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Dinghy Racing Is Fucking Awesome!

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What an amazing sport!  I was in a regatta this weekend and when I think about it, it kind of blows me away how lucky I am to participate.  I'm out there in my $1,000 Sunfish in a contest that cost me $20 to enter including the meal!  To top it off there is a guy driving around in a powerboat giving away PBRs and thanks me for coming out to play!  Great competition, great comradery, good wind, good workout-this sport rocks.  I have been sailing a long time, but just started racing small boats a few years ago.  So glad I found it.  And it doesn't have to be expensive.  I'm sure my cheapo boat will go just as fast as the next one if I ever learn to sail it well.

Fuck all the threads about why people don't sail-let's hear why you do.

Cheers,

Eric

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2 hours ago, efrank said:

What an amazing sport!  I was in a regatta this weekend and when I think about it, it kind of blows me away how lucky I am to participate.  I'm out there in my $1,000 Sunfish in a contest that cost me $20 to enter including the meal!  To top it off there is a guy driving around in a powerboat giving away PBRs and thanks me for coming out to play!  Great competition, great comradery, good wind, good workout-this sport rocks.  I have been sailing a long time, but just started racing small boats a few years ago.  So glad I found it.  And it doesn't have to be expensive.  I'm sure my cheapo boat will go just as fast as the next one if I ever learn to sail it well.

Fuck all the threads about why people don't sail-let's hear why you do.

Cheers,

Eric

There was pretty good breeze, and a well-run event.

I love to sail because I've never found anything else that so completely and totally concentrates my attention

And it's a ton of fun

FB- Doug

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Therevus a good reason I am beginning my 61st year of Sailboat racing ....I like it.

this weekend I did the Turnback Canyon Regatta. I just finished refurbishing my sixth Pearson  26 of the forty I hope to do in the next three years. 

The crew was:

a guy whose chemo has iretty much kicked his ass but he is almost done and the cancer seems to be gone . Crawling back and forth was just too much after a while.. he stood in the cabin door and played snacktician. 

A colege senior who probably should have been studying for finals but she is certain she knows all she needs to ace the exams. She hasn’t sailed since junior high but she knows what she is doing. 

A woman who jumped off the foredeck of her boyfriend’s J-29 to come play without the social problems of boyfriend / Skipper 

we collectively ran out of energy about halfway to the finish line of the race up to The Lago Fest at Lago Vista. 

We finished mid fleet 

The women were recovered by the time we got there and went to check out the festival 

Rick and I each fell asleep ( him below, me just sitting in the cockpit) until our 93 year old buddy pulled up beside and asked for help anchoring his Catalina 27. 

We did that and then shuttled to shore to see what was in the various food trucks...great stuff !! We pigged our and sat in the grass for a few minutes.

A guy and his wife whose house Rick air conditioned a dozen years ago stopped by and told us her story about a sculpture of MLK that is on display in the White House.

They told us they were tired of waiting for the band to start. Apparently a fan belt shredded on the generator ...

the Lago Vista Fire Department  brought one of their generators  and the show got going...

Asleep at the Wheel!!! FREE!!!

Ray Bentson explained he had been to Lago Fest many times but never had played  in Lago Vista so he decided to drag the band and come play. 

they did their standards Route 66 and Miles and Miles of Texas

we went back to the boat and slept ... maybe it was 60 or a tad cooler by dawn.. perfect boat sleeping weather 

there wasn’t any wind in the morning so we had a “Drag Race” 

drag the boats with no motors behind those of ours who do 

until the wind  filled and we started a race about 13 miles from home. 

Rick was happily sitting in the cabin playing snacktician and reading boat died with his ohobe’s GPS. 

We sailed about six. RC shortened course and we all motored home 

...,, for two days the other three have been sending pictures all over Facebook and glowing about their fabulous weekend. 

