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About TalonF4U

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  • Birthday 06/22/1982

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    Shorthanded Offshore Racing, International Canoes, cool stuff

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  1. TalonF4U

    North American Mini Fleet

    Anyone active these days? Anyone sailing or got a boat for sale?
  2. I've just got my Sun Fast 3200 going in SF Bay and a little Internet sleuthing reveals there's a couple of the boats in SoCal. Can anyone help me get in contact with those owners? Trying to do some research on setup. Thanks in advance!
  3. TalonF4U

    Vendee Globe 2020

    I am not sure what's cooking in AT's kitchen right now, but he doesn't have legs on those 'near' him and hasn't for a while and I don't quite understand why. I'm a huge AT fan and am struggling right now to keep the faith.
  4. TalonF4U

    Worst/scariest moment in a dinghy?

    Fairly early on in my IC sailing career, I had borrowed a friend's boat while my new build was under construction. It was winter in SF and I was rusty, having not sailed much in a year or so. I sailed out into the bay--chilly-and suddenly the breeze turned on to about 22kts. I stuffed the boat and crashed violently. I threw out my back and it went into spasms. I got the boat upright and realized I couldn't lift my left leg enough to get it onto the seat. Hitting the cold water froze my back stiff and I was in a lot of pain. I looked around and didn't see many people out sailing and wasn't rightly sure I could sail it back in. Sailing Canoes in 20+ is hard enough when your body works. Second story, also on an IC. I have my new boat and found out at the 2014 Worlds, somewhat to my surprise, that I had serious pace upwind and kept getting to the weather mark in the lead or close to it. It turns out that the winners had figured out how to haul it on those nasty 20kt reaches, and when I tried to keep the pace, I was crashing. Since I was rather unexpectedly in contention, I was still pushing hard. I wrapped my foot around the hiking strap, holding it firmly in place, to help survive the wave hits or stuffing the bow at pace. I stuffed it bad and couldn't stay on the seat and got launched forward as the boat pitchpoled and capsized. My foot and ankle stayed on the strap and I got yanked around, upside down and backwards, with the ankle and knee begging for me to tap out while my head was just underwater. Fortunately some rope was available for me to carefully haul myself out into breathing position while I tried to figure out how to escape before tearing something important. I think I made it out of that one because the guys at my BJJ gym had been using me as their meat puppet for leg-lock drills for a while and had stretched everything out down there. I got the boat back up but was psychologically defeated by those reaches after that. The lightning stuff is scary, too, but I've done so many stupid things with thunderstorms that it doens't seem as bad as it should. I recall sailing an FD once when a Texas thunder-boomer hit. The cat next to me had a taller rig and had St. Elmo's fire on the masthead as we fled for the club. About two hundred yards behind me, a lightning bolt hit and electrocuted a guy onshore--killed him. Oh, to be 15 again-- I shook that right off. I did stop intentionally chasing thunderstorms at that point, though.
  5. TalonF4U

    Sngle handed head sail arrangement

    A bit suprising that you take the jib down first. The jib keeps a bit of pressure away from the kite while it goes up. The jib up is also what keeps my botched set from going truly pear shaped when the kite decides to hourglass around the headstay. For this reason I run a tall, skinny staysail when running under spin offshore. What's the configuration or reason that drives you to douse the jib before setting?
  6. This. I am singing this tune right along with you. I wonder if we could build something in the 25' range, reasonably fast but sturdy and trailerable, for ~75k all up. US needs a one-design shorthander. If it's OD it doens't matter much if the hull is carbon or glass, and we don't need sprits and sail plans like Minis to be fun. I would buy one. Though something closer to 28' might be better for the pre-Olympic set.
  7. TalonF4U

