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Marblehead to Halifax 2013 edition


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#1 FletcherB

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:56 AM

Join us for this year's 363 mile Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. Parties begin Friday, July 5th and the start is Sunday, July 7th. Check out a quick trailer I put together:



The Olin J. Stephens Trophy will be awarded to the yacht with the best combined ORR scoring performance in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race and the 2013 Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. This race is a qualifier for the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy for IRC yachts and the New England Lighthouse Series for PHRF yachts. Special competitions will include double handed crew in the spinnaker divisions, club teams, and elderly crews.
 
Details on our Facebook page or the official race web site
 
ps... I'm new...bring it on



#2 haligonian winterr

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:16 PM

Nice video!!! So sad I won't be racing this year, but I'll be following and cheering from the sidelines!! Might even be able to pop in for the post-race party...

Are you in? If so, who's your ride?

Oh, and Fuckoff noob! Lets see some tits!

HW

#3 FletcherB

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:16 PM

Thanks HW - no ride as of yet



#4 Left Hook

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:18 PM

Love the trailer but I'm biased :D

 

Still undefined on having a ride or not. 



#5 vtsail

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:30 PM

In on Nanuq, Sabre 426.  Hoping for an exact duplicate of last year's conditions.



#6 Rail Meat

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:59 PM

Dragon is taking the ride, and we will have on board the winner of the fund raising auction that Rocking the Boat held for a crew spot.  Things look reasonably good to have 5 or so Class 40's racing this year.



#7 keel trimmer

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:57 PM

Dogsled is IN, and proudly a contender for the Olin J Stephens trophy for the best combined Bermuda and Marblehead finishes. 



#8 NautiGirl

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:28 PM

Dogsled is IN, and proudly a contender for the Olin J Stephens trophy for the best combined Bermuda and Marblehead finishes. 

 

 

And will you be on her?



#9 v-max

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:11 PM

I'm in. .....God I'm a sucker for punishment!

Will try to get there for the 4th and see the fireworks in MH or Boston.

Railmeat! First Rumbo's are on me buddy!

#10 24_Racer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:05 PM

Go the Dogsled, finish what we started in Bermuda!



#11 Left Hook

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:56 PM

Indeed 24 racer, you huskies seem well placed to pull off a good showing. 

 

Speaking of which, I said some nasty things about the Dogsled crew and skipper last fall which weren't true and it was unfair to a really good bunch of people who are racing their hearts out. I then made it worse by trying to defend those incorrect statements.For that I'm sorry and I hope to have the chance to buy you all a round this summer as pennance. 



#12 haligonian winterr

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:57 AM

If you do make it to Hali town, I'll be sure to drive the 5 hours back to Halifax to take you up on that.

Not to mention finally meet the famed LH...

HW

Indeed 24 racer, you huskies seem well placed to pull off a good showing. 
 
Speaking of which, I said some nasty things about the Dogsled crew and skipper last fall which weren't true and it was unfair to a really good bunch of people who are racing their hearts out. I then made it worse by trying to defend those incorrect statements.For that I'm sorry and I hope to have the chance to buy you all a round this summer as pennance. 



#13 NautiGirl

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:19 PM

If you do make it to Hali town, I'll be sure to drive the 5 hours back to Halifax to take you up on that.

Not to mention finally meet the famed LH...

HW



Indeed 24 racer, you huskies seem well placed to pull off a good showing. 
 
Speaking of which, I said some nasty things about the Dogsled crew and skipper last fall which weren't true and it was unfair to a really good bunch of people who are racing their hearts out. I then made it worse by trying to defend those incorrect statements.For that I'm sorry and I hope to have the chance to buy you all a round this summer as pennance. 

 

:lol:

 

"famed"?

At $1.28/L, it hardly seems worthwhile, my friend. I'm pretty sure your 'Sled crew would agree if one of you deserves the adjective "famed", and for the right reasons, it would be you. 

 

Anyhow, it sounds like you've reached legal drinking age, so should our paths cross this summer on the regatta circuit, hit me up to buy YOU a drink.

