing suits anyway?

W ith an anchored "Le Mans" start it's always entertaining as the countdown approaches, and this year Krikkt used the wee "keychain" anchor and got a good spot on the line for a top-five start. (Photo at left: Krikkit, at centre in background, gets the anchor set for the Le Mans start).

Getting rolled at the windward barge mark by the big Beneteau Clara Allegra slowed us down a bit, but we stayed focused and kept the boat moving, gurgling around the course for a respectable finish among mostly faster boats, and in second place among the TCYC fleet.

Race! Cruise! Race! Repeat!

Monday Dec 29, 2014 - The second half of the 2014 season saw Krikkit getting out for plenty of cruising, plenty of racing, and plenty of fun. Following the Round Bowen Race it was the last FCYC Spring Series race (a wet and flukey one) and then off for an overnight Bowen Island cruise in flotilla with New Adventure, and then straight back into racing in the TCYC Summer Shorts series starting in July. Following that was a fireworks night, a long weekend cruise on Aug 2-4 with Denice and Hailey, then the FCYC Fall series starting Aug 7.

The English Bay Scramble ran Aug 16 and Krikkit had a very good run around the course, picking up the inside marks first and then the outside marks, losing to some boats that did even better by picking up the outside marks first. Still, we were one of the few boats to complete all the marks, and had a good overall result.

August 22nd to Sept 1st saw Krikkit cruising Howe Sound and the Gulf Islands, stopping at Plumper Cove, Gibsons, Newcastle Island, Pirates Cove, Ladysmith and Wallace Island before returning home to wrap up the FCYC Fall series (taking 2nd overall) and take part in the Deep Cove Regatta -- a sunny and fun event with round-the-cans racing on Saturday, a run up Indian Arm on Sunday, and plenty of swimming in between.

The VRC SHAG (Single-Handed Anything Goes) race ran Sept 28 and saw Simon get a brilliant start, port-tacking most of the fleet and picking the right lanes of wind and managing the spinnaker reasonably well in the 10-knot breeze to finish in 3rd place behind only Manana and Excalibur. (Photo at right: Simon in the SHAG race).

Following that it was the VARC Fraser Lightships race (a great start, and Krikkit hung in to round the turning mark with the front-runners, and then the wind shut off and most of the racers, Krikkit included, abandoned the race). The TCYC Last Chance Regatta (Oct 18) and VARC Closer (Oct 25-26) closed the season out. Krikkit sailed well in the Last Chance Regatta to manage a 3rd and a 1st (good enough, when combined with the results from the rest of the year, for 2nd overall in the TCYC Fleet Championship). The Closer saw the crew working hard, with mixed cloud and rain the first day, then sun the second day, and good starts and clean roundings throughout (see photo at the start of the blog entry). Despite the excellent crew work Krikkit wasn't able to battle past mid-fleet overall, but it was good fun trying, with some very competitive racing and tight finishes, and on the second day we managed to achieve at least one goal by beating the J/29 Rumbline fair and square in a major VARC regatta race.

(Photo at left: Krikkit in the TCYC Last Chance regatta.)

Zooming Around Bowen

Adventure by the Bucketful

Pain, Gain, and a Main

Wednesday June 4, 2014 - Krikkit closed out the 2013 Season with a trio of cool-weather races including the Fraser River Lightships, the TCYC Last Chance Regatta and the VARC Closer.

The Lightships ran October 5 with Simon, Denice, Kate, Chris G. and Chris's friend Tim on board. The winds were initially so light that the start line got moved to the Bell Buoy, but once around the Bell Buoy we picked up a nice 12-15 knot outflow breeze from Howe Sound, and Krikkit got a good start and stayed at the front of the fleet for the downwind leg, then lost some by going too far out on the way home (we were following Brigadoon -- what can I say?). Then a brief battle back through the light air to the finish line, tying with Incisor for 5th out of 9 boats.

The Last Chance Regatta on October 19 saw Simon, Denice, Kate, Kevin, Liam and Chris W. head out into a foggy morning for a pair of races… Continue Reading

Wednesday June 18, 2014 - With a litany of work commitments, end-of-school-year family commitments, boat haulouts and injuries keeping much of the regular Krikkit crew off the roster for the Round Bowen Race, Krikkit picked up Martin 242 sailors Ian Dube, Sher Gray and Brenda Bevis to join Simon, Kevin and Liam for this always-enjoyable event.

