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DeathSpear

SSS Singlehanded Farallones

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Quote Originally Posted by DeathSpear View Post
After much boat prep ahead of the Farallones, JetStream was ready to give it a try, Plan A. After discussions in the morning with Outsider about the expected sea state, we decided to have a look for ourselves anyways. Made it to the start just in time. Had a great ride to the bridge and Bonita, by the time we got close to Bonita I could see the fleet ahead either well heeled or flogging their sails, even some boats were already on their way back. Would have been a nice spot to put on the reef. Within a few minutes we were in the middle of square seas and winds I would guess in the mid twenties. I tried to set the boat up to tuck a reef in, but in that sea state I wasn't too confident on the pilot as I was very actively steering around the worst of the waves. It would have massacred the main (and skipper) to continue racing with full main. Even though I really wanted to at least try to get to the organized swell to see if the ride would get more comfortable, the quiet voice inside my head kept saying that it was enough. So we turned around a few miles past Bonita before reaching the first of the markers. And... Holy Shit, is the end of the world really coming.... Surfing back through the confused seas with sustained mid-teens on the speedo and a couple of 20s. The fastest the boat has ever gone and we didn't even had the kite up. We did bail out on a couple of the steep drops, but surfed our way back to Bonita in no time.

I was really curious to test out the boat some more since we were already out, so once inside Bonita we turned back around, tucked in the reef and went back out for a second look. Not too comfortable either. The wind was manageable, but the sea state made me feel very exposed. Also learned that we need a better system to pull in the clew reef point. No purchase, and no access to the winch is not going to cut it even with no pressure on the main. So after a bit of abuse we bore off on startboard tack. This time I stayed on this tack for a while and could really appreciate the swells. Still screaming, pulled in a gybe and headed back to the gate. That was the end of Plan A.

Congrats to the skippers that got around the rockpile and back! It was a fast but difficult day.

JetStream was also entered for the HDA series. With a mid day start we still had plenty of time to go racing. A few phone calls and we had crew lined up. I pulled up to the docks at GGYC and waited for the crew to arrive. The skippers of Outsider and Starbuck, who had both also bailed from the Farallones race rounded up the crew. It was now blowing mid-twenties in the bay. Boats at the edge of control and we have to deal with a starting line right smack in the middle of the leeward gate for the team-racing folks. Someone wasn't really thinking.... Everyone did the right thing, but having all those boats in that close proximity is just not smart.

We were in our conditions, rounded the windward mark just behind the 1D35 and headed on a white sail reach. By the time we decided to set (and after a couple of budged attempts at hoisting) we had gone a bit too far and were struggling to clear Alcatraz. So a quick douse and we were power reaching again. Rounded the leeward mark first and covered the 1D35 all the way to the finish for the gun. So Plan B turned out a bit better. It was supposed to be a two race day for HDA, but at this point I was spent, we lost the spinny tack line on the quick drop, and decided to call it a day. Not a bad day.

After a beer back at GGYC, jumped back on the boat and jib sailed back to Alameda.
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