 

You in Cape Breton now?



#14 Rail Meat

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:14 PM

I'm in. .....God I'm a sucker for punishment!

Will try to get there for the 4th and see the fireworks in MH or Boston.

Railmeat! First Rumbo's are on me buddy!

 

 

I am counting on it!



#15 haligonian winterr

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:59 PM

Not living in CB, but working up there for the summer teaching, and hopefully moving there for school in the fall. I'll be making an effort to get back in town for some sort of sailing event, although it'll probly end up being Chester. Where yes, I will, FINALLY, be of legal drinking age ;)

HW

EDIT: thanks for the props :)


If you do make it to Hali town, I'll be sure to drive the 5 hours back to Halifax to take you up on that.

Not to mention finally meet the famed LH...

HW


Indeed 24 racer, you huskies seem well placed to pull off a good showing. 
 
Speaking of which, I said some nasty things about the Dogsled crew and skipper last fall which weren't true and it was unfair to a really good bunch of people who are racing their hearts out. I then made it worse by trying to defend those incorrect statements.For that I'm sorry and I hope to have the chance to buy you all a round this summer as pennance. 

 
:lol:
 
"famed"?
At $1.28/L, it hardly seems worthwhile, my friend. I'm pretty sure your 'Sled crew would agree if one of you deserves the adjective "famed", and for the right reasons, it would be you. 
 
Anyhow, it sounds like you've reached legal drinking age, so should our paths cross this summer on the regatta circuit, hit me up to buy YOU a drink.
 
You in Cape Breton now?


#16 minstrel70

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:07 PM

Dogsled is IN, and proudly a contender for the Olin J Stephens trophy for the best combined Bermuda and Marblehead finishes. 

 

 

And will you be on her?

 

Yes, he is, as am I. 



#17 v-max

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 03:54 AM

 

Dogsled is IN, and proudly a contender for the Olin J Stephens trophy for the best combined Bermuda and Marblehead finishes. 

 

 

And will you be on her?

 

Yes, he is, as am I. 

You better get the old Sled in the water boys! She still has her winter cover on!



#18 NautiGirl

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:24 PM


Dogsled is IN, and proudly a contender for the Olin J Stephens trophy for the best combined Bermuda and Marblehead finishes. 

 
 
And will you be on her?
 
Yes, he is, as am I. 

So, I was working Sunday and there was a military guy playing in a jazz ensemble. I met with them when they arrived, set them up in the lovely back garden overlooking the water....and he keeps looking at me kinda funny.

Finally, after the event concludes and the band is packing up, he says to me: "I know you from somewhere. Not military related. Somewhere else. We were talking and there was alcohol involved."

Such comments are not terribly uncommon, but I hate when my social and professional lives apparently collide, so I quickly start listing off various events I have attended recently, having absolutely ZERO recollection of ever meeting this man. No dice. Finally, I fall back to my response of last resort:"are you a sailor?"

BINGO!

Turns out he sailed St. Pierre on the sled. I still don't remember meeting or talking to him, and he might have even been enjoying our hospitality on Vagrant, however at least I know that he was probably just as polluted as I was. Regrettably, he is not joining you for MHOR as the band is too busy.

I will have to give you guys a tour of the big house when you come, and if you are staying for any length of time, we'd love to have you over.

#19 moheen

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:58 PM

looking for a car ride back to Marblehead after the race, willing to share expenses, and willing to drive anyone from Marblehead to points south anywhere between Marblehead and Mystic, CT

 

PM me



#20 keel trimmer

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

 

 


Dogsled is IN, and proudly a contender for the Olin J Stephens trophy for the best combined Bermuda and Marblehead finishes. 

 
 
And will you be on her?
 
Yes, he is, as am I. 

So, I was working Sunday and there was a military guy playing in a jazz ensemble. I met with them when they arrived, set them up in the lovely back garden overlooking the water....and he keeps looking at me kinda funny.