The good times were fully accounted for this year, but what was notably missing were the normally unavoidable wind holes around the island, which usually create parking lots at Cowan Point, Hutt Island, and/or Hood Point. This year it was blowing solid (and very gusty) all around the island, so there were no restart opportunities for the back-of-fleet boats and the official start actually mattered for once. Who'da thunk?

Of course if there ever was a Round Bowen start that mattered, it's only natural that the wind would die out across half the line at the 10 minute mark and Krikkit would get trapped on the wrong side of the line in the becalmed zone… Continue Reading

Thursday Nights Video

Tuesday Aug 7, 2013 - Here's a well-done short video/still compilation from the 2012 season's Thursday Evening races, courtesy of Ron Byres on Hakuna Matata: . Krikkit shows up doing a takedown of the yellow hornet chute.

Humble Pie a la Fun Mode

Sunday Sept 15, 2013 - In early July, after an intense couple of weeks hauling the boat to do the bottom and the keel, and then packing and finishing up work obligations, we kicked off for a couple of weeks cruising in the Gulf Islands, visiting some favourite spots like Wallace Island, Maple Bay and Montague Harbour, and exploring new territory including Mill Bay and the "other" Deep Cove on Saanich Peninsula, where Ian joined various classmates to sing at the wedding of the school's choir teacher (see the Cruising link for some photos from this year's cruising adventure). Upon our return Krikkit headed out with Simon's parents for another 10 days of cruising, returning in time for the start of the FCYC Fall Series and the SOAR Regatta.

SOAR this year took place Aug 9-11 and saw Simon, Kevin, Liam, Denice, Kate and Mike signed up for the entire weekend, and some excellent racing. The wind for the inflow was on the light side, and aboard Krikkit we ran the hornet spinnaker, carrying it across the finish line to pick up 500 points in the Game of SOAR and chalk up a "first-ever" for Krikkit (we've usually doused the chute on approach the the notoriously tight inflow finish line) and a 3rd place finish in our division… Continue Reading

Wait ... a Second? (Or two!)

Saturday Dec 15, 2012 - When the spring racing wrapped up in late June the cruising grounds bekoned, and this year we headed north to Desolation Sound once again for a couple of weeks, including transiting Surge Narrows to the Octopus Islands. Very cool! (See the Cruising page for pics). Shelagh and David then took the boat to the Gulf Islands for 10 days, returning it in time for the first Fall Series Thursday race (we came third, behind Jasmina and Rhumbline) and the SOAR regatta.

SOAR this year was on Aug 10-12 and saw lighter winds than usual throughout the southern reaches of Howe Sound, although there was the usual consistent steady breeze north of Watts Point and in the Squamish Harbour. The inflow race saw Krikkit nail the start and get away in the light wind with a small pack of five boats, only to find a wind hole later on (just in time for the photo boat to record our spinnaker hanging like drapery) and lose the lead we'd established, slipping past the finish line near the bottom of the fleet.

In the main race we started under blade and full main, and then soon had to swap to the bigger headsail. Coming back we flew Tutti Frutti (the big kite) until Watts Point and then had some some real excitement when we went to swap to the smaller kite. Suffice to say we decided to alter our normal procedure in order to allow a quicker swap over, with the result that we A) bounced the spinnaker pole into the headstay, B) started to round up and C) managed to recover the round-up through some brilliant independent thinking that saw the guy and sheet released simultaneously. Normally we wouldn't admit to any of this, but it just so happens the race videographer caught the entire spectacle, which ended with Krikkit flying the spinnaker like a giant masthead flag, on video. See it at . After recovering our kite with a tricksy downwind do-se-do, we finished the race without further incident… Continue Reading

Saturday June 22, 2013 - Krikkit started the 2013 race season on January 1st in the TCYC New Year's Day race, and it proved to be a taste of things to come, with a mid-pack finish behind our principal competition. Things didn't get better from there, either: despite our best efforts (and some very close races, with Krikkit no more than a few seconds behind the podium boats) we wrapped up the VARC Opener Regatta with a weekend full of last-place finishes. (Left: Krikkit in the VARC "Close, but no cigar" Opener)