    Symmetric Spinnaker Handling

    Toad, have a scotch and relax, man. 1) Letterbox. I generally do not do them. They're money if it's windy but my space between the boom and my sail isn't big, and they're a pain to unpack. I don't have overlapping jibs. I take the kite down aft of the jib and under the boom into the companionway. I've pulled down my big kite in 30kts and a seaway on multiple occasions like this, though I'd think about a letterbox if I was trying to get rid of a kite in more than that. All I have to do to swap to the next kite is snap off the shackles on the corners and the halyard. Typically I will attach the sheets and walk forward with the halyard to make sure it clears the spreaders and then attach it under the jib, after which I snap the turtle to the lifelines and then set the pole on the way back aft. Yeah, three minutes is about right. I would say short-course racing singlehanded is unlikely to be a winning move in general. You can't sail to your rating upwind without crew unless the breeze is quite light (a condition my fat-assed boat doesn't like much anyway) and maneuvering efficiently is prioritized. I am pretty good with the kites, but I can't set, jibe, and douse anywhere near as smoothly as I could with a couple of crew. I don't understand what you say about swapping extras. It is certainly easier to sub in a freshly packed kite than to pack the one I just covered the cabin with. I am personally not a fan of launching out of my companionway solo--just too much sharp stuff to catch. That's why I just reload with a fresh spin. As a soloist, I plan on blowing up more kites than is the norm, which is why I have three .75ozers on board. I don't understand why you don't think you can zip a tape on the bow in seven knots of breeze downwind. I would say, to your risk management point, that it's a far better idea to zip a tape than to be in such a rush that you send up a twisty. As I mentioned, I don't like doing this because a bunch of sail fabric on the foredeck flapping around is a problem, but when I have been lazy and done this, I just didn't ease out the jib a whole lot when I bore off. Very little apparent wind at that point, and the jib, combined with my small stuff on the lifelines forward, contained the mess while I got things sorted. You just chuck it up on the bow, wipe down a tape real quick, and then feed the guy out. I usually get it on the pole up forward and walk aft with the guy in my hand to keep it snug. I keep the guys on the cabintop winches so I can snug it quick without going into the cockpit. Guy is out, that tape is clean--hoist and go gather the sheet later. I have no idea why you'd go up to the bow with no ability to alter course if you didn't have to. Sure, I don't intend to drive when I go forward, but it's a race--some idiot might maneuver unexpectedly, or maybe you sail into a puff and need to tweak your heading a bit to get ready for the hoist. I guess I'm spoiled by sailing on a purpose-build shorthander that's wide with twin rudders. You can get away with a lot because the autopilot really doesn't have a problem holding the thing on course, even when it blows, unless there's a big seaway striking right on the quarter. Risk-management-- agree completely. Don't forget to go find the limits in practice so you know where they are when it counts.
  8. TalonF4U

    Symmetric Spinnaker Handling

    My strategies (32' boat) in order of preference for shorter-course racing: 1) If it's windy, or the slightest bit reachy, I use an asym on a furler, because solo symmetric kites in bouy racing are epic pains in the ass. 2) I have a bunch of kites. I launch out of a bag on the foredeck and recover the sail into the companionway under the boom. It takes about three minutes to pull up the next kite and swap the sheets/halyard over. I try to pack at least two before I get back to the dock so I don't miss the entire happy hour. 3) I have tried recovering the kite into the foredeck hatch, then re-launching out of there. I concluded this is only reasonable in light air. Taking down my 1k sq ft kite into that hatch is not all that fun in a blow from the bow. To re-launch, I have to basically toss the whole sail in a mess on the foredeck, then run some tapes real quick before hoisting. Not real practical. 4) Haven't done it myself, but I would imagine using a sock would be the way to go here. Sock down, douse the sail neatly into foredeck hatch, repeat in reverse for next launch. I hear this requires keeping a weather eye on the sock downhaul, because if it gets wrapped up on something, your douse may be no fun. When singlehanding, I typically have the autopilot remote tied to my belt or harness and it goes in the same pocket every time, so you've got some ability to solve problems when you're up on the bow without running back aft. I try to sail with my harness and tether at all times, but on shorter races, I find this is hard to do.
  9. TalonF4U

    Chartering Minis / Fig IIIs in Europe

    You guys assume I am old enough to do the Transquadra! Shit.. I will be in a couple years.
  10. TalonF4U

