Good Friends, New Sails, and a Busy Season

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.

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.

(Photo: Div 2 gets underway at the Halibut/Popham Race)

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, clawing ahead of Jasmina after being a touch late for the start, and then leading our division around the course and finishing with line honours 20 seconds ahead ofJasmina. Unfortunately we owe them about 80 second per hour, so they corrected over us, but it was great to be in the mix and there was some good close racing - a brilliant evening!


Simon then took part in the TCYC Passage Island Single-Handed Race on May 14, which rather made up for the earlier "Ouches," with a variable 8-12 knot breeze, cloudy skies that turned sunny, and a huge flood current again. All the boats went to the beach (straight through the RVYC sailpast parade!), and from there it looked like Pt. Atkinson should be fetchable, so they all headed across, leaving Simon alone tacking up the beach to the Pt. Grey Bell Buoy, determined to get upstream of the current river so he could get washed across English Bay and not back into it. This time the plan worked: the boats that headed across earlier had to battle upstream around Pt. Atkinson and Simon passed them aboard Krikkit and got to Passage Island at the same time as two much faster boats (one of them fully-crewed), then eked around the island in light wind and, on his way back out into the breeze, crossed everyone else just arriving for their light-air rounding of the island. There was then a big single-handed spinnaker run to the finish line at 6 knots in big waves, steering with his knees and flying the chute with one hand while eating a sandwich with the other, and finishing 2nd out of 6 single-handers, 3rd across the line and 3rd overall. Woot!

The next (May 7) Saturday was the TCYC Sailpast, and after saluting the commodore, Simon (who was single-handing) T-boned a huge semi-submerged log and smashed Krikkit's speed log impeller (and chipped the gelcoat on the boat's stem, below the waterline). Ouch! So he saluted the log too, with a raised middle finger on each hand and a hearty "F*@# you, log, f*@# you!"

(Photo: Simon, Denice, Kevin and Ian, Popham Island race) The next FCYC Thursday saw Ian Johnson substituting for Kevin in the pit, and also saw team Krikkit (well, the skipper, anyway) get tripped up by the shifty winds, a huge flood current (where the tide table was predicting a small ebb), and a big freighter parked just above the rhumb line to the leeward mark, tempting us into trying to drive through its wind shadow. Net result: We got schooled by the rest of the fleet and wound up 5th. Ouch again!