Race crap


I have no clue what was going on yesterday but here are the pix I tried to post. The first was close to the beginning of the race when Sutter, our race editor, went by in the photo boat. We sucked in our tummies, showed our good sides and smiled for the birdie.

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Yes, I know the jib looks like shit. My bad. I raised it and didn’t get it tight enough — Rob fixed it later. I’m just a frail little woman that can’t raise a sail, apparently. Wimpy jello arms. Gotta work on that.

After shooting a jillion boat, Sutter came by again a couple hours later. Though the jib looks better, we weren’t much farther along than when she went by the first time.

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And just look how high cut that clew is! There’s no two ways around it, we need a bigger headsail. Rob said “You can’t blame the sails for how badly we’re doing.” Uh, hello! It’s my birthday and I can do whatever I want! Damn straight it was the sails. Heh hem.

And finally, Kim sent us a few shots of us leaving China Camp (after getting pushed off the mud!). She may be a slug, but she sure is purty.

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We checked the schedule and we don’t have another race for awhile. We will be in Brownsville celebrating my folks 50th wedding anniversary on June 2, the date of the Delta Ditch Run AND the In the Bay Race (both of which we would have like to have done). After that is the LongPac (the qualifier for the SH Transpac next year) but Rob’s son Ian will be in town.

This lag in racing gives us plenty of time to finish a bunch of stuff – stripping and painting the decks, repainting the hull, mounting the Monitor, setting up the interior, replacing the rigging (though that may wait till winter), etc. No rest for the wicked . . .

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We’re getting all set to do the Great Vallejo Race tomorrow. For the past few years, entries have been declining but this year their up. My only goal (and birthday wish) is that we don’t come in dead last. Regardless, it should be a fun day, what with 20 knot winds and sunny skies. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

We were in Napa for a long weekend with Rob’s folks. This week the only thing we really managed to get done was rebed the hull to deck joint. Remember that the entire way around the Farallones, Rob was pumping the bilge like mad. We figured the joint was the culprit and we were right. Just look at this:

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The goo on the starboard side was a little stickier but there were still lots of voids. We reefed it all out and gooped it with 3M 4000. Reattached the rubstrake and Bob’s your uncle. If we were keeping this boat long term, we would have glassed the whole thing but we’ll leave that chore for the next owner.

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This should do the job for awhile. I guess we’ll find out on the beat home this weekend! Wish us luck!!

Rob placed last overall. That’s no surprise but what was a surprise was that he finished just 50 minutes behind the last boat, on corrected time. Remember, he finished over two hours after everyone else.

But we’ve already signed up for another race — the infamous Vallejo Race. It’s a fun run from Treasure Island up to Vallejo which means lots of spinnaker time. And I’ll be on the boat this time so we might do a little better, though I have no illusions about when we’ll be crossing the finish line — dead last! As a matter of fact, this is what we expect to see the whole way.

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The SSS hasn’t posted the official results yet but a quick calculation, a little dirty (after) math and some pretty informed guessing puts us in hopes of Rob placing last. He’s just happy he finished. He said that when he passed under the Gate, he almost turned left to come home instead of crossing the line in front of Golden Gate YC. But what would be the point of that? His first goal was to finish and he did. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass how he places!

Check out the shots Peter Lyon took on the way out here. This guy’s an animal — he covers nearly every race on the Bay — and his rates for purchasing shots is very reasonable.

One of the reasons Rob was so slow coming in was because he was carrying a lot of extra water. Apparently Asshole didn’t really goop up the hull-deck joint, just the screws of the rubrail.

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Since Tess sails on her ear, a lot of water found its way to the bilge. Rob said he had to pump it dozens of times — nearly constantly — to keep it below the floorboards. And Tess has a pretty deep bilge to begin with. That’ll slow ya down!

But he made it and tucked into the spare slip next to Silent Sun. It was pouring POURING so we just flaked the main, grabbed his essentials and hopped back aboard SS where the heater was running full blast. We normally would put the boat away nicely but it tweren’t gonna happen last night! Shameful, I know.

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Everthing on this side of the boat was drenched in saltwater, including Rob’s feather pillow!

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He planned on sleeping in today then will begin cleaning things up. At least we know what we need to fix now!

This is not the phone call one wants to receive when one’s SO is out on the ocean:

“Hi, this is the race committee. Have you heard from Rob? Because we can’t raise him on the radio, he doesn’t answer his cell and the other boat with a 255 rating [a Catalina 22, BTW] just finished.”

Uh . . .

So I hopped in the car, at 7:45, to run out to the Marin Headlands, which allow for a clear view (if it’s not foggy) from the Gate to the Farallones. Of course I knew I’d never see all the way out to the islands but I figured that if he wasn’t within sight from Pt. Bonita, there could be cause for alarm.

I drove the winding and very wet road out there carefully — I didn’t want to die on my way to see if he was still alive! All along the road I would slow and check for running lights. I got all the way to the turnoff to get to the lighthouse with no sight of him. My heart was thumping just a little faster at that point.

Up till then, I thought maybe he’d run his batteries down by playing the kickin’ stereo too long and just didn’t have the power to use the VHF. It was still light enough to see boats on the water so I knew I hadn’t missed him. I continued on to the lighthouse. Halfway there, the phone rang at the exact instant I saw a tiny dark hull with running lights slogging his way toward the Gate. “We just heard from him!”

I know he’ll be irritated that I got worried but that’s just the way it goes. He’ll just have to deal with the fact that I love him and want him to come home safely!

The Exploratorium in SF has a live roof cam. Here’s Rob coming in at 9:05 p.m.

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I’ll post his placement tomorrow. I’m not holding my breath for first . . .

The last few days have been a flurry of activity. Rob’s been crazy getting the boat ready and I’m on deadline, so it’s been a touch kuh-razy.

Yesterday morning we spent hours shuttling all the crap he needed from our boat to Tess — oops! Forgot something — gotta go back. Oops! Need a last minute WM stop. Gotta go food shopping too. Back to the storage unit. Can’t find it. Back to the boat. Grr. He finally had everything he needed and I left him to pack it all away.

I did manage to snap a few pix of what he’s accomplished.

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After the trip up to San Rafael, we realized the outboard extension was too long so he shortened it.

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Our neighbor Miles came up with this idea for an autopilot (Bernard) mount.

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What cockpit is complete without somewhere to store your junk?

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It’s amazing the difference adding the handrails makes in the look of the boat. Even with the nasty decks!

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All legal! I didn’t want to add the numbers to the hull yet because we’re going to repaint it.

He spent yesterday setting everything up and learning how the boat sails. I talked to him last night — he was anchored in Clipper Cove — and was he was thrilled how everything was working. I talked to him again an hour before the race started and he was already checked in. Man, that boy was excited! A gal I work with, Chris, was on race committee and she said the boat looked lovely. She hesitated to mention that he wasn’t the first over the line — “But he wasn’t the last!”

I met up with our Managing Editor John up on the Marin Headlands to watch them sail under the Gate.

Without bino’s we had a hard time figuring out which dark hull he was so we snapped them all. Photoshop is great! Finally picked him out of the fleet.

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It doesn’t look like he’s last in his division. That’s great!  He looks great too.

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We zipped out to Pt. Bonita and the big boys were just catching up to him.

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Who knows? If he can sail to his 255 rating, he might just win! Stay tuned . . .