    Chartering Minis / Fig IIIs in Europe

    Great stuff! Thanks! I've definitely been down the "completing vs competing" road in my head. As a human, it is impossible for me not to compete; but as a matter of practical sense, I don't think I have the time/money/mental energy to 'compete' per se and would probably be best served by a 'completion' attitude. Certainly for the first attempt! The info in this thread has been valuable in regards to qualification and the like. I would suspect that buying a Mini and sailing it for a while in the USA is a great idea, and possibly even required, but the reason I started this thread was concern about some of the costs you mention. Of course I'll take a massive loss selling a Mini in the US when it's time to move on. Economically it would probably make sense to train here and just charter the boat there, but when you look at the cost of running (and then selling) a series boat in the USA, I wonder if I'd be better off just taking a few training sessions in France...especially at the rate you quoted about Figaro training! I should call him--we've chatted a few times if it's who I think it is. I know the owner of the Annapolis mini from the 1-2 and would probably buy that boat if I had loads of spare cash stuffed in my pillowcase. Alas, not the case. But it would give me an 'east coast boat' for when I hit the level of wealth where I keep a boat on each coast to maximize regattas. Definitely not there yet either. The conundrum you bring up about the time/money continuum is a real bitch...and I'll add in the concept of experience, too. Like most, I graduated school lacking the money. For a brief period, I sort of had the money, was short but not critically short on time, but really lacked the experience needed to turn the combination of meager funds and limited time into something cool. Now, having put together a few ocean adventures, the experience feels better, and the money's getting there, but the time is the real bitch. Heh, I wonder if the asyms from my Sun Fast 3200 fit? I recall doing some math on Minis once and figuring the SA/Disp was about the same as one of my faves, the 505, when the kites were up...dope. I mean, dumb, but dumb in the way that makes me say, "That's dumb! But I am going to go try this. Hold my beer." The Figs seems almost reasonable by comparison, but the competition is pretty intense. It's the cost vs level of getting my ass kicked ratio I'm here trying to evaluate.
  11. TalonF4U

    I.C. Down wind question

    Right on, fastyacht (how do I know you...? from the Farm...?). Canoes are just kinda special. They make me afraid.
  12. TalonF4U

    Chartering Minis / Fig IIIs in Europe

    Of course, I will do those races. SHTP is an obvious one. Longpac, of course, a mere long weekend's work. Sailing shorthanded in the Bay--once I can flick this virus booger and get my boat out of Houston and into her slip at RYC!!--is clearly going to be fun. I'm West-ish now, penned up in northern Nevada, but not far from SF. While we're talking about West Coast, there is no way I don't sail the R2AK in the next couple of years. I also happen to have, uh, professional connections with physically strong people who are immune from pain, cold, and fatuige. Not like I'm going to be spinning those pedals when the going gets rough! Roleur, you and I clearly ought to get some folks together to go crush that race. But my "Races" spreadsheet goes out way past the timeline for this virus. It might take me a decade, but I'll get 'em done.
  13. TalonF4U

    Chartering Minis / Fig IIIs in Europe

    Yes... of course... to do "good" sailing of this sort, I know I have to move to France. Je suis desole, but that time in my life has probably passed. It's romantic, the thought of abandoning one's family to pursue one's dreams. I wonder how Moitessier's wife felt about it when her hubby parked up in Tahiti with a side chick. We all feel good reading his book, but we also have to admit there's a real life we have to deal with. I will accept less than good sailing to pretend that I can play by compensating for romance with cold hard cash. I can probably spend the money and stay married. Probably can't quit my job and move to France and 'do it right' and still get to see my kids most days.
  14. TalonF4U

    I.C. Down wind question

    Here's why I race ICs on handicap races instead of boats I can actually sail fairly well, like Lasers: it is just about as awesome to lose in an IC as it is to win. It's fun to get around the course, period.
  15. TalonF4U

    Chartering Minis / Fig IIIs in Europe

    Fiagro III rental just makes sense as an American looking to do the Solitare. That boat isn't cheap. For the Mini, I'm trying to weigh the costs of shipping vs chartering. It may actually make sense to buy a well sorted boat in Martinique, sail it to the East Coast, race a bit to get things down, then ship and race and sell. Or maybe I just want to do that. Anyway, gonna head to the corner store and buy a Powerball ticket so I can quit scouting the costs on a forum and just start making it rain.