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Texas January Racing

Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
We raced the first weekend of 2021 on Galveston Bay. Saturday was the GBCA Cruzan Rum Icicle Race #1. We finished just in the points, fifth in Club Handicap Spinnaker, no rum, though. Sunday was WYC Peanut Regatta #1. They're setting up multiple classes this year, third in a class of three boats. Not sure of our overall finish.
In 2020, there was only one class in the Peanut Regattas and we finished third for the series after 43 races.
Video of Icicle Race #1 highlights:
 
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Another January race last Saturday. Hardly any wind, should have done better, but finished fifth in class, again. Hope to race this Saturday, may be short on crew.
To PaulK, not sure what you want to know about the traveler. In lighter winds I'll vang sheet the main twist, so the mainsheet can be let out and I can get more range on boom in and out with the traveler that I can trim from the helm without getting all OCD with crew on the mainsheet winch. I know, that's what crew is for.

 
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PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
704
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Just seems like the traveler is sometimes where it should be, other times not. Perhaps your vang adjustments make the sail do what you need, but the video never shows the leech at the same time as it shows the traveler, so it's hard to tell. For example, the traveler in the "start shot" of the video in your post #4 shows the traveler cocked to windward. If you were to tack, it should be shifted to windward on the other tack too - but that doesn't always seem to happen right away.
 
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Just seems like the traveler is sometimes where it should be, other times not. Perhaps your vang adjustments make the sail do what you need, but the video never shows the leech at the same time as it shows the traveler, so it's hard to tell. For example, the traveler in the "start shot" of the video in your post #4 shows the traveler cocked to windward. If you were to tack, it should be shifted to windward on the other tack too - but that doesn't always seem to happen right away.
There is wasted effort when tacking, but on reaches and runs I can set it from the helm faster using the traveler than waiting on crew to finish with the jib sheets before they get to the mainsheet. The winches are too close to each other on the cabin top. I will try to remember to get some shots of the mainsail leech, see if y'all think I have too much or not enough mainsail twist on the different points of sail. Actually used the topping lift in Sunday's race to lift the boom to add twist in really light air.
Here's last week's "January racing in Texas" with clips from cameras on board a Hunter 40 that was in our class. Races tomorrow and Sunday, going to try to do both if the weather cooperates.
 
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PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
704
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Close? That J-105 was at least six feet off your transom. For a J, that's more than ample. Nice jybe with new crew. Simple instructions work well. Good focus in the light air helped you perform on that last leg, until the windshift anyway. Telltales on main leech to show flow? You may have already said you have them but they don't show in the video. Downwind they can be really helpful. Sometimes it appears that the main might have been better further out, but without the telltales it's hard to say. What was going on at that start? It hurt your results. Look up "Vanderbilt start" and see if you can try one like that. Our Frostbiting fleet was out in the snow yesterday. We got 9". More expected tomorrow.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Close? That J-105 was at least six feet off your transom. For a J, that's more than ample. Nice jybe with new crew. Simple instructions work well. Good focus in the light air helped you perform on that last leg, until the windshift anyway. Telltales on main leech to show flow? You may have already said you have them but they don't show in the video. Downwind they can be really helpful. Sometimes it appears that the main might have been better further out, but without the telltales it's hard to say. What was going on at that start? It hurt your results. Look up "Vanderbilt start" and see if you can try one like that. Our Frostbiting fleet was out in the snow yesterday. We got 9". More expected tomorrow.
Thanks Paul. I think it was closer than 6 feet, wide angle camera lens distorts it. It was inches from the stern camera on the strut. That J/105 is on my dock. An 80 year old J/105 skipper/owner came out and helmed my boat for the race Saturday. He says he really likes the way my Hunter handles and sails. He's been out a half dozen times before with me, so I don't think it's BS. Not enough wind to finish.
Yes, there are telltales on the main leech at the battens. I want to, but it's hard to let the main out very far, it plasters up against the extreme swept back spreaders. With the 16' boom and mast taller than a J/105, it's a big sail with a lot force.
The start was a mess, a wind shift had too many port tackers pinching to get inside the right marker and several starboard tackers coming into the mess from out of the frame. Port seemed like the favored tack for the start, should have seen it coming. I was probably 3 minutes late and that 3 minutes would have put me ahead of Hobgoblin and Bad Girl at the finish.
Sailed in a nine boat race the next day, but have not finished three races since. There's a race this Saturday, but it may be in the 30's with 30 knot gusts and not enough water in the bay.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
704
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Went out with a customer on his Hunter 34 once on Chesapeake Bay. Nice boat: comfortable, with no surprises. Perhaps not as sporty as your model. We got it going faster than it had been, so he was pleased. How shallow is your bay? Maybe you could put in a centerboard and sneak over the shallow spots?
 
