welcome to hell, population 6
The latest from K-Mag and the boys on the J/125 Timeshaver. Not pretty. the fleet to Track ’em.
Monday, 1:00 pm – Wind has died and we are floating. Went for a swim and we are now trying to fashion a fishing line.. Hold on.. Daniel just informed me that his last name is actually spelled Geissmann.. sorry about that one buddy.
So back to the sailing.. this is ugly. But the good news is we are still first in class and first overall blazing towards PV at 1.3kts (all current). There will be no quitting this one so we are pushing through this stuff and are planning on being at the finish line in the future, not near future…
Sunday night – After driving back from new Orleans and getting one night of sleep it was time to hop on a the J-125 (the best designed J-Boat ever) ‘Timeshaver" and race to PV. I was going to try and report every day but with the conditions we have had that has been impossible. We started out well and took a little inside route than the other boats in our class past the Coronado Islands. Seemed to work out and when we got the 3A up we managed to work outside where we wanted to be. Day turned to night and the fun began… Wind builds and it is on. This thing is a MACHINE! When owner Viggo Torbenbson bought it I was salivating at the chance to drive it in big breeze. With a crew of Long time friends Daniel Geismen and Ben Lakin, as well as buddies Jeff Shenton and Jack Maranto, I knew PV was the race to be on.
So around 9ish on Thursday Daniel, Jack and I came out for a 3 hours shift. Instantly the wind started to persistently build into the 20’s ( I assume this as the only instruments we had are heading and boat speed) and the boat really started to light up. 15’s consistent and planning modes (yes this J-Boat actually planes) into the upper 18’s. Connecting waves is easy and we were in our mode. Wind builds, reef in, 6A up and it is getting fun. We we wake up to more wind and bigger waves. Speeds in the 20’s and a good day. Night falls and the wind builds again! our watch is on and we have the 4A up with a reef in the main. The boat is pitch black as we are having trouble with our electric system (got it fixed thankfully)…lots of water involved. We are so fast and all I can do driving is put the boat into the darkest spot in front of me. This has to have been some of the most fun and intense sailing I have ever done. The boat performs like a dream in these conditions but at the same time makes you pucker up like a… well you figure it out. But if you have ever driven a boat like this in 30+ and big swells you know what I am talking about.
Crew work is amazing and we having a blast. Daniel is driving and asks me if we should put the 6A up.. can’t look at true wind indicator so I just say let me drive for a minute… Holy shit! Waves are coming from both directions behind so you are never below 18 as you hop from wave to wave.. epic. But he is right.. way to much power. All crew on deck.. 6A up and the shackles bust so no sheets. Jack is really good on the bow and we manage to get the sail down. #4 up as we band the 6A (I hit 18 with main up alone!) Takes a while but the 6A goes up as the wind starts to die.
Sunday morning hits and we are drifting. Dry the boat out pack sails and get the morning check in… First in class and first overall. Let’s hope we can negotiate this light shitty stuff and make the first few days of really pushing the boat count.
See you in PV.
And now from the SC 50 Hula Girl, battling Timeshaver in Div 3…
This morning, as expected, the breeze for us out here in the 2012 San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race began to die. It was a prolonged, slow death, which gave us time to go from the jib top, to the code 0, to the 2A, to the 1A, and in the early evening, to the ultimate in agony, to slatting mode. We expect it’s the same inshore. At the morning roll call, the boats along the beach were reporting 4-5 knots while we still carried 8-10… so hopefully we have had a bit more out here than on the inside. And now our breeze has shifted around to the West (5 knots from 270 at the moment) and filled a touch and we are scooting along on perfectly flat seas doing some 1.4 times windspeed straight at Puerto Vallarta, 400 miles to go.
Thanks again MIke for yet another addition to the soundtrack for this race: If you can’t be with the wind you love, love the wind you’re with. At this point, we love any wind.
As far as standings, who knows what’s going to happen. The big boats are going to hit a wall (but honestly I haven;t been looking too closely at their weather, since what’s going on locally has been keeping me busy). The J/125 is sitting pretty in first. We were actually second in class, second overall at roll call, but Ocelot didn’t check in and I suspect they have been rumbling. We were pretty much boat-for-boat with Blue Blazes in terms of distance to finish and they are well inside us so that will provide a good benchmark for what is working at tomorrow morning’s roll call.
Not much else to report…. a long day with lots of concentration from the team. Weird little red crabs all around the boat. Yours truly took a dive off the bow to snatch a piece of stubborn kelp form the keel as she skid by at a not very intimidating 1 knot. A care package sent along from Barrett ion San Diego scheduled for opening today at 5 pm couldn’t have been better timed. We were essentially parked and were able to enjoy the sunset right about then. But, I was shocked to find contraband in there, which I of course immediately attempted to confiscate for the the good of the crew, but was outnumbered, so the gang got their grog. And we drifted into a beautiful evening, Really nice out here, quiet like no place else on earth. You find yourself talking in whispers. And when the water stars slipping by the hull and you hear the winches starting to click-click, it’s music to a sailor’s ears and our own little symphony of sorts.
But now the breeze is back: so iPod and Ramones, here we come… got to keep this ride moving!
All the best, and we’ll see you at the 11pm weather fax broadcast, or roll call in the morning….
Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team