Finally, after the event concludes and the band is packing up, he says to me: "I know you from somewhere. Not military related. Somewhere else. We were talking and there was alcohol involved."

Such comments are not terribly uncommon, but I hate when my social and professional lives apparently collide, so I quickly start listing off various events I have attended recently, having absolutely ZERO recollection of ever meeting this man. No dice. Finally, I fall back to my response of last resort:"are you a sailor?"

BINGO!

Turns out he sailed St. Pierre on the sled. I still don't remember meeting or talking to him, and he might have even been enjoying our hospitality on Vagrant, however at least I know that he was probably just as polluted as I was. Regrettably, he is not joining you for MHOR as the band is too busy.

I will have to give you guys a tour of the big house when you come, and if you are staying for any length of time, we'd love to have you over.

 

That was Pierre, ironically enough, that you met in St. Pierre.  He is a gentleman, a musician, and a scholar. 

 

Our departure is Sunday.  The duration of our visit is in the hands of the wind gods.  Us 'mericans are going to see Rush on Saturday night, but nothing else is cast in stone.



#21 NautiGirl

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:20 PM

Yes, Pierre is a lovely gentleman, and I hope I didn't embarass myself too much when I met him the first time.

 

Well, I have a relatively quiet work week, so we'll see what we can do. Should you find yourselves wandering downtown looking for a patio to grab a bite to eat on, we'll have to connect. 



#22 Slim

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:20 AM

We should try to have a meetup someplace - what's a good time - Friday night? I'm not racing but recently moved to town and would love to meet some of you. Plus it will be my tune up for Mac race fun.

Slim

#23 Rail Meat

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 03:53 AM

Zim, Zam, errr Zoom?

 

Dragon is prepped and ready to go, sitting at the dock in the Shipyard.  Tomorrow morning, she will head up to Boston to spend Saturday at Constitution Marina.  We will head up to Marblehead for the skipper's meeting and then a crew dinner in the North End before heading up to the starting line on Sunday morning.

 

We are going four-up for this outing, where I am joined by Rob Windsor, Pat O'Connor, and Tom Carpenter.  Rob is fresh off his jaunt across the Atlantic on 40 Degrees, and Pat comes to Dragon fresh off the Bandit program and then helping out on Gryphon Solo earlier this year.  Tom Carpenter is Crew of Honor.  He earned his crew spot by winning the auction held at NYYC this past spring for the benefit of Rocking the Boat (www.rockingtheboat.org).  His generous donation to this worthy cause will help after shool programing for the kids of Hunts Point, NYC.  These great kids get to learn boat building, sailing, rowing and marine biology in a supportive environment that opens their eyes to the horizons that our sport can offer.

 

Tom got his boat orientation and safety review both last weekend and then helped do the final sort on the boat today.  Rob pulled in from Long Island after spending a few days back at home after returning from the UK.  Pat just has to pull his boots on and stroll down the hill to the docks.

 

Earlier this week, it looked like a fast sleigh ride, running and VMG running all the way up to Halifax with an arrival in the dark hours of Tuesday morning.  A couple of days later, it looks a bit more complicated.  The Bermuda High has pushed its way west, and brough clear and unfortunately calm skies to New England.  Our saving grace might be that the high seems to be sliding to the south a  bit,  which may allow a front to squeeze down from the north onto the course and bring us at least some wind.  Forecast at the moment would show reaching and running conditions, but there is still more than two days to the start.

 

This race is unfinished business for Dragon.  In 2009, we were entered and ready to go, but the return leg of the Bermuda 1-2 caused some damage to the mast that took the better part of 5 weeks to sort out and cost us the chance to compete.  In 2011, we had finished a Transat to the UK, and were resting up before the Fastnet.  So this.....this is our year. 

