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, the first in light air that saw Krikkit get a good start and work the breeze to pass Windyfeat for 1st place and line honours. In the second race the wind eased to near nothing at the start and Aqua Perla was the only boat to make sense of it. Krikkit battled with Windyfeat but couldn't stay close enough, taking 3rd, for 2nd place overall.

The VARC Closer was an adventure, with five races the first day in winds up to 17 knots, giving Simon, Jen, Denice, Chris G. and Mike a thorough workout. Over the course of the five races, Krikkit got four excellent starts resulting in four decent finishes, but got spat out the back in the fourth start for a mediocre finish in that race. The second day saw Kevin and Marek onboard with Simon and Jen, but the wind didn't cooperate, coming on late and very light and then shifting so much that the committee abandoned the race. Then Kevin had to leave for a prior commitment so we had to call it a day before the next race got underway. C'est la vie!

The 2014 season started out in amusing shambles with the TCYC New Years Day race and its Le Mans-style anchored start. There was light wind and confused current, and Krikkit set the keychain anchor nice and close to the start line. Then Salus from Div 2 anchored almost on top of us, and then Clara Allegro came in right at the four minute mark, dumped their anchor and dragged it across both of our anchors, causing mass confusion and chaos. By the time we finally got our anchor up and returned from the ball of knitting that Clara Allegro had created, the rest of the fleet was well away. We battled it out as best we could in the light winds, but finished near the back of the overall fleet, and at the very back of the TCYC fleet. Still, the weather was pleasant and sunny, we were among good friends, and we had fun. So it was a great way to welcome the New Year!

With the New Year's Day race in the can, Simon started tackling his winter project list, disassembling bits of the the boat in order to install new mainsail and genoa halyards, tune the rig, rebuild the main winches, install new lifelines, install a new DSC-enabled VHF radio (and a matching DSC-enabled handheld VHF), replace the traveller turning blocks, and fit the boat with a new-to-us laminate racing mainsail from a Dash 34. The sail has lots of roach and is a code size bigger, bumping Krikkit from PHRF 129 to PHRF 126, and we're hoping to more than make up for that with astounding new speed!

Since then Krikkit has been out for the VARC Opener, the Halibut Bank/Popham Island race, the TCYC Sailpast Race and the FCYC Thursday evening series.

The Opener saw us run four medium-air races the first day and two light-air races the second day. On the first day (April 5 with Simon, Kevin, Liam, Chris W and Mike) it was soaking wet, and we got a poor first start, then an okay second start, and then an awesome third start, port-tacking the fleet and holding pace for a finish ahead of Jasmina. Day 2 saw Simon, Jen, Marek and Denice out for two late races in light wind and sunshine, with Krikkit blowing the first start and rocking the second start, but finishing second-from-last either way.

Halibut/Popham (on May 3 with Simon, Kevin, Liam, Chris W, Mike) saw us get a decent start at the favoured pin end, tight in the third row but having to force Takaya out when they tried to barge. Krikkit then passed Jasmina and Voila and found wind out in Georgia Strait, allowing us to leg out a little on the fleet. As the wind backed we raised the chute, losing a little speed advantage and ending up dicing with Tye's new even-rated Davidson 29 and the slightly slower-rated Frers "Frerrari" for the rest of the three-hour race. It made for some truly entertaining racing, although while we beat the Frers soundly across the line it wasn't enough to correct over them, and we lost to the Davo by 12 seconds (and Jasmina by a mere four seconds!), winding up 12th out of 18 boats. Still, it was great fun!

In the FCYC Thursday series so far we've had 20+ knot winds with torrential rain, 0 knot winds with sun, random winds with no current, and good winds with tons of current. Out of three races actually run, Krikkit has managed two 2nd place finishes and a 4th place, putting us in second overall so far, somewhat behind the wins-it-every-time Rhumbline. Is there some sort of repellent spray available for J Boats? :D