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Crewed My 4th Race - Learnings

Nov 7, 2011
2,446
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
My racing buddy @Scott T-Bird could not make the club race yesterday so I found a spot on the Catalina 30 Standard Rig that has been blowing everyone away each race. Great learning experience!

Learning #1 - Skill beats gear
This 1980 C30 has a new high tech genoa and fairly new CDI furler. The next newest gear was the 25 yr old main sail. The rest of the boat is OEM. The curved traveler, non BB blocks, non ST winches, all OEM. No high tech line on this boat.
The OEM instruments don’t work, it doesn’t even have a windex. The only instrument the skipper used was a stop watch and the compass.

Learning #2 - Experience counts.
The skipper and the other two crew members have been racing together for 20+ years locally and in the LIS including a C30 Nationals.

Learning #3 – Take notes at skippers meeting
Despite having raced the course many times, the skipper took notes, drawing the triangle course, number of times around, color of marks, etc. He does this in case they change the course due to weather conditions.

Learning #4 – Use the compass.
The course was the typical 2 laps around a triangle then windward mark, leeward mark, to start/finish line, which was half way between the windward and leeward marks. Prior to the start the skipper went to the windward mark and took a compass bearing to the 2nd mark and from the 2nd mark to the third mark.

Learning #5 – Sail to Tell Tails
The wind was 10-20. They set the sails to the optimum wind and direction, then sailed according to the tell tails and trimmed to the helm pressure.

And various other things, which I can carry over to my day sailing.

We had a lead of half a leg over the 40’ Tartan most of the race and a full leg or more over the C36, C34 and Bristol 32 that made up the balance of the fleet. Then the jib wrapped around itself on the last down wind leg of the triangle and the Tartan passed us. We recovered and ended up within half a boat length behind the Tartan as we crossed the finish line.

We won by corrected time and this race ensured the C30 won the summer series.

As we celebrated with a R&C after the race, the skipper and crew talked about campaigning my boat in next year’s series.
That would be a blast!
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,550
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
My racing buddy @Scott T-Bird could not make the club race yesterday so I found a spot on the Catalina 30 Standard Rig that has been blowing everyone away each race. Great learning experience!

Learning #1 - Skill beats gear
This 1980 C30 has a new high tech genoa and fairly new CDI furler. The next newest gear was the 25 yr old main sail. The rest of the boat is OEM. The curved traveler, non BB blocks, non ST winches, all OEM. No high tech line on this boat.
The OEM instruments don’t work, it doesn’t even have a windex. The only instrument the skipper used was a stop watch and the compass.

Learning #2 - Experience counts.
The skipper and the other two crew members have been racing together for 20+ years locally and in the LIS including a C30 Nationals.

Learning #3 – Take notes at skippers meeting
Despite having raced the course many times, the skipper took notes, drawing the triangle course, number of times around, color of marks, etc. He does this in case they change the course due to weather conditions.

Learning #4 – Use the compass.
The course was the typical 2 laps around a triangle then windward mark, leeward mark, to start/finish line, which was half way between the windward and leeward marks. Prior to the start the skipper went to the windward mark and took a compass bearing to the 2nd mark and from the 2nd mark to the third mark.

Learning #5 – Sail to Tell Tails
The wind was 10-20. They set the sails to the optimum wind and direction, then sailed according to the tell tails and trimmed to the helm pressure.

And various other things, which I can carry over to my day sailing.

We had a lead of half a leg over the 40’ Tartan most of the race and a full leg or more over the C36, C34 and Bristol 32 that made up the balance of the fleet. Then the jib wrapped around itself on the last down wind leg of the triangle and the Tartan passed us. We recovered and ended up within half a boat length behind the Tartan as we crossed the finish line.

We won by corrected time and this race ensured the C30 won the summer series.

As we celebrated with a R&C after the race, the skipper and crew talked about campaigning my boat in next year’s series.
That would be a blast!
Print that out and frame it.
 
May 17, 2004
1,863
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
All great points. I like number 3 a lot. Saves a lot of anxiety of second guessing "which color was that letter" or " was mark b or c next". Less time being distracted by those questions, even if you have the right answers, is always good. And it's free to write things down, so pure benefit. We got a small dry erase board to hang in the cockpit with the course written down for that reason. (Dry erase markers can work right on gelcoat too of you want to skip the board).
 
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Likes: FDL S2
Jun 29, 2014
311
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
All great points. I like number 3 a lot. Saves a lot of anxiety of second guessing "which color was that letter" or " was mark b or c next". Less time being distracted by those questions, even if you have the right answers, is always good. And it's free to write things down, so pure benefit. We got a small dry erase board to hang in the cockpit with the course written down for that reason. (Dry erase markers can work right on gelcoat too of you want to skip the board).
We write the bouy letters in order on a piece of tape and put it in front of the helm-ex. CBACBAC and cross them off as we round them.
 

Joe

Jun 1, 2004
6,735
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Nice piece, Ward. Your skipper obviously came from a dinghy racing background...