 

Unfortunately, we don't have any other Class 40's to race against.  Gyrphon Solo, Le Coq Cusine, Bolands Mill are all immersed in work.  Toothface II is just getting commissioned, and Amhas II has not yet splashed.  Amhas I is in new hands, but the team had already made commitments to other rides for this race.  The Icarus boys are working at their real jobs.   Which leaves us to race PHRF.  We are at -9, a tough but reasonable number to try to compete to.  If the course is uphill (unlikely) or VMG running (possible) we will be at a disadvantage.  Reaching, we have an edge.  Either way, given the conditions I am feeling pretty happy to be going with the minimum allowable bodies.

 

I will try to post some updates from the course - we are pumped to race hard and then enjoy some Canadian hospitality.



#24 Left Hook

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:25 AM

Looking forward to doing this one again and finding out if 2011 was, in fact, a meteorological fluke.

 

Mike or any other anarchists... feel free to find me at either end. 



#25 NautiGirl

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:32 PM

And tomorrow you're all off. Wishing we were with you on the start line but with a wedding only 2 months away it just wasn't feasible this year. Looking forward to finally checking out Dragon, some drinks with Rail Meat and crew (I have been saving a bottle of 7 year Havana Club for you guys), seeing Minstrel and Keel Trimmer again and hopefully meeting a few more of you. I'll be tracking and cheering on Dragon and Dog Sled from shore and will see you all at the prize ceremony. Have a super race guys and girls!

#26 Rail Meat

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 03:27 PM

7 year old Havana Club and a hot blonde? My idea of heaven!

Sitting at the tent, waiting for the skipper's meeting to start. Have seen a multitude of Anarchists.

#27 NautiGirl

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

7 year old Havana Club and a hot blonde? My idea of heaven!

Sitting at the tent, waiting for the skipper's meeting to start. Have seen a multitude of Anarchists.

 

;)

 

If you beat the Soto 40, I just might throw some Cuban cigars into the mix too. :lol:

 

We should make a date for the Old Triangle on Friday.  Happy Hour from 5-7. Gumby can take the ferry across after work so he can enjoy a few, and if this gorgeous weather sticks around, I might just take Thursday and Friday off.



#28 Christian

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 02:02 AM

What? none of your signature blow jobs?

7 year old Havana Club and a hot blonde? My idea of heaven!

Sitting at the tent, waiting for the skipper's meeting to start. Have seen a multitude of Anarchists.

 

;)

 

If you beat the Soto 40, I just might throw some Cuban cigars into the mix too. :lol:

 

We should make a date for the Old Triangle on Friday.  Happy Hour from 5-7. Gumby can take the ferry across after work so he can enjoy a few, and if this gorgeous weather sticks around, I might just take Thursday and Friday off.



#29 NautiGirl

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:19 AM

Great point.

If Dragon beats the Soto, I'll celebrate by treating my fiance too.

 

What? none of your signature blow jobs?

 

7 year old Havana Club and a hot blonde? My idea of heaven!

Sitting at the tent, waiting for the skipper's meeting to start. Have seen a multitude of Anarchists.

 

;)

 

If you beat the Soto 40, I just might throw some Cuban cigars into the mix too. :lol:

 

We should make a date for the Old Triangle on Friday.  Happy Hour from 5-7. Gumby can take the ferry across after work so he can enjoy a few, and if this gorgeous weather sticks around, I might just take Thursday and Friday off.



#30 Rail Meat

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 12:29 PM

Lucky fiance... guess I will settle for cigars, rum and lovely company.

 

Docking out in 30 minutes, heading out from Boston up to the starting line.  The forecast looks....interesting.



#31 Jonathan Green

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:07 PM

Just coming up Mass Bay from Newport to catch the start. There's no wind out here. I don't envy you guys. Hope something fills in for you soon

#32 NautiGirl

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:09 PM

Thanks for the update, Johnathan.

#33 Rail Meat

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

Slow start in about 4 knots of breeze. Most boats went jib to kite to solent. We went across the line under Code 5 and have seen good speed.

Unfortunately, we missed the entry gate for the marine santuary and are back tracking .3 miles to reach it. Bad on my part.

