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Thread: Help A "Newbie" Get his Bearings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    East Bay (soon)
    Posts
    4

    Default Help A "Newbie" Get his Bearings

    I want to respect the forums rules, if this post violates policy please let me know where the best place to file this is. I tried a few searches for what I am posting and nothing turned up.

    Greetings! I recently got a job in the bay area and will be relocating at the end of the month. I currently live aboard a boat in Mexico that I have cruised extensively singlehanded for the past year. At this point, I have a fair share of multi-day passages under my belt, but nothing longer than a week. Seeing as I am giving up the cruising thing for the time being (I wish I didn't have to, but alas, such is life...) I figured I could scratch my itch doing the racing thing with you guys.

    Only problem is, I have almost zero racing experience. My boat is a classic, but hardly competitive, to say it nicely — She is a 1964 Pearson Vanguard with a phrf north of 200 (and will be staying in San Carlos for next few months anyway while I get my feet planted in the bay). My sailing style has been to set a course with the windvane, and then go inside and read for a while until conditions change... I imagine racing is quite different than this.

    I was wondering if you guys have any advice for someone in my position. It would be nice to stay active with sailing and I definitely prefer the challenge of sailing by myself (though I am open to crew on double handed boat, I have tried racing on a typical race boat and did not enjoy the crowd). If I decide I like this sort of thing what kind of boats should I be looking at (one of the perks of having a job is you can think about these sorts of questions)? Any other relevant advice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    518

    Default

    Cool - welcome! Some quick thoughts:
    1. Nothing wrong with racing the boat you have. There are plenty of boats racing in SSS with PHRF > 200.
    2. Racing as crew on a doublehanded boat is a great way to get your feet wet if you haven't done a lot of racing. Most SSS races have a doublehanded division. Or get an experienced SSSer whose boat is out of action to come with you. I'd volunteer myself, but I'm about to follow my boat to SoCal, and there aren't a lot of shorthanded races left this year.
    3. Keep an eye on the SSS website toward the end of the year, when all the shorthanded races for 2018 will be posted. And/or pick up the YRA / Latitude 38 annual racing calendar about the same time for this and other info.
    4. If you do decide to race your own boat, join YRA at the end of the year and apply for a PHRF certificate. Some clubs running shorthanded races don't require a certificate, but SSS does.
    5. You may want to skip the Three Bridge Fiasco at the end of January. 350+ boats converging on the start line can be stressful.
    I'm sure others will chime in.
    Max

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alameda CA
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Welcome -
    Everything Max says is true...
    I would add that philosophically there are about equal portions of us concerned with getting somewhere first and those more interested in the journey.
    Just don't let the "racing" part put you off.

    DH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,930

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    Quote Originally Posted by Critter View Post
    You may want to skip the Three Bridge Fiasco at the end of January. 350+ boats converging on the start line can be stressful.
    It's the mark roundings that stress me out...

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    East Bay (soon)
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    Default

    haha Holy cow! I definitely won't make that my first race to be sure. I did have the boat in Berkeley for a while up until 2012 and I remember that being a formidable race.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the good advice. The first challenge will be bashing up (or maybe shipping??) before I worry about racing, which is all fine and well as it seems the season is over for 2017. But that is a problem for mañana as the saying goes...

    I wanted to get the feelers out now though so I can start planning for the coming year. I will likely have access to a Tartan 30 through a friend of mine who will most likely let me sail her by myself given my experience (though I doubt they will let me race her given the increased chances of collision as seen in the photo above), so I may be out doing bay cruises in the meantime. Any other opportunities for Singlehanded events or races in the off season?

    Thanks again for the warm welcome and good advice!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,930

    Default

    Before Jackie yells "fake news" I'll clarify that the photo above is from Lake Union's "Duck Dodge." But the Three Bridge Fiasco has had similar moments.

    The SSS Annual Meeting is November 8th at 1930 (do we have a location yet?). If you're in town, come and introduce yourself. Except for being socially-challenged and having poor personal hygiene, we're an approachable lot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
    Posts
    244

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    Quote Originally Posted by lbrindze View Post
    [I] My sailing style has been to set a course with the windvane, and then go inside and read for a while until conditions change... I imagine racing is quite different than this.
    Racing is 100% different than this. I have been a single handed cruiser for many years, following the approach you describe. I am now planning on entering the 2018 SHTP, so this year I have been racing – single handed, with crew, as crew; even doing committee boat duty. Racing is very different, but it will make you a better sailor, and is very worth doing. I second all of the comments above, including race the boat you have. I’ll be racing a Valiant 32 to Hawaii. Get someone with racing experience to sail in double handed races and you will learn a lot.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alameda CA
    Posts
    345

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    The SSS Annual Meeting is November 8th at 1930 (do we have a location yet?). If you're in town, come and introduce yourself.
    Oakland Yacht Club

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    East Bay (soon)
    Posts
    4

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    Count me in! I will be in the Bay Area by 10/30 and will most likely be living in alameda or Oakland so that should be very convenient.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,930

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    Cool. I'll be the one wearing an SSS shirt. Here you go but be careful - excessive speed may be addictive.

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