The Log of Indiscipline III
Round the Coronados 9/16/2006
|Here is our chronolog of the Round the
Coronados Race 2006.
Crew for the day, David
|Number 2 crew, Charlie. He had the helm most of the day.|
|Looking back at Point Loma after our start.|
|Boats go up spin with the wind on the beam|
|Overtaken by a fast boat|
|South island and middle islands in sight.|
|Charlotte Anne looking good.|
|Charlie at the helm on the downhill ride over.|
|North Island in sight (downwind mark).|
|Watching the fleet round.|
|Our lonely rounding.|
|Heading back out after the race. A Point Loma sunset.|
|The sun goes down about 1/2 way home to Mission Bay.|
sailed with a 3 person crew to a 7th place finish in PHRF E in the 36 mile
Around the Coronados offshore ocean race. We were dead last, the last boat in
and beat 2 boats that were DNF. However, I believe we sailed very well. We
completed the 36 mile offshore course in 6 hours. That is a 6 knot average. It's
hard to beat that in the Catalina 25. At 228, we were the smallest and slowest
boat entered. PHRF E was boats 150 and above. Coming from Mission Bay, we had
already sailed about 10 miles. We were up sailing while the rest of the crews
were still having breakfast.
It was an inverted start. So the slow classes started first. Our start was at 11:10 AM. We were the first spinnaker class to go, just behind the combined non-spinnaker boats. There was about 12 to 15 knots of wind to start, just forward of the beam. This being my first PHRF race in San Diego, I did not try to make an agressive start, happy to have clean air in the 2nd wave of boats behind the leaders. We were about 30 to 60 seconds late. Soon we were broad reaching across the channel, heading of 170, watching the classes behind catch up. Pretty much everyone was going up spinnaker. We had 15 knots of wind right on the beam. Indiscipline was making 7 to 7.5 knots (helpful current). We were pointing right towards the island and most of the spin boats seemed to be headed a little south so we carried on without spin. We were flying my dacron 155 and it was pulling like a mule. The ride over was a joy. Charlie and I had a nice lunch while David steered, then we swapped. Charlie took the helm.
The wind went a little more north, coming just aft of the beam, but also came up. There were white caps everywhere. The fast PHRF boats blew by us and soon we were the last boat watching everyone else round the island. I stayed with my decision not to go up spin, and instead got the pole stowed and prepared for the close reach back. In retrospect we could have gone up spin at least for the leg on the backside of the island but it was very windy and rough. That area is know as Pukey Point. I was happy to be warm and dry in the cockpit. If I had had young, strong, experienced, foredeck crew it would have been different. Instead I had only me, and I didn't want to go up there with spray flying and the boat jumping.
Coming around the island we came on the wind and soon found ourselves pretty much overpowered. I had already tightened outhaul and backstay. I threw in the flattening reef. With 3 bigs guys on the rail (700 lbs) we settled down to about 30 degrees of heel. We were dumping main frequently in the gusts, when the boat went over to 45. Charlie was on the helm most of the race (I did start and finish, otherwise I was foredeck). We all got some BIG water back to the cockpit. I got soaked and had to change into my foulie jacket. Getting down below at 35 to 40 degrees of heel, changing, using the bathroom, and getting Charlie a well-deserved beer was quite an ordeal. First I had to clean up as all our gear was on the floor!
After that, I took the helm. I didn't know how much weather helm he had been fighting or I would have put in the reef. We would have been doing much better under the #2 jib (135) but there was no time to change down. I put the traveller way down and that helped. I was still constantly yelling "DUMP!" to David who was now trimming main.
For most of this leg we had competition boats within 1 mile but we gradually watched them pull away. It was a complication to watch an aircraft carrier come into the bay right through the finishing fleet.
Coming into the Bay, there is an area under Point Loma known as Hurricane Gulch. We indeed got some big gusts in there, thankfully we were out of the 3 to 4 foot swell and wind chop. Still I had to throw in 2 tacks to make the finish, those cost us.
Note that some of the fastest boats averaged 11 to 13 knots! Also, I never went up spin, and if I had entered non-spin class 6B we would have placed 1st.
We had to clear in at US Customs, having been into Mexico. That was a simple process since they had officers stationed there. We all used the bathroom and took a moment to stretch legs and backs. Then, while all the rest of the crews were going to the after-race party, we took off for Mission Bay at 6 PM in gathering darkness and only slightly less wind.
Hurricane Gulch was calmer, but once around the Pt. we had 10 to 12 knots right on the nose. The jib was down and the new Tohatsu was pushing us through 4 foot wind chop. The trip home was the roughest part of the day. We got in at 8:30. The motor ran great even in very tough conditions. Cleaned up, and headed for the after race party. Of course, it was long, long over. But that did not stop us from enjoying a couple of drinks and a nice plate of shrimp, crab cakes, calamari, and onion rings at Fiddler's Green.
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