I posted a similar post on the J/Anarchy site because we have a J/120 and I had some boat specific questions, but there are probably (hopefully) a number of more general questions that I and others contemplating the race might have. Let this serve as the collection point. Please, if you've done this race or a similar race before, post your thoughts.
We have a J/120 that my wife and I are planning to Double-Hand in the next Pac Cup. I just found out earlier this week that I am being transferred back to the US, making the logistics a reality for something I've been dreaming about for 20+ years. The two of us sailed our boat across the Atlantic this summer and that went great. Our boat has a proven track record prior to our ownership, but after that we are really lacking in race experience. We raced a lot in Seattle 15-20 years ago, more in dinghies and under 30 footers. Since then not so much. That's okay, we still have 18 months to prepare and practice and it will be an adventure regardless of how fast we go.
- Has anyone decided not to do the 2014 race specifically due to concerns over tsunami debris?
- Are there any specific tips to driving with an asymmetrical (at night?), particularly on a boat that doesn't actually plane. Anything particularly different or harder than driving with a normal chute?
- Our boat will be based out of Corpus Christi for the year leading up to Pac Cup. Seems like a decent place to practice with the local breeze. Not so different from the Bay is it?
- What are the things that trip people up during the safety inspection? I think we have most of the essential gear, but there are definitely some of the little details to take care of.
- Emergency rudder - I know this can be a challenge. Once we get back to the US and have a garage again I'm going to build an cassette style emergency rudder. We'll see how that goes.
- Any tips for double-handing regarding sail handling and sleep management? We have a new NKE autopilot that can handle most anything so we won't be tied to the wheel the whole way across. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on when it makes more sense to drive and when it makes more sense to let the autopilot drive and focus more on sail trim.
- Any interesting thoughts on routing or polars? We have a sat phone and will have one of the routing software options, but there is so much more to this.
- No SSB requirement for double-handers right?