Daily Masters MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Merrily, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    Keep the posts coming Merrily. Great reading, whatever your lacking in your sailing experience you more than make up for with your writing skills!
     
  2. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    at my first regatta in clearwater i finished DFL to because i was way to light for the winds we had and i had never sailed in the ocean with waves before. and don't you hate it when the windward mark is rediculously far out there. I think long races takes the fun out of it. Maybe i should do a report on the washington's birthday regatta we had over in palm beach this weekend.
     
  3. Michelle

    Michelle New Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    Hey Janet,

    This is a great running commentary of Masters Midwinters East. Makes me feel like I was there! Wait...

    Sailor327;
    Yeah, write a report of Washington's B-day regatta! That was one of the first regattas I did, and it was blowing 25+. I capsized 8 times just waiting for the start and was so tired I couldn't actually race. Good times!
     
  4. PressureDropBG

    PressureDropBG New Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    yes sailor327, you should write a washingtons B-day report! and include who won first in 4.7 fleet! ha, just playin with ya! but you did reall well out there! see you at naples! (hopefully)
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    I had clear air.

    The day started off foggy, with a very light breeze. It was 11 before it started to clear, noon before we got the horn to go out and the wind built to maybe 6 mph. I hustled to my boat because I didn’t want to be sailing up to the starting line after the gun. I sailed along with a guy named Jay, from Bermuda, and tuned a bit. Too much vang on the reach. While we were waiting for wind someone told me to two-block, put the vang on, then sheet as I pleased. Oh, yeah, they meant on a beat. Well, I didn’t have that much vang on while reaching—I know you can break the boom that way. I did speed up and keep pace with Jay after tuning.

    We sailed to the pass and the tide was coming in. Most people were sticking to the south shore but I followed Jay north. I figured there’d be a good angle to catch the north wind on a reach and plenty of room to maneuver away from the rocks that way. We made it clear across the channel and headed back to make it under the sixteen span bridge. We sailed halfway back, but didn’t make it under. We tacked back to the north shore again and the current was really chugging through in the middle of the stream, right where we were. We set our sails for the next span. Jay thought maybe we wouldn't make it. I pointed as hard as I could with all the vang and mainsheet I could put on, and I made it through and on past the bridge. Jay followed and said I inspired him. Here's another hint. It was my shining moment for the day.

    After we made it through the pass, tow boats showed up and everybody lined up. Everybody was struggling to get out. It took 45 minutes or more to get to the race site 2 1/2 nautical miles out in the Gulf. It was far out, but the Race Committee did a good job in choosing it, because there was a fair amount of wind there and two foot waves.

    The first race everyone was over early, including me. We had reverse line sag, more like line bulge, and you couldn't see the orange flags on the RC boat and at the pin end for the Lasers. We restarted in about 10 minutes, and I felt like I had a fair start, but once again, even though I had on plenty of vang, everyone around me pulled away. :( I tried driving through the waves and reckon that was my problem. I've not had any practice or coaching with it before. I got to the windward mark last and rounded and surfed some waves back, making pretty good time. It was really awesome fun! I gained on the back of the fleet, but when I approached the leeward mark, I noticed that I hadn't lifted the centerboard. :eek: I could have gained even more! Then when I got to the mark I had an extremely clumsy rounding, did some swirly stuff right in front of an RC boat, then got control. So back again jiggety jig, up, down, up, crossing the finish line last, again.

    The lunch people tossed me a sandwich which I WOLFED on the way back. It was an identical sandwich to the previous day, and it was really good. I ran back to the start line tearing off bites, barely chewing, wishing that maybe my boat wasn't so fast in the growing wind, so I could finish the darned sandwich! I also sucked down water and diet Coke. The gun went off before I finished the sandwich. I threaded my way precariously through a few boats. Two minute gun. Remainder of sandwich a gift to the fish.

    OK start again. Weaving through waves. Hiking hard over waves. Falling behind again. Thighs burning, will knees survive? Windward mark. Alone.
    Sheet out for the run. Sheet whizzes out, out, out, out-- The mainsheet free of blocks and sail flogs over bow. Stopper knot now unstoppered.

    Turned the boat to get the boom within reach and threaded the sheet again and tied another stopper knot.

    The fleet was gone.

    Sailed on, jiggety jig.

    Two races. Two more DFLs. As Michelle said, at least I had clear air.

    Each leg of the windward/leeward courses today was half a mile. So we sailed 2 and 1/2 mile races. Everyone headed in as they finished, so I sailed in alone. John powered alongside me at a good distance, and it was an awesome sail on a broad reach. The wind and waves had grown. 10 mph and 3 feet? I can't imagine at this point sailing in 15 out there.

    When I got back, the winner, Chris Raab, met me and helped to bring my boat in and get it on the dolly. Nice.

    We saw the awards ceremony and at least two LaserForum members got them--old fart (David Hartman) and Dollymeister (Peter Seidenberg). Maybe there were more and I didn't make the connection.

    All in all, John and I had a fantastic time. We met some really cool people that we'll be happy to see again. Nah, it's not easy to lose, but it was gratifying to be able to sail in conditions I'd never seen before, and not fall over! :D

    Thanks for reading the blog. It's added to the fun for me. We're anxiously waiting to view the photos that John took when we get home. I'll post the better ones, and maybe if they are really good, we can get them in the Laser Sailor! :cool: Tomorrow we're going to go relax on the beach before heading home, where I heard it is 8 degrees F.

    I can barely keep my eyes open, so I believe I'm finally going to get some sleep. Good night.
     
  6. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    Thanks for your great reports Janet! Your story telling is excellent.
    Enjoy your day at the beach tomorrow!
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Daily MidWinters East Reports from our own Merrily in Clearwater, FL

    Amendment to my last post: It was not Jay of Bermuda that I tuned with and sailed out the pass with. It was David of Minneapolis. Sorry Jay and David! My only excuse was my exhaustion and my wine befuddled brain.