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
How shallow is your bay? Maybe you could put in a centerboard and sneak over the shallow spots?
Galveston and Trinity Bays are mostly less than ten feet deep, even shallower at oyster reefs and spoil dumps. And lots of underwater obstructions. When a north wind blows for several days, it can get 2 or 3 feet shallower at low tide, even more when a big norther comes through in the winter. I usually don't have problems with my 4' 6" draft.
 
Last edited:
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Don’t think I’d like to race there with my 7 foot draft!
7 foot is usually not a problem, only when the north wind has blown some water out of the bays and its low tide. Typical Gulf Coast. Lots of deep draft boats sail here, they just get stuck sometimes, like this J a couple weeks
ago in the channel by the Boardwalk.

50843096176_05e6e3bf44_c (1).jpg
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,100
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
7 foot is usually not a problem, only when the north wind has blown some water out of the bays and its low tide. Typical Gulf Coast. Lots of deep draft boats sail here, they just get stuck sometimes, like this J a couple weeks
ago in the channel by the Boardwalk.

View attachment 190285
It would take more than having a friendly dog along to even finish a race in that position.
 
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
My Hunter 340 went back to the dock in the forecasted 35 knot gusts in the last Icicle Race in January. But, the Hunter 40 stayed out and raced with about 30 other boats.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
704
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Maybe you could rig up some running backstays for days like that. Ours have 4-part tackles that we bring out and attach to wires that go up to the hounds. We clip them onto eyes on the stern quarters and simply snug up the windward one & ease off the leeward. When not in use the wires clip to shock cords at the base of the mast to keep them out of the way. Your crew looked disappointed that you weren't out there rollicking in the waves - especially that guy in the brown suit.
Is there a way for you to draw a digram of what the course is and the wind direction? That would help us interpret what's going on after the start and before the finish. :)
 
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Maybe you could rig up some running backstays for days like that. Ours have 4-part tackles that we bring out and attach to wires that go up to the hounds. We clip them onto eyes on the stern quarters and simply snug up the windward one & ease off the leeward. When not in use the wires clip to shock cords at the base of the mast to keep them out of the way. Your crew looked disappointed that you weren't out there rollicking in the waves - especially that guy in the brown suit.
Is there a way for you to draw a digram of what the course is and the wind direction? That would help us interpret what's going on after the start and before the finish. :)
The guy in the brown gopher suit was on the Hunter 40 that did race.
I have seriously considered adding runners for support downwind and to tighten the forestay upwind, the sag is scary sometimes. Riggers have raised the issue of the B&R not designed for runners, the extra compression from a weird angle could mess with the existing compression that keeps the damn thing standing without backstays.
I will include something in the next video with a course map and wind direction, good idea, thanks.
Icicle Course.JPG
 
Jan 22, 2008
741
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Last video link in this thread. Already put up the links for the five GBCA Icicle Races. Those races were on Saturday, every Sunday in January there was a WYC Peanut Regatta. We started and sailed in four, but only finished two and did lousy in those, so only one video for four races. Last race had a boat dismasting, didn't get a good clip of it happening, but we stood by until they were underway.
Thanks for watching, hope you like it.