My thought?? They had a good time so everything was pretty darned good 

 

 

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Hey Doug,

Congrats on your win!  When the sea breeze filled in it was bueno.  We need to grab a beer and maybe you can shed some light on downwind sailing techniques.

Gouv, thanks, sounds like a great weekend and touches on many points that make this sport worthwhile.

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One of my first dinghy races in early 90s was light, shifty and frustrating. An old guy who likely couldn't see the woolies on the jib was up front all day. His family was at the dock to help him get out of the boat at end of day. I thought there was time enough for me to get better at this. I'm still not up front all day but I am closer to needing help getting out of the boat.

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I have to agree. For the most part, dinghy sailing is about your ability and sailing, not about your wallet. There are some with outsized egos but they are fewer than in the big boats where you can compensate with your wallet. The other thing I like about dinghy sailing, wherever I've been, you're always part of the brotherhood. You don't have to show any other qualification than being able to keep the stick in the air and make it around the course.

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11 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

There was pretty good breeze, and a well-run event.

I love to sail because I've never found anything else that so completely and totally concentrates my attention

And it's a ton of fun

FB- Doug

i've sort of gotten in to rock climbing because it is a similar mindset, and philosphically similar in the man v man, man v nature, man v. machine/tools sort of way. Plus the cost and logistics is a fraction of what a boat would cost me right now... 

22 minutes ago, TeamFugu said:

I have to agree. For the most part, dinghy sailing is about your ability and sailing, not about your wallet. There are some with outsized egos but they are fewer than in the big boats where you can compensate with your wallet. The other thing I like about dinghy sailing, wherever I've been, you're always part of the brotherhood. You don't have to show any other qualification than being able to keep the stick in the air and make it around the course.

ehh, depends what you want to sail. I'd love an A, 14, 5oh, etc, but they're not happening because i don't have the cash (i mean, i could probably find it for a beater, but then there is the time cost...)

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There is nothing better than dinghy racing.  Except frostbiting dinghy racing!!!

I wrecked my shoulder this year and so get rotator cuff surgery on the second shoulder in 4 days!!  I can't wait because once that and the rehab is complete I can get back to frostbiting in a LASER!!!

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1 hour ago, efrank said:

Hey Doug,

Congrats on your win!  When the sea breeze filled in it was bueno.  We need to grab a beer and maybe you can shed some light on downwind sailing techniques.

Gouv, thanks, sounds like a great weekend and touches on many points that make this sport worthwhile.

OK.... seeing Asleep At The Wheel would be cool, too, I didn't realize they were still around. Can we get Lone Star beer?

 

38 minutes ago, mustang__1 said:

i've sort of gotten in to rock climbing because it is a similar mindset, and philosphically similar in the man v man, man v nature, man v. machine/tools sort of way. Plus the cost and logistics is a fraction of what a boat would cost me right now... 

ehh, depends what you want to sail. I'd love an A, 14, 5oh, etc, but they're not happening because i don't have the cash (i mean, i could probably find it for a beater, but then there is the time cost...)

 

Rock climbing, yeah I can see where that would sharpen your mental focus! In dinghy racing, you don't usually die from a fuck-up (although it is possible).

Costs- there is certainly that component, there simply is no class where a cheapo beater with bedsheet sails is competitive. Even the PuddleDuck Racer! However, there's certainly a wide variety of types and range of costs; and you can put a competitive boat on the line for a good bit less than the cost of a brand-new boat.

FB- Doug

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

OK.... seeing Asleep At The Wheel would be cool, too, I didn't realize they were still around. Can we get Lone Star beer?

 

 

Rock climbing, yeah I can see where that would sharpen your mental focus! In dinghy racing, you don't usually die from a fuck-up (although it is possible).

Costs- there is certainly that component, there simply is no class where a cheapo beater with bedsheet sails is competitive. Even the PuddleDuck Racer! However, there's certainly a wide variety of types and range of costs; and you can put a competitive boat on the line for a good bit less than the cost of a brand-new boat.