#34 Jonathan Green

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

Saw lots of friends on the starting line yesterday. It was a real slow start but at least enough breeze filled in to get off. Here's a shot of Dragon shortly before their strart:

 

20130707_132521.jpg



#35 Rail Meat

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:33 PM

1422 on Monday.  Conditions are not as bad as either of the GRIB models would make you think, but the are still challenging.  Wind speeds from 4 knots to 15 knots, and they have clockded through 390 degrees in the past 5 hours.  Clear skies, flat seas. 

 

We need to haul ass for Brazil rock, cuz if the forecast is correct it will all get very unhappy for the boats that don't make it there by about 10 pm.  A whole lot of nothin' fills in over the course below Nova Scotia, but there will still be breeze up the coast.

 

Still beats workin'.



#36 Jonathan Green

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:24 PM

Indeed, head for the coast. I'm amazed at how far offshore Rambler went. The light air version of this race always ends better for those in close when the sea breeze fills in. Donnybrook may score big vs. Rambler here at the end.



#37 Rail Meat

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:48 AM

1747 on Monday. Well, the fog has found us.  Along with very little wind.  And what there is  has a huge amount of shear. It might be blowing 5 at the mast head, 2 on the deck and each 180 degrees apart.  The conditions are making things interesting out here, in a very slow mo sort of way.

 

Meanwhile,those that made it past Brazil are enjoying at least some breeze.  This could be painful.



#38 Your Mom

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:20 AM

It'll be interesting to see if this turns out as bad as 2009.  At least 2011 made up for it.

 

Will be interesting to see how Gadzooks does with the southerly flier.  Might do an end run around the dead spot.



#39 Rail Meat

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

0423 on Tuesday. We just tacked out.  The wind speed is nothing great ( 8 knots) but we are working it for all we are worth.  It just clocked 25 degrees and headed us, so we tacked on the shift.  I am leary of getting too close in to the southern coast, both because of land effect on the breeze and the shoaling.  At the moment we are getting a nice push from teh ebb tide but the converse lesson is coming soon and I suspect it will be a bad one.

 

Listening to two lobster men shoot the shit on 16 while I type this.   Two more tubs to lay down before they head in.  Red Lobster's "twin lobster" dinner at its source.  Their "I sea food differently" must mean "I can't sea food since the fog is so thick"



#40 NautiGirl

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:11 AM

Sitting here with my morning coffee, at my desk over looking the harbour.  I was hoping that I might see a mast or two, but Rambler is still 22 miles from the finish. 

 

Passion 4 C has gone in quite close to shore at Clark's Harbour.  Will be interesting to see how that move pans out.

 

v-max appears to be having a great race.



#41 NautiGirl

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:54 AM

I'm thinking this is Rambler I see coming into the harbour.



#42 Rail Meat

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

Well, I can tell you who it ain't...

 

We are closing in on Brazil Rock, with 13 knots of wind speed.  Still in the Code 5 but I think we are going to switching to the Solent for what look like a close hauled leg up to Hamilton.

 

I would say that last night was not our best night. Some how the Oak Cliff boat lucked into some better wind despite being within grasp.  Good on them, but now we have to figure out how to claw back a big deficit. 



#43 Rail Meat

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:35 PM

1733 on Tuesday.  We are in 13 knots of breeze , slapping our way up hill through light chop.  Fog has pulled back and we got some rain earlier this afternoon.  Boat is moving pretty well, although we are way off the pace we need to be at.  Little bit frustrated, but it is still good to be here, doing this and having fun. 

 

Forecast is for more of the same, so it is going to be an issue of making the right tacks and figuring out if an outside or coast approach makes sense.  I have no knowledge of the coastal currents here, so it is a bit of a shot in the dark.



#44 NautiGirl

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 10:56 PM

Good to hear the wind has picked up and the fog is abating a bit (seems to be filling in at the harbour though).  Sounds like you guys would be more interested in a thermos of hot coffee and a bottle of Bailey's when you arrive than rum.  :)

 

Your updates are a good reminder of how thoroughly spoiled we were in the RHSP race last summer, though that said, if I had to pick between being where you guys are, and sailing my desk, I'd rather be on a boat.