The distance racing has proven a little more productive so far: In the Collingwood Channel Race Krikkit finished 7th out of 15 boats, and actually ahead of a couple of our main competitors. And this year's Round Bowen Race proved to be the best Round Bowen ever, with Simon, Kevin and our sons Ian and Liam making up a four-person, two-generation crew, and using the largely consistent winds to work our way around the island in record time and in 8th place in our division (the biggest division in the race, too, with 29 boats), again ahead of several of our key competitors (though behind a couple of others). (Below, right: The Krikkit Crew in the Collingwood Channel Race)

The always-entertaining FCYC Spring Thursday Racing was fun as usual, but rather shy on prizes for Krikkit… Continue Reading

A Matter of Seconds

Close Competition …

Friday June 15, 2012 - In between False Creek Thursday races -- in which Krikkit managed to pull off bullets in both the fourth, windiest race of the season and the fifth, lightest race and then take third in the next race after fouling the start -- Krikkit wound up heading over to Bowen Island for the Round Bowen challenge, despite having written the race off the calendar. But a last minute inquiry from Kevin, followed by an text message from Miguel and some encouragement from our competitors, convinced Simon to enter this perennially entertaining race.

And entertaining it was once more. We'd originally decided to run the race double- or triple-handed, but within minutes of arriving at the dock (and not even one dark-and-stormy into the evening) we'd picked up an extra crewmember from Maritime Diva (she was apparently on board to carry out espionage), and then on race morning a couple of extra crew from Natural High hitched a ride… Continue Reading

Spring Preparations ...

Sunday March 4, 2012 - Taking the lessons of 2011 in mind, Simon has been busy over the winter getting things lined up for the 2012 Krikkit Race Season. So far, this includes some new heavy air gear (roller battens for the blade and a used 1.5 oz heavy-air spinnaker, which should together make races such as SOAR much more enjoyable and successful), and a successful ratings appeal ... yes, our new base rating is 111, and with the old 150 percent genoa off the boat (we never used it last year anyway) our new as-sailed rating is 129 (last year it was 120). This keeps us in the hunt with Aqua Perla (which itself picked up 18 points to go from 123 to 142), and it puts us in a much better position against Windyfeat, Rhumbline, Phantom and the other VARC Div 3 boats, as well as against Jasmina and Nimue in the FCYC races and against Lithium, J and the other TCYC boats in the TCYC series races. I'm still working on some rigging issues and other stuff, and hope to have more to report soon ... stay tuned!

Blown Away

We then went into distance-racing mode for the WVYC Halibut Bank/Popham Island Race on April 28, which was held under mixed cloudy and sometimes dampish skies with variable winds between about 5 and 10 knots… Continue Reading

1, 2, 3, Paint!

Thursday April 19, 2012 - After skipping the 1st race of the year (the New Years Day Race) so we could all play aboard Isseyikasso, Krikkit turned out double-handed for the TCYC Spring Tuneup on March 10, with Kevin and Simon on board. We ran without the spinnaker in solid 17-20 knots of breeze and managed to beat out the fully-crewed J/33 Presto for 2nd place overall (congrats to "Aqua Perla," which took first). The VARC Opener took place the following weekend, and Krikkit came out for just the Saturday with Simon, Kevin, Kate, Chris W., Denice and Mike on board. After working out a bit of rust during the first couple of spinnaker roundings, we picked up the game enough to stay ahead of Arashi in the final race, but still finished off the podium. But it ain't over 'til it's over ... it turned out that the 2nd-place boat (Radiant) had not renewed its PHRF certificate, and so could not be scored for the VARC Championship points, meaning that Krikkit picked up a 3rd in the VARC Regatta standings. After this 1, 2, 3 performance we had a quick outing aboard Krikkit as part of our Golf/Ski/Sail day and then it was time to haul out, refresh the bottom paint and recoat the keel, which was developing some paint bubbles. I also got a new starboard spinakker halyard made up, and put together new spinnaker pole uphaul and downhaul lines. No more confusion, either ... they are white based, but with yellow flecks for the uphaul (think of the sun UP in the sky) and black flecks for the downhaul (think of dirt DOWN on the ground). Since there are no other yellow or black colours at the rope clutches, this should reduce the amount of comedy in the pit when new crew are aboard: "No, no, not the white line with the blue flecks, the blue line with the white flecks!"

