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March 16, 2008
J/22 Team Putnam - Midwinters 2008 Day 3 (final)
We go two races off today because lun...more »

March 15, 2008
J/22 Team Putnam - Midwinters 2008 day 2
One hell of a day. The breeze blew fr...more »

News

March 15, 2008
By: Steven Roth
One hell of a day. The breeze blew from the north today peaking at about 18 knots. Because we are sailing at the south end of the lake it was extremely choppy with very short wave periods which took some getting used to, especially on the helm. Much more steering then I am used to. Race 1 we had a decent start, nothing to write home about. Atwell and Scchoene both got the wrong time and we started a minute late. We hit the left side hard and rounded mid fleet and held our own down wind. The left payed off for a while again and then the breeze went right. We were finally getting a good grasp on the lake tactics but we had trouble tuning the boat for the waves and the breeze but because we are so close to the class weight limit we managed to sail very flat upwind. The charter boat is proving to be a handful. We were plagued with multiple gear failures today. Our traveler line just snapped as we gybed, our outhaul shredded yesterday and we had to grab a boom from another boat on the yard and some other stuff I'll get to later. At the start of race two this total marshmallow tried to gype right on top of us and knocked our brand new windex of the top of our mast. Once again we had a ridiculous amount of general recalls. Of course we had excellent starts with massive holes to leeward on the two general recalls when we went for the boat end. The fleet wanted to go left but we saw the breeze coming down on the right. On the third start of race two some other people started to figure it our and we were pushed over. We thought we were going to have all that room on the boat end and we set up too early. We went back and were waved clear by this guy on the back of the committee boat and so we went upwind. About a quarter of the way up the leg we heard our number on the radio as still being OCS so we decided to press on and request redress. We had excellent boat speed and tactics for once. Almost the entire fleet went left and we hit the right, which really payed off. We rounded in the teens. We went towards the left downwind and then back to the right up wind. We decided to go to the middle left on the third upwind leg and as the breeze was oscillating back and we held our position beautifully. It was a triumph for our lake tactics. As we came to the finish, the finishing boat was dragging anchor and you couldn't make the line on port. We tacked on to starboard to make the finish and got t-boned full speed by a port tacker. We have a hole in the boat about the size of a soda can. We immediately took down the sails, requested a support boat and got towed in due to the possibility of taking on water. We were unable to race the third race. The guy that hit us was very upstanding and retired from the race which exonerated him from the protest. He is going to work out the repair with the club who we chartered the boat from. He was the executive officer of the J/24 class. Really nice guy. We filed four protests. Three for redress, and one for the collision. We won our redress for being OCS on race two mainly because the guy that waved us clear prematurely came forward. Our second redress was for the boats we lost by being hit at the finish. We lost about six boats but the race committee couldn't prove we had lost six so they gave us three. That put us in 17th for race two. The third redress was for not being able to compete in the third race and the RC took the average of our results which came out to a 26th. The protest for the collision was dropped because he withdrew from the race. When we  were hit our boom vang bail that attached the vang to the mast broke in half. The club understands and we fixed the hole with some packing tape and sail repair tape. We will be fine to race tomorrow. We learned that its not so much what happens on the water but the entire experience. We are in the 30th overall and our scorecard is decorated like a  Christmas trees with all the OCS's and a DNC. After spending an hour in the protest room I joined the team for the Texas turkey fry dinner and drove some golf balls into the lake off the yacht club lawn with the guy who t-boned us. It was the most stressful day of racing I have had in the year I have been racing competitively. We are trying to look on the bright side. We wouldn't be surprised if the mast came down tomorrow. It's supposed to be light tomorrow so we are hoping our bay experience will help us finsih higher mid-fleet. Although we haven't rocked the standings we are beating the only college team here despite the state of our boat. It is unbelievably stiff completion here and we have learned so much. I wish we could be higher in the standings, like in Annapolis but somethings you can't control and that was the biggest thing we took from today in addition to the value of perseverance and sportsmanship. We'll let you know how tomorrow goes before we hit the airport. Hopefully we'll make it into that raffle for the rudder.
 
-Steve