FB- Doug

Oh i know, last time i really raced dinghies my 29er was older than the the kids i was racing! I'd wager to say the very vast majority of my speed deficits were my/our fault, followed by old jib and kite used well past their prime, then the boat...... aside from the times it leaked like a sieve but that is again mostly my fault (fucking scuppers). That said, a new jib and kite at that time would be around $600/$1100 if memory serves... I can buy a whole trad rack and then some for that much - and it'll last a lot longer! Right now my biggest issue is probably logistics - i don't have a place to work on the boat, to store the boat aside from boat parks - and sailing/boat parks that i'd want to sail at are a long way away and not cheap. Plus i like fast boats - and they're not cheap even for beaters lol. Some day i'll get back into dinghies but for now OPB's and a lot of lead are sufficing. 

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It's all good. The smaller the boat, the more you will race it.

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1 hour ago, Connor.kainalu said:

The hard part for me right now is splitting my time between sailing and climbing (and other things)

go sail small boats - it gets so much more difficult when you're older.... But also climb, because climbing is awesome. 

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Dinghy racing also can be a social equalizer. After the 1980 Windmill Nationals I overheard a Doc snort, "And the winner was a damn janitor," eh eh. 

Windward-leeward courses have taken some of the challenge away. The Mug Race, 35 miles up a tidal river in Florida is more of a challenge.

I've got ten more years of dinghy racing than Gouv. This Mug race was my last. RC work and 'Cup holder boats' will suffice.

Nice to go out with a win!

Dave Ellis

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I have been racing dinghies for a relatively short time compared to some of the above posters, only 40 years! After almost giving up racing a few years ago after a bad experience at a major regatta, I sailed socially with mates, all of them much younger than me, and all of them enjoying their time on the water between family duties and work. Their enthusiasm slowly rubbed off on me and now I am competing at the highest level in the most competitive class in the country, and enjoying every race. The trick has been to set no targets and to make sure that enjoying the racing and the socializing are more important than the results, that is what got me hooked on the sport in the first place.

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20 hours ago, efrank said:

What an amazing sport!  I was in a regatta this weekend and when I think about it, it kind of blows me away how lucky I am to participate.  I'm out there in my $1,000 Sunfish in a contest that cost me $20 to enter including the meal!  To top it off there is a guy driving around in a powerboat giving away PBRs and thanks me for coming out to play!  Great competition, great comradery, good wind, good workout-this sport rocks.  I have been sailing a long time, but just started racing small boats a few years ago.  So glad I found it.  And it doesn't have to be expensive.  I'm sure my cheapo boat will go just as fast as the next one if I ever learn to sail it well.

Fuck all the threads about why people don't sail-let's hear why you do.

Cheers,

Eric

Dinghy racing is fucking awesome, but I still suck.

5 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

OK.... seeing Asleep At The Wheel would be cool, too, I didn't realize they were still around. Can we get Lone Star beer?

Shiner, no Lone Star.  And hopefully they still have it in longnecks in Texas.  I can only find it in ^&!@# cans at the Teeter store.

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30 minutes ago, torrid said:

 

Dinghy racing is fucking awesome, but I still suck.

Shiner, no Lone Star.  And hopefully they still have it in longnecks in Texas.  I can only find it in ^&!@# cans at the Teeter store.

Oh hell, I suck too.  DFL in this last regatta.  What Major Tom was saying about enjoying the racing more than the results is important for me to keep in perspective.  Nobody prefers to be in the back, but I was surprised to find that I was quite happy with the improvements made from race to race despite the results.  No doubt it can be humbling.  Just getting out there and giving it a shot is a rush though.

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I am so in on all this. And can so relate to the suck part. But I get better every dang time, and I win the beer drinking part also. Now with 3 dinghies again, will be very busy this season!

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3 hours ago, sailwriter said:

Dinghy racing also can be a social equalizer. After the 1980 Windmill Nationals I overheard a Doc snort, "And the winner was a damn janitor," eh eh. 