Sunday May 20, 2012 - Krikkit's first race after the annual spring haulout and bottom paint was the VARC/FCYC Blast Spring Regatta on April 21, with Simon, Chris G., Kevin, Kate, Mike and JP Ostrander on board. It was great fun, and we had an outstanding day of racing with five short windward-leeward races, from 10:30am 'til 4:00pm in a nice solid 8-12 knot breeze and sunny weather. The finishes were all very close, with typically only a minute or two separating first from sixth place. Krikkit held off Nimue and the Hotfoot 31 Thursday's Child to pick up 6th place out of 8 boats.

(Photo: Krikkit, on the right, leads Thursday's Child and Rhumbline to the leeward mark in the FCYC Blast Spring Regatta)

FCYC Icebreaker Regatta: Bad News, Good News

This quickly changed at the start line where a decent breeze popped up to see the fleet launched, and built to the point where Krikkit was bordering on overpowered with the big 150 genoa up. The big decision point was whether to stay out in the strait for better wind or go to the Bowen shore for current relief. We stayed out but it didn't work entirely in our favour, with the boats that headed into shore gaining distance. After rounding the mark at Popham we made up ground on some of them under spinnaker in the softening wind, passing Marbella (who wasn't in our division anyway) and almost-but-not-quite catching Godzilla in our division, giving us a finish near the back of the eight-boat fleet ahead of Takaya and Celtic Blue (Brigadoon won our division, with Arashi and Coho rounding out the top three). Overall it was a fun day, certainly better than for the Div 1 and 2 fleets, which got out to Halibut Bank but lost their wind out there and had to ghost back in under light air.

May 5 kicked off the FCYC Thursday Evening Spring Series with a brand new 140 genoa for Krikkit! With consistent 11 knot breeze for the race, the crew of Simon, Rob, Flash, Lisa, Kate and Kevin White put the new sail to good use… Continue Reading

Saturday May 14, 2011 - It has been a busy few weeks for Krikkit! April 30 saw Simon, Marek, Denice, Kevin White and Ian Johnson come aboard for the VARC Halibut Bank/Popham Island race. The day dawned cool with sunny skies but, it first seemed, no wind.

Good Friends, New Sails, and a Busy Season

Race 3 was a close one, with Krikkit once again getting line honours, crossing nearly a minute ahead of Jasmina but correcting 25 seconds behind. We picked up a 3rd and a 4th in the next two races, and then for Race 6 Olympic sailor Ross MacDonald came along to help us dial in the new headsail, coaching us to line honours once again and ... a corrected finish 22 seconds behind the pesky Jasmina. So going into the final race (Race 7) we had a pretty good lock on 3rd overall, which we secured with a another 4th place finish. Well done, crew!

June 11 saw Krikkit travel to Bowen Island for the Round Bowen Race with a full crew of Hill family, and Marek Baker as foredeck and crew boss… Continue Reading

Monday Dec 19, 2011 - Following the TCYC Summer Solstice Krikkit took off for a month of cruising in July, first with Simon, Jen and the kids to the San Juan Islands, then with Shelagh and David to the Gulf Islands. After this pleasant cruising interlude we wrapped up the racing season with three breezy VARC races, a fun but ultimately mid-pack FCYC Fall Series, and a couple of cool October wrap-up races.

