5o5's at the SDYC Hot Rum
Bill Jenkins & Dan Merino - November 20, 2006
Only two boats made it to the start line for this race, and Team Bollocks turned back at Ballast Point with a broken shround adjuster. Anyone who missed it because of unfavorable wind predictions made a big mistake.
It was a monster reach from Point Loma all the way out to the 1st turning mark, with wind averaging 15 knots and gusts big enough to force huge bear aways just to stay upright. We doused the spinnaker half way out so we could head up and fetch the mark, and it was still a screamer, passing boats left and right, spray flying.
The wind gradually died off going down to the leeward mark, setting up a massive pile up of the boats behind us. We stayed ahead of the mess and headed back out to the wind line for a very enjoyable beat in 12ish kts into the harbor.
The wind died off for good once we got past Ballast Point, and soon boats like Stark Raving Mad
with huge mast heights were passing us willy nilly. That's when we called it a day and started rocking toward Shelter Island. Suddenly we heard "No rocking! Stop Rocking!" which I assumed was just some clueless over stimulated rail meat guy making a fool of him self since pretty much everyone knew we weren't actually racing. Found out later that it was DC himself yelling at us, supposedly as a joke. So that would be the second highlight of the day, sort of, being yelled at by a legend of the sport.
The Team Bollocks! tale was a little different.
Geoff & Mark
We started to the windward side of the line as we have proven in the past that starting to leeward of a bazillion boats with bigger rigs than we have is NOT fast. The wind filled in at exactly the same time as our start and we immediately set the kite. We were in the process of rolling a bunch boats all stacked up and we were flying along when there was a huge bang as the pole tried to clip the head stay and the mast started to go over. I bore off to keep the rig upright and ping-ponged off a bigger boat to leeward (who happened to have John Gallagher on board) who could not bear off due to the boats to leeward of him not bearing off. We quickly doused the kite, dropped the main and jibed over to get the pressure on the port shroud which was still intact. Mark quickly used a spare piece of spectra to jury-rig the shroud to the tank just in time to get off the race course as the BIG guys came blasting straight at us at mach 2!
Turns out, the 3 block for the shroud adjuster ripped clean through of the bulk-head (through the glass, nomex core and a ¼” plastic backing plate). Super happy we saved the rig and made it back under our own power (no tows for us!).
Was definitely a good PR race for us… a lot of the bigger boats I know people on all came up to us after the race and said “hi” and said that the boat looks fun. It was fun… sailing circles around the bigger boats in puffs at the pre-start, warm sun and cold beers and when the puffs hit and they could see the acceleration of the 5o5 while their behemoths just leaned over and their beers slid across the decks.
USA 7095 will be out of commission for a while however until repairs are made.
Geoff and Mark
“Team Deferred Maintenance”
--- Bill Jenkins comments
Pictures by Da-Woody. He was a few minutes behind us for the reach out to the first mark, but there are some good carnage shots to give the general flavor of the situation.
-- Geoff Has Pictures! (see email stream) his comments below followed by Marks summary...
I have had several requests for pics on how “not” to rig shroud adjusters (I just think people secretly like to see cored boats in pain).
Anyway, here is the damage… really just looks like a bullet hole (and sounded like one too). Upon hindsight, it is probably not a good set up due to the angles (disclaimer: the boat came this way) but has survived a lot of big air incl. a SC worlds. Figures a San Diego day would be its failure day!
We are going to the 7:1 mounted on the tanks (with a safety) as the replacement system.
I have a theory on the failure mechanism.
Clearly the forward bulkhead's structural integrity had gradually diminshed over the past two years since we took ownership of #7095. The root cause is the colossal quantity of empty Tecate cans you've hurled from the helm position toward the forward hold, almost all of which miss, hitting the region that failed.
At last count you're hit/miss ratio is around or about 1:15,783. But I could be off by a few.