Windward-leeward courses have taken some of the challenge away. The Mug Race, 35 miles up a tidal river in Florida is more of a challenge.

I've got ten more years of dinghy racing than Gouv. This Mug race was my last. RC work and 'Cup holder boats' will suffice.

Nice to go out with a win!

Dave Ellis

Bittersweet news. Would have liked racing ya one day.:-)

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7 hours ago, Major Tom said:

I have been racing dinghies for a relatively short time compared to some of the above posters, only 40 years! After almost giving up racing a few years ago after a bad experience at a major regatta, I sailed socially with mates, all of them much younger than me, and all of them enjoying their time on the water between family duties and work. Their enthusiasm slowly rubbed off on me and now I am competing at the highest level in the most competitive class in the country, and enjoying every race. The trick has been to set no targets and to make sure that enjoying the racing and the socializing are more important than the results, that is what got me hooked on the sport in the first place.

It is to enjoy

I took racing far far too seriously for years, although I always just loved getting out on the water.... it struck me even back then, that I went daysailing with family and non-sailing friends, when most "serious" competitors did not.

Now, the main reason I race is so that I can put it on the calendar and that is a day when everybody else with demands on my time will just have to wait, I am going sailing.

FB- Doug

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Try sailing an aero, against the best in the world, but I wasn't dfl! Any time there is two boats on the water there will be a race. And it will be fun!

 

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On 5/9/2018 at 9:07 AM, Wess said:

There is nothing better than dinghy racing.  Except frostbiting dinghy racing!!!

I wrecked my shoulder this year and so get rotator cuff surgery on the second shoulder in 4 days!!  I can't wait because once that and the rehab is complete I can get back to frostbiting in a LASER!!!

http://newportlaserfleet.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Laser-Fleet-413-253717478008428/

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We had a whole lot if Lasers and Sunfish out  Racing Wednesday night. The Laser fleet included the two Boats Eric Faust and I found in 1996 at a closed dealership in Louisiana. Each of those boats won a race. They let me  win a couple times as well. Then we all went and had a fabulous dinner and everybody but me lied about being  the greatest sailor in the fleet. 

 

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1 hour ago, Gouvernail said:

We had a whole lot if Lasers and Sunfish out  Racing Wednesday night. The Laser fleet included the two Boats Eric Faust and I found in 1996 at a closed dealership in Louisiana. Each of those boats won a race. They let me  win a couple times as well. Then we all went and had a fabulous dinner and everybody but me lied about being  the greatest sailor in the fleet. 

 

The older we get the better we were!!!!

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3 minutes ago, Major Tom said:

The older we get the better we were!!!!

My skills started fading in 1958

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7 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

We had a whole lot if Lasers and Sunfish out  Racing Wednesday night. The Laser fleet included the two Boats Eric Faust and I found in 1996 at a closed dealership in Louisiana. Each of those boats won a race. They let me  win a couple times as well. Then we all went and had a fabulous dinner and everybody but me lied about being  the greatest sailor in the fleet. 

 

You forgot the part about "shovels and rakes and implements of destruction"

That always precedes a dinner that couldn't be beat

FB- Doug

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Friday night lasers ages 12 to 71 until the light/winds die and all have to rock/ paddle in.  Good times had by all and so what if the same two guys win.

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

You forgot the part about "shovels and rakes . Tillers and battens and and implements of destruction"

That always precedes a dinner that couldn't be beat

FB- Doug

FIFY

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Let's get back to a sailing topic..... downwind boat speed has been mentioned

How do you sail fast downwind? Or just a little bit faster than the other guys?

My own theory is to practice steering with weight and mainsheet, use the rudder as little as possible... there's more but that's a good one to work on

FB- Doug

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Weight placement is important (fore and aft trim- try to maximise WL and keep the transom corner out of the water) 

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