The first of the breezy VARC races was the Squamish Open Annual Regatta on August 5-7. The delivery to Squamish saw Simon, Kevin and Kate on board. We left False Creek at 11:00am in a 9-knot offshore wind, broad reaching at 6 knots all the way out of English Bay and past Point Atkinson, catching an inflow wind in Howe Sound to arrive at Porteau Cove at 2:45pm in what was now 24kts of wind. We tied up to the park float to await the 4:00 pm inflow race start, which we subsequently missed because we thought the photo boat was a committee boat, and with the wind we never heard any of the horns. Instead we milled around until Simon yelled "Hey, why's everyone starting all of a sudden? ... Oh, committee is on the shore!" We hit the line a good minute-and-thirty-seconds after the horn, and despite having only three crew raised the bug chute to try to redeem some honour… Continue Reading

(Photo: Krikkit, at left, beating upwind in the Squamish Open Annual Regatta race)

Boom, Boom, Boom

Thursday July 28, 2011 - Late June saw a flurry of racing aboard Krikkit, wrapping up just in time for us to load up all the cruising gear and take off to the San Juan islands and Gulf Islands for the first two weeks of July.

The FCYC series continued much as it started, with Krikkit alternating between really good, close 2nd place finishes and slightly off-the-pace 3rd and 4th place finishes.

2010 English Bay Scramble: Sun, Smiles and Second Place.

FCYC 2010 Fall Series: Hard-Fought Fun

Friday September 17, 2010 - Court Touwslager and the False Creek Yacht Club put on another great season of Thursday races this fall. With Rob working in Kamloops, Issey stayed tied to the dock so once again Krikkit was out campaigning in Division 3 with a mix of regular crew members and fun guests. Thanks to Jen, Lisa, Denice, Chris, Flash, Kate, Miguel and Loree for coming out and making the season memorable. Special thanks to Marek for taking care of things on the pointy end for the entire series, getting the spinnaker successfully hoisted and doused even during those roundings when the skipper threw in unexpected gybes and the cockpit crew pulled all the wrong lines… Continue Reading

After some last minute withdrawals due to illness and revised travel plans, the Spring Tuneup saw us heading out with a light crew of four including Simon, Chris W., Kate Urban, and Angelika Stenico, a new recruit from Austria. With no foredeck crew and Angelika bringing national-level 470 racing skills to the table, she drove the boat while Simon ran foredeck and Chris and Kate managed the pit and genoa. And boy, did we get a workout… Continue Reading

New Year's Day was at least a warm and convivial day, as we sat at anchor chatting and socializing with nearby boats. We had a full crew, with Simon, Flash, Jen, Chris Walker and Kevin White all onboard. But there was not so much as a whisper of breeze, and after waiting an hour-and-a-half, Race Committee abandoned the race.

Wednesday March 16, 2011 - As the 2011 race season gets underway, Krikkit already has a pair of early-season races in the can. The TCYC New Years Day race and Spring Tuneup had about 11 knots of wind for each day of racing. Unfortunately none of it actually showed up on New Years Day, and it all arrived -- all 22-plus knots of it -- for just the Spring Tuneup.

2011 Early Season Update: A Whimper and a Bang

Then the bad news: Doing a naked spinnaker takedown (i.e, no headsail rolled out) after the finish, we tore the chute ... again. The good news? The tear was across the repaired spot, so no real additional damage to Tutti Frutti… Continue Reading

Thursday April 14, 2011 - Krikkit got out on Saturday April 9 for a day of truly entertaining racing in the VARC/FCYC Icebreaker Regatta. It was a two-day regatta, but like most of the Div 3 fleet we only made it out for the Saturday. We certainly picked the right day to race, with overcast but dry skies and a good 12-16 knot offshore breeze (Sunday was seriously wet). The crew included Simon, Chris W., Denice, Kate, Zenon Samila and Jason Vandergaag (aka Schnick).

Simon drove the first race while Jason ran foredeck, Kate on the kite, Zenon and Denice on jib and Chris in the pit. We ran the 130 headsail, and got a reasonably good windward start, a few seconds late at the gun but moving at speed. We hung in with Brigadoon and Arashi for the first half of the beat, but after tacking Brigadoon was able to point higher and get away. We had Arashi on our hip and couldn't quite shake them. Round the mark we were still in close with Arashi, but Raspinfly managed to pop ahead. The rest of race 1 went the same way -- we held off Arashi and crossed ahead, but not far enough to correct on them.

