Adventure by the Bucketful
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 (though mid-fleet overall). The main race on Saturday was delayed and shortened due to winds that built slowly and never really filled in south of Watts Point, but the wind then came on strong in the harbour, building to 25 knots gusting 30 and making for some great sailing. Aboard Krikkit we started with the big 142 percent genoa, then ran the heavy-air kite after rounding the mark at Watts Point, and switched the headsail to the 135 percent genoa. (Left: Krikkit under heavy-air kite at SOAR.)
The heavy air kite served us well on the last downwind leg, when boats all around us were having spinnaker wipeouts while we ran along with crazy grins on our faces and posted a new over-the-water speed record for Krikkit of 10.6 knots. We crossed the finish line roughly mid-fleet again, but fifth in our division, and with all sorts of boats coming into the finish area behind us we decided to run under mainsail up Mamquam Blind Channel to the yacht basin. Unfortunately with little time to double check the navigation we strayed too far to port on our way past the old pier at the channel entrance, and caught the edge of the channel mud, making for a very sudden and dramatic stop. We didn't go too hard aground however, and managed to back off under out own power and proceed to the yacht basin where Simon carefully examined the bilge
and then dove the boat to inspect things, finding no damage other than the sanding off of a small patch of Krikkit's recently applied bottom paint. The party that night was truly epic, and the next day the wind was slightly heavier for the start of the Outflow Express, so Krikkit switched to the 94 percent blade and after almost (but not quite) arriving late for the start due to a failed watch battery we ran a fantastic race, finishing in the top quarter of the fleet and 2nd in our division. (Right: Krikkit running downwind at SOAR.)
The week after SOAR was the English Bay Scramble, and this year it was another windy one, with Simon, Jen, Ian, Chris G, Kevin, Liam and Marek aboard. With solid winds around the course the race ended up hinging on choosing the right course for the current, and sadly for Krikkit while we made the second-best choice (running the Bell Buoy and Passage Island first, then crossing the line before picking up West Van and the Kits Barge Buoy), the current filled in later than we anticipated, and the bulk of our division took advantage of this, running inside to Kits first, then crossing the line before picking up the Bell Buoy, Passage Island and West Van all in a row. The result was that Division 3 dominated the fleet, with the top two finishes and five of the top ten finishes … but Krikkit, while managing a decent mid-fleet position overall, was 7th out of the 10 boats in Div 3.
Then it was Deep Cove, with Simon, Chris G., Kevin, Liam, Denice, Kate and Mike aboard on Saturday, and Martina from Rhumbline replacing Mike on Sunday. Unfortunately the wind came late on Saturday, so we only saw only three races contested that day, and then there was no racing on Sunday due to lack of wind. But there was good breeze on the Saturday once it arrived, and the day saw Krikkit battling very hard to stay in the mix, finishing mere seconds behind the lead boats but winding up 6th, 6th and 5th out of the seven Div 3 boats competing. Our starts were better with each race, and the crew work excellent, and we would have needed only 30 seconds in Race 1 and 13 seconds in Race 2 to move up a notch in the ranks. (Left: Kevin and Liam waiting for the wind at Deep Cove.)
With the hard-earned lessons of Deep Cove behind us, Krikkit got a perfectly-timed start in the final FCYC Fall Thursday race, although with everyone else trying to be in the same place at the same time, we ended up getting into a bit of a bumper boats situation with Jasmina. Krikkit had the right-of-way, and did everything possible to avoid contact, and happily there was no damage done. So we popped the protest flag and looked forward, and despite the contact we successfully launched onto the course carrying good speed and in a dominant position in the light-air conditions. Rhumbline out-accelerated us after the first tack to allow them to slip into the lead and round the windward mark first, but Krikkit made a nice clean rounding at speed and then covered and passed Rhumbline, gybing to cross them halfway down the run, and getting into a river of breeze that allowed us to reel in the lead Div 7 boats (which had started 6 minutes earlier) and then hold off all the faster Div 1 boats to lead the fleet around the leeward mark and back to the finish, first across the line to claim fleet line honours and first in our division. A great way to close the season! The final results saw Krikkit come up 4, 2, (DNF), 2, 2, 1 for a solid second overall behind Rhumbline. Way to go team Krikkit!