Wednesday, 19 December 2012


What a great day!!! What a wet fun.

On Arctos in the morning in middle harbour at around 7AM

Before we set sail we organized the 2 shifts.

The one shift with Duncan in charge and Jason as mate. The bowman is Henry, Charles is the mastman and Emily and Brendon are doing the cockpit.

The other shift is led by  Chris with the 2 Pete’s as mates and me on the bow, Tomo on the mast and Kirsty in the cockpit.

The day started with gentle winds between 10 and 20 kt. Swell  1 to 1.5 meters.

Some action on the bow. Head was pulled down after the spinnaker was hoisted. This are Henry and Charles fighting the  sail.

Our new mainsail works just fine. We tried some new headsails and our Nr. 1 is HUGE. Initially we faces some problems to handle the tacks with this sail. It was difficult to get it around the baby stay. Then we tied a sail tie in the middle of the foot of the sail and the bowman is pulling with this tie the sail forward when the tack is initiated and that helped a lot.

And then came the real fun.

We started to do our spinnaker training.

We did plenty of hoists and drops. At the beginning we worked as the whole team on the sails until we did split it up to work in the 2 shift teams. Of course, every team wanted to be the better one. How could it be different in a boat full of racing sailors?

We dropped the spi through the hatch to the sail compartment. But to prepare the spi from a 55 foot boat for the next hoist below deck was some work. And it was hot there.

 Arctos is a fast boat. With the spi we did 8 kt in a 10kt breeze. Top speed today was 11kt. And we did not aim for speed, just training.  And.... Arctos is a wet boat. At least for the bowman. I learned that today. 

Duncan demonstrated a broach. Meaning that the boat is not under control and the spi is pushing the boat almost flat on the water. The aim was to train how to get out of this situation. It can easily happen when you run the spi in winds from about 20 kt onwards.
What a nice heeling it was. I taped it and hope that I can publish it soon.

One of our problems is the communication. It is even in moderate winds almost impossible to communicate verbally between bow and cockpit direct. The mastman needs to relay the information back and forth. We are working on a smooth solution.

Tomorrow some more training with the spi. Can’t wait.

On Friday we'll do our 24 hour race. This will be a good opportunity to check out our shift rotations.


Brendon is our only Kiwi in the team. So far he logged some inshore regattas and one offshore race. His position on the boat is beside the radio and navigation the cockpit where he does in turn with his wife Emily the main and the head sheet, the running bowline and the "pit” ( playing the piano)

Our skipper Duncan from England started to sail as a little kid and did a couple of ocean passages and of course countless races. In England he made his marine navigation license.
In 2009 he finished the Sydney Hobart in 2nd place. Congratulations Duncan. Let's beat that.

Cheers, Matthias

No comments:

Post a Comment