Bill Jenkins - August 3, 2002Teams Kitty, TGIF, and Weasel competed last Saturday, along with the FD Reality Check, for the SCRA Championship. I don’t know what we would have done if the FD had won, but fortunately they did not. The wind was great that day, shifty but with sustained 10kts several times during the afternoon. There was a lot of trapezing both upwind and on the reaches. Team Weasel sat out the start of the first race having been chosen by the 505 gods to do some last minute drilling. The good news is that the new centerboard from Waterat finally fits, and is now fully installed. We managed to launch and get out on the bay in time to see that TGIF was showing Reality and Kitty what the back of a 505 looks like from a distance in the first race.
The race committee had obviously made a decision to keep the action going, and as soon as the last 505 finished there was a warning for the next race. The second race was started even before the Lasers finished their first race, and the RC kept this pace up all day. Great job guys! Racing was tight and tactical between Top Guys, Reality, and Kitty. Top Guys always seemed to get it together at the end of the race to pull ahead of Kitty, and usually Reality as well.
Kitty was forced to leave before the last race due to some technical problems, including a massively twisted spinnaker halyard. They still have their halyard going through a swivel block on a padeye, and this seems to be the cause of the twisting. Team Weasel used to have a huge problem with this as well, but since we removed the padeye and replaced it with a sheave box, the twists have disappeared. So we recommend everyone else do the same.
After the SCRA racing ended, there was still enough time for all the 505s to convene on the MBYC front deck to discuss tactics, rig settings, and maneuvers. Then TGIF and Weasel headed back out for a couple quick rounds of tack-and-duck/roll’em before calling it a day.
Weasel won the regatta with, I believe, TGIF in second. Results should be posted on the SCRA website soon.
Mike Jue - January 6, 2002Everyone had been anxiously awaiting the first race of 2002. Team Weasel finally had their boat back from Portugal; Mental Floss had a new owner/driver; it was Roger’s first race in his new boat Freebee, Bill and Karl were eager to test out the “new” Kitty, and we were eager to test out some of our modifications.
Sunday morning greeted us with blue skies and light wind as we arrived at the club and everyone wondered if it would pick up. Now it wouldn’t be a true Fleet 3 regatta without the sound of a cordless drill in the morning. Unfortunately this time, it was Team Taz drilling new centerboard bolt-holes. A miss-drilled hole found us waiting for epoxy to cure so naturally we joined the team for breakfast. Chris Shand set the stage for the day when she said “an old classic can beat a new boat out here [Mission Bay]”. Taking this to heart, Marc and I decided to spot everybody the first race and casually rigged Taz on the beach while watching the wind build and the fleet duke it out. In true World’s form, the Weasels got ahead early in the first race and kept extending their lead. Marc remarked, “How did they get soooo far ahead of everybody else?”
In the second race, all five boats were on the line in close quarters, but the Weasels got out to an early lead again and stayed there. We settled into second and kept sailing fast. By the final downwind leg, we had a comfortable lead over everyone except Bill and Dan who were way ahead. Next thing we know we’re swimming. By the time we got the boat up we were last. But whoa what just happened down at the leeward mark? It looks like Pitch-a-Kitty and Mental Floss are tangled up and yelling at each other. (Ask Bill, Karl, Chris Stomberg, or Geoff about this one.) We sneak by and finish third behind Weasel and Freebee.
Race 3 found five boats starting and only 4 boats finishing as Weasel’s vang went twang. The wind had filled in a bit more and we actually raked back a little. Very much fun. Can’t remember much, but somehow we sailed fast and found ourselves 2nd behind Bill and Karl. In the fourth race Mental Floss lost her tiller so now there were three.
Race 5 was a blast. Pitch-a-Kitty was late but they were fast and eventually took the lead. That is until the final downwind leg. They jibe-set and went downwind left. We went downwind right and barely passed them before the leeward mark. We both rounded and headed up on port with good speed. I gave warning and yelled “Tacking” and threw Taz over. As we settled in on the lay line to the finish, we could see Kitty’s centerboard rising skyward through our mainsail. Taz wins this one.
Race 6 brought lighter air and a 1-lap triangle only course. All three boats were close until the reaching mark. We ended up bumping Pitch-a-Kitty’s boom and had to do penalty turns. At the finish, Freebee and Taz drag raced for 2 and 3 with Taz narrowly sneaking into 2nd to win the regatta.
In true Fleet 3 form, the 505ers were the last ones standing at the post-race party as we finished off the SCRA stash of light beer.
In the words of a U.S. Ski Team member, “We don’t suck anymore.” Well at least not as much as we used too. Thanks for all the fun on Sunday. That was some of the closest racing we've had!
John Billings - July 7, 2001Great wind. I asked John III about this, and he said, " yep, this wind occurs 2x per week in the summer. Usually when the juniors are out." This time, it was doing its thing for us. The sailboards were flying across on reaches, just where the RC dropped the hook and set up for six great races. Team Kitty and Team Fever went the "normal" RC location and did not find the Cal 25. I believe that Fever found the starting line, but the Kitty never did (at least for the first race).
Stronger than normal breezes had all four 505 capsizing at one time or another on Mission Bay last Saturday. Team Kitty was no exception. Billings and Billings have not gone over since the Waterat was purchased last February. This changed, when a gust (on Mission Bay!) of about 18+ mph took us by surprise! We missed the start of the first race. Team TGIF, Team Fever and Team Taz took off and sailed the course as the Kitty tried out some new transom flaps, after dousing the chute "in a fully reclined position" i.e. on our side. TGIF, with Steve Schnelker driving with Fleet Captain Chris Stomberg dealing with the forward systems, took their first bullet of the day, after Fever went over somewhere on the course. I found out later, that Fever had tested dousing while on her side as well! Taz appeared to be struggling a little with the wind, but stayed upright as far as Kitty could see (which was not too far . . ).
Nailed again, in the same place. Swamped and draining on the next start, Team Kitty slogged around the course and made a third. TGIF caught Fever and took the second race. Team Fever, with Bill McKinney driving and Chris Shand up front, had a great start, but appeared not to get the powering settings right for this "Triangle - Sausage" course. Team Taz was there, and finished behind a wet Kitty.
Kitty Swamped again! but this time drained out fast enough to make a fair start. De-powered to 25'-4" and ramed to 5, we picked the lucky side of a tourists boat ( Mission Bay Belle - stern wheeler). This decision was based on the fact that Fever and TGIF went the other way. . nothing devious, just a flyer. Kitty was almost a leg ahead at the finish.
* Technical divergence . . .
As we had established an overlap over two boatlengths away, on the same tack, we did have luffing rights. We did not do anything, as TGIF make the change to port. No more "mast abeam" As soon as Steve and Chris were fully involved, we gibed to port, and sailed dead even to the leeward mark. Kitty had the inside and a good douse. Rounding, we had stayed ahead for the short weather leg to the finish.