Thanks for the response. When we did Pac Cup (as crew) on the J/130 we really wanted to be able to square back. When we did it on our J/105, we never felt the need to do that. We actually had days and days of tight reaching and several other days of broad reaching in 18-25kts. We must have done something right as we won our class when Sweet Okole broke their rudder.
This year was quite different by all accounts - congratulations for getting through it! I read between the lines expecting the thoughts of "never doing another ocean race", we've all had those...
It sounds like the chainplate became detached. I'm not sure how the chainplate was attached. Maybe a tie bar and not a bulkhead?
Eric, I don't think the J/120 would have been better for this one. More comfortable, sure, but both our boats have fundamental flaws for heavy downwind conditions. You need to be able to square back the pole and if necessary be able to wing out a jib. We didn't have that option on either boat. For this year, even the best boats (1 & 2 overall) spent time wing on wing.
Personally, I would never do this race again on a boat without the ability to square back the pole. Some years, when it is light, that won't be a big deal, but when it blows, having to angle across the waves just sucks.
Really looking forward to following your trip in 2018. You guys already have the preparation and the skill to do well. Two years for refinements and you'll be a real threat.
We find that selective amnesia allows to us to want to do this race again, but I was quite clear with myself during the race that I would never cross an ocean again. But then somehow you start thinking about what you could do differently next time to be faster and more comfortable.
Anyway, Spadefoot is now for sale. We did what we wanted to do with the boat. We sailed a bunch at home and raced it to Hawaii. 2 days faster than 2014 on a slower rated boat. Mission accomplished. No plans to do Pac Cup again in the near future, so having two boats, both capable of crossing oceans, isn't necessary anymore. If anyone else wants to race Spadefoot offshore, i now have some great, simple ideas to make it better.