Sweet Moments

Thursday June 3rd, 2010 - Just got in from an incredible night on the water. It was finally warm, sunny skies, a perfect 9-10 knot breeze, and FCYC committee got the course set up perfectly square. We set the 130 (I love that sail!) and battled hard with Aqua Perla (Bene First 31.7) for the start. We lost the duel and ended up high and over early, but being in front we had a clear line so we ducked back down without losing speed and got a good lane of clear air regardless. Rounded the first upwind mark a couple boats back and then fought hard downwind, picked up a place and then clawed our way forward in the next two legs, ending in fierce neck-and-neck run for the finish with Mainbrace (Viking 34), snagging line honours and first corrected by 22 seconds. Who could ask for more?

Here's the results:

Krikkit 1:05:45
Mainbrace 1:06:07
Marbella 1:06:08
Lodestar 1:06:40
Aqua Perla 1:06:57
Snowball 1:11:10

Is that close racing, or what?!

FCYC 2010 Spring Series: It's a Wrap!

Friday June 18, 2010 - The Krikkit crew wrapped up a very entertaining FCYC Spring Series with 3rd overall and the David Shore Participation award (see the "Trophies and Photos" page). A highlight of the series was our very friendly rivalry with the closely-rated Aqua Perla, (Beneteau First 31.7) which gave us hard fought starts and close roundings throughout the series. The final race saw less than 30 seconds separating Reacher, Aqua Perla, Lodestar and Krikkit (one second between Lodestar and Krikkit!)

Round Bowen 2010

Saturday June 12, 2010 - Krikkit ran the Round Bowen race with three generations of Hills, plus Chris Walker. An inflow wind meant a clockwise course, and Krikkit got off to a decent start with the 130 jib up, but was underpowered for the stretch between Pt. Cowan and Cape Roger Curtis. Then we finally got to pop our chute and reel in some boats before reaching Hood Pt., where we managed to ride a band of breeze between the wind holes and get through without slowing. Then a big tacking duel with Blackfly to the finish, correcting into 20th place out of 26 in our division. Oh well, we had fun!

The Krikkit brain trust had developed three possible plans of attack based on what was supposed to be happening, and with the tide change sitting very near the race start time, the crew was not surprised to find that the flood was still running at the start. Figuring it would take another 45 to 60 minutes for the ebb to get going, we decided we'd get the North Shore mark out of the way so that we didn't have to tackle it later when current river really got running out there -- especially since the wind tends to die out there later in the day. From the fleet of 50 boats, only two other boats came out with us -- the M242 No Worries and the J/29 Godzilla -- and as we eked our way along in easing winds we began to seriously wonder whether we'd made the right move. At the mark, Godzilla peeled off to run for the Kits Barge buoy mark, while Krikkit and No Worries both spinnaker-reached back to the start/finish line, pushing our chutes to the limits of their windward ability… Continue Reading

Saturday Aug 14, 2010 - Ian Johnson and Kia Russell joined Krikkit regulars Simon, Jen, Marek and Chris W. for the 2010 English Bay Scramble. The wind was predicted to be light but steady, so we put up the 150 genoa, and the tide was predicted to be ebbing for most of the race. Um, yeah, sure

Left: Three generations of Hills pilot Krikkit up Collingwood Channel. (Clockwise from top left: David, Jen, Shelagh, Simon and Ian. Shona asleep below, Chris Walker taking the pic.) I think David wins some sort of award for "Most casual spinnaker flying stance ever."

Bottom Painting. The Good and the Bad

Wednesday June 2nd, 2010 (Simon) - Splashed the boat after a quick haulout for bottom paint and zincs. When whoever it was first put antifouling on the bottom, I don't think they prepped the hull properly. At any rate, several areas (notably the aft buttock sections and the turn of the bilge at the keel) have suffered from delamination of the bottom paint off the hull, leaving shiny gelcoat visible. I finally got annoyed and scraped back a lot of this to where the adhesion was somewhat better, then prepped the exposed gelcoat with light sanding and Interlux Fibreglass primer (YPA something-or-another) before putting on fresh bottom paint. This way, to the extent the boat has "repaired" patches in the bottom paint, at least the patches are a few large continuous areas, rather than dozens of little patches.

I also continued my battle with Krikkit's krazy keel… Continue Reading

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