 

3 boats in--Rambler, Donnybrook, and Privateer. 

 

Anyone know why Valour retired?



#45 haligonian winterr

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 12:03 AM

Empty out your inbox man!

 

Keep pushing, the fog thins eventually, and there's plenty of cold beer and hot soup waiting for you!

 

HW



#46 Rail Meat

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 02:29 AM

Looking forward to the rum, the beer and the chowder.

 

2227 (or 2327 for the Nova Scotians) and we have tacked back out as we reached Port Mouton.  Wind was dropping along the coast but is still around 13 knots a dozen miles off shore. We are heading out for a bit to see if we can get a lift for the tack back in toward Halifax.  No fog, and a warm evening on deck.  We can see lights on the shore.

 

Pat has ripped through all the candy, and Rob is working his way through the Lucky Strikes so it is about time we make it to port.



#47 NautiGirl

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 02:04 PM

Almost done, Team Dragon.

Get in touch once you clear customs and get berthed.  If they set you up downtown, I'll need to know what kind of mix (if any) is the crew's preference. Gotta make sure your crew o' honour gets a proper Nova Scotia welcome for his generosity!

 

KT & M70 - Mush, mush boys!



#48 Your Mom

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:55 PM

I'm glad to see this year's NOR is clear about the finishing deadline.  In 2009, we were just past Brazil Rock late Wednesday night, trying to get into contact with the organizers to see if the deadline would be extended or not (the NOR set a deadline on Thursday, but left open the possibility of extension without being clear about how or when to find out if that would happen).  They eventually said yes, so we kept racing...  until we ran into problems with flights people had booked out of Halifax, which led us to eventually drop out Thursday.

 

Now it's clear...  finish by 1200 ADT Thursday if you want to be included in the awards ceremony at 1700, and finish by 1200 ADT Saturday if you want an official finish at all.

 

They should all be able to get there by Saturday, but it'll be interesting to see who guts it out past Thursday morning if the wind doesn't fill in.  That situation always produces conflict between those who want to officially finish regardless of how long it takes versus those who want to make it to the big party regardless of whether or not that comes with a RET.

 

The PHRF-5 class appears to still have a very legitimate race going.  Hopefully they'll all stick with it to the finish.  And hopefully the guys on faster boats who arrived a day or two ahead of them will meet them with beer and congratulations.  Perseverance should be rewarded.



#49 Jonathan Green

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:44 PM

I'm glad to see this year's NOR is clear about the finishing deadline.  In 2009, we were just past Brazil Rock late Wednesday night, trying to get into contact with the organizers to see if the deadline would be extended or not (the NOR set a deadline on Thursday, but left open the possibility of extension without being clear about how or when to find out if that would happen).  They eventually said yes, so we kept racing...  until we ran into problems with flights people had booked out of Halifax, which led us to eventually drop out Thursday.

 

Now it's clear...  finish by 1200 ADT Thursday if you want to be included in the awards ceremony at 1700, and finish by 1200 ADT Saturday if you want an official finish at all.

 

They should all be able to get there by Saturday, but it'll be interesting to see who guts it out past Thursday morning if the wind doesn't fill in.  That situation always produces conflict between those who want to officially finish regardless of how long it takes versus those who want to make it to the big party regardless of whether or not that comes with a RET.

 

The PHRF-5 class appears to still have a very legitimate race going.  Hopefully they'll all stick with it to the finish.  And hopefully the guys on faster boats who arrived a day or two ahead of them will meet them with beer and congratulations.  Perseverance should be rewarded.

 

I couldn't agree more. I had the same challenge in 2009 figuring out if the race was still on. Enormous respect for those who put the race before the party and tough it out all the way to the finish line.



#50 Left Hook

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

That was fun!



#51 keel trimmer

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:01 PM

That was fun!

 

You get your stuff back?



#52 Left Hook

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:49 PM

Complications leading to a delay.