    It also has come to me why I was hiking so hard in 8 to 10. I forgot to put any cunningham at all on. There is no emoticon in Bradley's repertoir to express how this makes me feel.

    Well, there are compensations. I'm off for a day at the beach! Have a great day, all!
     
  8. yaesumusen

    yaesumusen New Member

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    good luck janet,with the racing,sorry i havent been on the forum much had lots of personal problems at home,sailing season starts in two weeks here just cant wait to be on the water last season was frustrating with weed and the boat getting damaged. My,sails and foils and sailing gear in car,there be no cruising for this laser sailor this year.we are either racing or practising ,best wishes sean
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Afterthoughts

    This shouldn’t be an afterthought, but better late than never. Thank you to the Clearwater Yacht Club for making the event happen, working hard to find us wind, and especially thanks for your kindness to the person obviously in over her head. (Not literally, thank God.) In addition, thanks to the staff at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center for their help with trailer storage for the Boston Whaler. (Note that no powerboats besides the CCSC’s are permitted to launch from the CCSC. John went to the launch area at Bellaire Beach.) Also, the advice to eat at Shell’s Restaurant for moderate prices and good food was spot on.

    I just learned that the Whaler trailer taillight started working after John launched the boat. Guess it was just pining for some saltwater. It must have done something for the connectors.

    Useful bits—we stayed at the Days Inn on Gulf to Bay Boulevard. With Triple A, it was $72 a night plus tax for a room with two double beds and a kitchenette and wireless at no additional cost. The downside is the distance from the venue, about 8 miles. Don’t go at rush hour. Tackleshack was onsite for all your Lasering needs, and another place we like is Masthead Sailing in St Pete. They sell boat and sail covers and have a great selection of clothing, and a little bit of hardware.

    What I learned from this event: I must get coaching for wave sailing—that means even by this summer for my district’s Grand Prix on Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie on June 24-25. Gouvernail AKA Fred Schroth says Sandusky Bay has perfect Lasering waves.

    “Gem” of the day—If you are dead last in every race, even with a throw-out, you are still dead last. At least I believe I made 5 people very happy!
     
  10. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I've got John's photos downloaded to my computer and will get some onto the forum ASAP.

    If there is anyone who participated and would like me to check for any good photos of you, PM me with your sail number and I will get to it.
     
  11. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Hey, don't despair; you were 49/56 and way ahead of me ....:eek:
     
  12. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, it doesn't look so bad on paper, does it? I cannot tell a lie--the 7 people behind me never sailed at all as far as I know. They signed up but didn't show. As far as being way ahead of you, were you one of those who signed up but then couldn't make it? That would be a bummer.

    I've been looking at the photos and it is depressing, mainly because my husband loves me! So therefore, there are scads of photos of me, and I'm incidentally sailing all alone behind the fleet. Picture an emoticon with enormous tears here! Not really. :rolleyes: Hmmm, maybe I should experiment with Photoshop. So much for not lying.
     
  13. odinsvitskjaldr

    odinsvitskjaldr Member

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    Don't despair, Janet! You get kudos for sailing the event, regardless of your placing. You've come a long way in a short space of time. If this were American Idol, I am sure Paula Abdul would have VERY nice things to say about your effort and diligence.
     
  14. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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  15. Windwahine

    Windwahine New Member

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    Merrily, Merrily, Merrily you are living your dream!

    What a well-written commentary! But most importantly I completely commiserate with you as I myself just started sailing Lasers in October (full rig). Every feeling, every frustration, every silly mistake, being dead last or worse having to be rescued on several occasions is my reality as well. Finally, someonelse understands! I seem to be surrounded by all these Laser Gods and Goddesses who just seem to be endowed with the effortless ability to sail this freaky little boat except me. The same question, "what have I got myself into" has been my mantra, but it is always over powered by the shear exhilaration of finally getting something right for the first time, I am staying on the wind, keeping the boat flat or rounding the leeward mark without making some crazy circles. Better yet staying in my boat! I too am still so far behind and my goal as well is not to be last. Finding out at the end of the day there was one person behind me, could it be? Did I not notice someone else out there? Finding out that they were a no show, oh the humanity of it all!

    Reading your commentary provided me with a much-needed laugh before a big regatta this weekend. Just knowing that I am not the only one out there trying to get this and struggling with the same issues was just the salve I needed.

    Thank you and I would like to thank my fleet mates and yacht club for the constant help, coaching and rescuing. One member and friend in particular has provided me with extraordinary amount help, his famous line "deer in the headlights" probably will never leave me. These guys know who they are.

    Anyway, I hope you have plenty of support and if you are doing this your own then even more power to you! Please keep writing and hopefully I will get out to FL for Masters and meet you in person.

    Windwahine
    A.k.a Lisa Lebold
     
  16. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Lisa,
    I'm really glad that you enjoyed the commentary and especially that you gained some encouragement from it. I reckon I am living my dream! On Sunday, we have our first club race, and I'm really looking forward to it, but as they say, it may be deja vu all over again. I have been really fortunate at my club too. I just kept practicing last year, and gradually some excellent sailors took pity on me, inviting me to practice and showing me a lot of stuff. I didn't realize, though, how truly bad I was last year until I tried a club race, and one woman who was supposed to be in the race turned around from ahead of me and started coaching me as I sailed along. A deer in headlights, indeed.

    Now the scary thing is that there are a few new Laser sailors coming on, and I am Laser Fleet captain. Yikes! Well, we will have fun.

    Hope to meet you sailing somewhere, sometime, living your dream too. BTW, what's a Windwahine?
     

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