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I’m currently down in Seward doing boat work in preperation to go seining in the sound this summer. Lucikly the drudgery of pulling an uncooperative cutlass bearing, crimping hydraulic fittings and generally annoying boat work was broken up on saturday by a fantastic three race series at the William H. Seward Yacht Club. Site legend Gary was in town for the races, but opted not to race his own boat but rather to sail Commodore Sam’s Nordic 34 Creola. The racing went well, we sailed conservatively in Race 1 and got beaten, but through races two and three we got progressively faster, and took a pair of victories.

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After a summer away from the Seward sailing scene it was fantastic to get back, see some old familiar faces, and get a couple races in. The day was made all the better by the fact that after listening all week to non stop mocho fisherman talk in the boat yard a couple of quick tacks and a bungled spinakeer hoist made me remember that sailing works me harder then commercial fishing ever has.

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We should be out floating around the sound catching fish and catching up on sleep real soon. I’ll try and keep these pages updated with pictures of fish and boats. Till then….

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Sorry for the lengthy delay getting this post up.  The week long cruise followed by moving to Cordova caused some lengthy delays in rendering the race video. So anyway, the 2nd White Sails Series (which i missed) has already taken place by the time I got the video of race one up.  Anyway, after last year’s Alaska Cup victory and a nice day of practice on friday, I was going into the first two races feeling pretty confident in our abilities.  Unfortunately as you’ll see in the video our first race was a series of mistakes.  We understood our first layline, and even after a quick set of tacks we managed to run over the mark.  Then despite our penalty turn leaving us buried in last place, our spinnaker run (which would have been better if i’d attached the pole downhaul) had us up in 2nd place before we botched a last minute jibe (norm jibed the boat before Graham and I had a chance to build the pole) and allowed Linda to sneak in and beat us.  Video bellow.  Race 2 went a lot smoother and we finished in 2nd comfortably, but were still a long ways off Inua’s pace.  Kind of a humbling series of races.

Just back from 4 days of sailing down in Seward, I was getting sick of seeing the picture of the new traveller so I figured I’d put this up as a place holder till I get around to posting some stories or video. Weather and winds were variable, but I had a great couple of days.

I went down to Seward early this week to help Gary instal a new traveler on Maniac and do some work to get ready for the upcoming sailing season.  The new traveler (pictures above) was actually quite easy to install and should help us avoid the extended periods of sloppy sails that plagued our races last season.  For an example check out the video at this link.   After the ease of installing the traveler I guess we were due for some drama, which manifested itself as a leaky mechanical seal (pictured bellow) that let about 25 gallons of water into the cabin before being caught and fixed.  All in all a brief trip to Seward that served to build excitement for getting out on the water in a couple of weeks.

sailing in seward on ressurection bayI spent the weekend sailing aboard Gary’s boat Maniac down in Seward for the Alaska Cup Regatta this weekend.  We had trouble finding crew as the weather on Saturday was nasty (don’t be fooled, the picture above is from Sunday) and people had work, girlfriend or school commitments that kept them elsewhere.  We sailed all weekend slightly under manned, which kept us from flying our spinnaker the first day, and forced us to sail a race (which we won) with a somewhat improvised reef.   We also sailed on saturday with a Columbian crew member who didn’t speak a word of English.  On our second downwind leg our somewhat novice helmsman accidentally jibed the boat (minute 3:50 in the video bellow) while he was on the boom, pitching him into the life lines, how he avoided being tossed overboard still amazes me.

Despite the challenges we got some incredibly lucky weather, and were able to play the tide to our advantage on a few occasions allowing us to eek out a victory.  We took 2nd in the last race to clinch the win by less then half a boat length.  Coming in to the windward finish on starboard we were completely overpowered, and Norm (our rookie helmsman) had the tiller in his chest trying to keep the boat from rounding up.  Our closest rival barged in on port and fouled us just as we were crossing the line, making for a great finish to the regatta.  All in all a fantastic weekend in Seward.  The WHSYC is an amazing place, and through a fantastic party Saturday night, our crew ended up drinking for a little over 8 hours post race, and were all struggling with hangovers pre-race on Sunday.   The only setback was my GoPro having no end of problems on Sunday, so I have next to no footage of any racing in the sunshine.  That said, enjoy the cold gray racing in the rain from Sunday.  Also, if your looking for any more sailing videos I highly suggest Gary’s Kite-cam footage of sailing around outside of Seward.

 

Hunter, Matt the Cook and I went down to Seward last weekend for more sailing on Resurrection Bay with the William H. Seward Yacht Club.  Where as on my one previous day down there Max and I both sailed on Williwaw, this time Hunter ended up on Cirrus, while Matt the Cook and I were racing with Gary on Maniac  (a Beneteau FC10 for the boat nerds amongst the readers).  It turned out to be another great day on the water with solid winds and the occasional spot of sunshine.   I’ve got some video from the first part of the first race from both Cirrus and Maniac.  I put both starts, and both of our first tacks (which were in response to one another) for a bit of comparison.  You can see how on Maniac we managed to completely screw our start by failing to get the sails in and general chaos amongst the first time crew members.  We recovered and managed to take  a3rd place, but there is definitely room for improvement.