#53 keel trimmer

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:25 PM

Unencumbered by Technology - Dogsled’s Romp to Halifax

smile4daze.tumblr.com

 

 

How to speak Canadian, part one…

"two-four" - a J/24 or a quantity of beer, depending on context.


File sharing is wrong, and the software that facilitates it will wreck your computer.

The vacation started badly, with Mike and I huddled over the Expedition laptop trying to resuscitate it following the installation of some streaming software, and the unsuccessful ‘geek squad’ clean up that came afterwards.   We abandoned the effort about 12 hours before the start of the race, since a full OS rebuild was needed.  Unwilling to buy a fresh copy of Windows or replace the machine, the skipper chose to go with gribs on the iPad, the chartplotter, and paper charts.  In addition, without the laptop, we didn’t have a way to use the satphone for downloads, so the next time we’d have gribs would be when we were in sight of Nova Scotia.

Before we bailed on the laptop, Todd sent a message to Expedition’s support line.  I mention this because within an hour we had two replies, one from Nick (the developer) and one from Peter Isler.  We later learned that Peter was replying from another boat on the same race.  The fact that they couldn’t help us is irrelevant - the level of service is what matters here, and the only word I have to describe it is ‘exceptional’.  Gents, thank you - you have another customer for life, and every member of the Dogsled team is standing by to buy your drinks should we ever finish within 24 hours of you.

Speaking of the crew, we were a pretty green bunch of huskies, with only 4 of the 10 having raced previously on Dogsled.  Like all my rides this summer, Dogsled is having a damned hard time finding crew, but that’s another story.  While some were new to the boat, no one was new to racing, and part of the challenge of this race would be to get the best performance we could from the team we had.

The morning of the race, we’d all been up early looking at the latest data, and each of us had reached the same conclusion - go south for pressure.  Southwest winds were expected to fill in, and all the models agreed that a big hole was going to form over the rhumb line (for the landlubbers, that’s the shortest distance between your origin and destination).  Therefore, unless you wanted to bake a souffle while enroute and get a good long look (or two) at Yarmouth, the only question was how far south to steer.  We chose a point about 40 miles south of Brazil Rock.

In one last technical hail mary pass, Mike tried to make his Macbook emulate a PC, so it could talk to a sat phone via a USB port that was emulating a serial port, using drivers that were written several years ago for a machine about 1/100th as powerful.  Anyone care to take a guess how that worked out?

The Sailing Instructions direct the fleet to sail a 3 mile coastline promenade, before turning east.

Our start sucked………  The fact that my family might actually read this limits the choice of words I might use to finish that sentence - I’m a sailor, ‘nuf said.  The wind dropped away as the timer counted down, and we just weren’t playing things right for light-air.  We crossed the line 2.5 minutes after our gun; raised our asymmetrical spinnaker for only the second time ever, and then it really got soft. 
The team kept the boat moving, but only barely.  The class that started after ours didn’t have enough breeze to clear the line, so a postponement ensued.

Our initial heading took us inshore, before a turn to the south for the death march, I mean promenade.  In order to reach and round the first mark, for the first and second time ever, we gybed Dogsled’s asym.  The only reason we got away with it was the lack of wind.  Even so, it wasn’t pretty.

OK, so a crummy start, but the team was only looking ahead.  This really was the only time anything went substantially wrong.  We set course for the entry gate into the 26 mile box that was defined in order to keep us from hitting any whales (evidently it worked) and began to enjoy the increased breeze, albeit 180 degrees off the forecast.

"For a reaching / running race, we were close-hauled a lot".  That was later in the race.  The first 12 hours after clearing shore and
picking up the northeast breeze was definitely the most fun I had actually sailing the boat.  Main and Asym through the night, maintaining about 100 degrees magnetic, and averaging 9 knots of boat speed.  Windspeed…  Thunderstorms followed us from sunset until sunrise, never quite overtaking us.  That night I performed my first nighttime pass while at the helm - maintaining plenty of distance, we hardened up and easily went up and over top of one of the two double-masted yachts (yes they were yachts, not boats) entered in the race (both later retired due to lack of wind).  I’m pretty sure I was the only one who knew how white my knuckles were.

