trouble every day

on board

trouble every day

Super-skiffy Skip McCormack checks in from the skiffy-filled J/125 “Double Trouble” at the pointy end of the Pac Cup fleet.  A little Zappa history lesson is in the title.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012  6:00PM PST
13-18kts @ 200-205
A5/Spin Staysail/Full main

Day 6

This boat has been LIT UP.  We have been pushing hard.  The last two nights were spent sending it into complete darkness.  There has been no visual reference what-so-ever until last night when we had stars to drive by for 30 minutes until we were engulfed by another big, black, horizon eating rain cloud.

No throttling back, keep pushing, pushing, pushing to get to the leverage point first in an attempt to remove options from our competitors.  We have now gybed and are headed to Hawaii.  Now we are officially allowed to talk about that first Mai Tai.  No more of this unofficial talk.

So far, Jody has the boat speed record at 20.8.  She is killing it, having gained huge confidence in her driving skills.

Matt is silently dominating.  One of the most under-spoken and over-capable people on an offshore program, he is always aware of the surroundings and looking for ways to push the boat harder.

Trevor is the secret weapon on this program.  He knows every mode the boat has and how to gain every ounce of boat speed out of it.  Not only have he and Andy spent hours racing and learning this boat, but he has had his hand in designing the sail plan which gives us many different options for different conditions.

Andy has glued us together.  He loves this boat and has spent countless hours to keep it in fighting condition.  He is doing really well on the helm, but we have to keep pushing him to get more time in because he just wants to go faster!!

I’ve switched my 6 hour on 6 hour off watch schedule so that for the last four nights of the race I’m on midnight to 6am.  Doing so puts three people on deck during the hours of most wind from 11pm and 5am.   We rotate drivers often and keep people fresh on trimming.

After our gybe, we spent a few hours cleaning the boat, sponging every nook that hid water while we were on starboard gybe.  "Bleachy sprayed" (Jody’s nickname for Clorox cleaner) the galley, head, bunks, nav station and floor boards.  Worked on the instruments to get these damn Ockam’s reading properly and it was off to the races.  We had to do our third back down a few hours ago to remove a huge piece of fishing net that had lodged itself firmly around the keel.

We have decided to back off the step a little bit this afternoon/evening having gotten around the corner in a good position on the fleet.  We have changed kites and going into low mode.  We are a little underpowered in the lulls, but have plenty of power in the puffs.  This setup will take us through this evening when the cloud activity generates bigger pressure and we can decide what we want to do tomorrow morning based on fleet position and weather conditions.

Thank you all for the great input.  We love to hear from everyone and it’s been a really fun race so far.  We are keeping the hammer down but being conservative towards the finish.  Router has us 744 miles to go, and finishing in about 2.5 days from now, Friday morning.  Last update should come sometime Thursday.