More Minus 24

More Minus 24

Of course our ‘Minus 24” piece attracted an opinion or two about the poor showing at the 2009 Melges 24 US Nationals this weekend, as well as a typical SA shitfight.  The event itself starts tomorrow at St. Francis, and while the weak turnout may make it a snoozy affair, long time Melges 24 sailor and SA contibutor J.A.G. aboard Lounge Act always makes things interesting in his daily reports.  Here’s today’s:

Thursday in SF was a Chamber of Commerce day– sunny, windy and flood to keep the waves down. Lounge Act went sailing before noon in 12-15 knots to practice our starboard windward roundings (in a strong flood they round to starboard!?!?). By the 1pm start of the practice race, it was blowing 18-22 with a good flood going. The start line was square to the wind, but not square to the flood, so it was very hard to get across the line. Ullman, Monsoon and Full Throttle got of the line well and the rest of us were struggling to get around the pin boat. Crazy sailing playing the light/shifty air by the warehouses vs. playing the pressure in the current each beat. Our speed downwind was good and we rolled Vince Brun at the first spin set, which was nice. I completely overstood the leeward layline and we gave back up the two boats we’d passed on the first downwind. After two laps of the 3 lap practice race, we were in 6th, when everyone started dropping out.

One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen was watching the kiteboarding racing on Thursday night. 40-50 kites in 20-25 knots racing windward leeward courses. As Dave Ullman said, "This makes us look pretty stupid!" Watching Chip Wasson try to port tack the fleet– he ducked the majority to get play the ebb, but rounded the top mark in 3rd– was insane. On the second start, a kiter crashed at the boat end and his kite took out 4 other kites at the start. Crazy! While we were driving out, there was a group of new potential competitors learning the rules and how the format works. Could you imagine if we had an instructor on the breakwall in SB explaining what was happening and how to get involved? I’d think new boat owners would come out of the woodwork from all directions. Overall, we are having a great time. The racing starts tomorrow and we’ll know how we go with new sails tomorrow.

-J.A.G. and the rest of the Lounge Act.