Winds began to diminish Monday morning, and just to keep the boat moving and keep some semblance of our plan to run south, we turned down more or less due South on the compass and kept on trucking…well, oozing.  At noon the wind did a cute trick - turned 360 degrees in about 1 minute.  The asym had outlived its usefulness, so #1 jib up plus the mighty staysail, and we turned more or less to course.

Generally we saw 10-15 true, except when it got light.  Which was a lot of the time. Later in the day, winds picked up and backed, so the unlikely combination of staysail and asymmetrical kept the boatspeed up till about 6pm, when we were headed big time and it was back to the jib.  We had to tack over to starboard late that night to fight the flood tide dragging us north, but 3 hours later back on port it was clear we hadn’t achieved our goal - the yellowbrick track tells the tale…

 

Attached File  doglsed track mhor 2013.png   372.79K   8 downloads

Back to starboard tack, playing the wind as best we could, throwing the staysail up and down several times during the night.

The breeze peaked on Tuesday a few hours before sunrise, rising briefly to 20 knots true wind speed.  We had to put in a reef to deal with the increased pressure.  Sadly an hour later we shook it out again, and as we approached the Nova Scotia coast, the weather changed.  Our Canadian crew bid a tearful farewell to the warm and dry of American shores, and the RDF (rain drizzle fog) filled my American lungs, and condensed on my eyelashes.

The log entry from 7pm on Tuesday reads “pounding our way to Halifax….again.  Cold, Wind, Fog, NS here we are".

The rest of the race we were close hauled, usually on port tack, but occasionally on starboard.  The gribs we downloaded off the Nova Scotia coast matched well with the information we’d gathered at the start of the race; in other words in direct contradiction with the conditions we experienced.

At Hotel Bravo, our final turning point before entering Halifax Harbor, we had a bizarre pissing match with a lovely Swan, doublehanded, that didn’t want to give us the mark room the Racing Rules of Sailing clearly entitled us to.  Must have been the lack of sleep.  363 mile race and we get into a mark room thang at mile 360.  The gamesmanship threw their concentration, because it took much longer than it should have for them to get their downwind act together.

But not the Dogsled crew.  With an element of ‘let’s hoist her, and figure out the wind range once we’re sailing", the still new Asym kite went up, and we promptly broached.  Twice.  As an aside, for those of you who have only sailed modern sport boats recently (or ever), a broach on this old lead sled is a far less disruptive event.  In fact, I only knew of the first broach when I reviewed the log to write this story, and the skipper had noted two broaches in his entry.

Once the lines of communication (not to mention the lines that actually control the bloody sail) were reestablished and stabilized, Dogsled hunkered down and headed into Halifax harbor and over the finish line, finishing at about 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon.  Our bowman was in a climbing harness ready to scale the mast, because we’d had a couple of strange hangups during the hoist, like possibly the stripped halyard jumping its sheave, but when we dropped the sail it came right down, no drama.  The ancient Ford diesel cranked to life and we were home.

Although our finish wasn’t so hot, 5th out of 9 boats, it could have been a lot worse.  These were not our conditions.  However, Dogsled’s ability to keep going through light air surprised me - inertia really does count for something.  Besides our class finish, we were also in the running for the Olin J Stephens trophy for best finish between last year’s Bermuda and this year’s MHOR.  We took 4th, beating the mighty Rambler.  In conclusion, I’d say Dogsled is a great boat to have for the right conditions, and a good boat to have for the wrong ones.  Woof.

 

 

 



#54 I Sail The Black Boat

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 12:37 PM

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=-b0hn7SPFJ0

 

No whales were harmed durring the filming of this video,  I was getting some rack time in when that happened...



#55 Murphness

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:34 PM

Typical Darby sitting there and smirking while they wrestle to flake the jib on the bow!



#56 Left Hook

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:53 PM

You missed all the good bits






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