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Thread: discussion of the non spin class in the SSS

  1. #11
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    In over 20 years (with some boatless-year breaks in there), Ted...I not ONCE won the overall season. Every SSS trophy I won is sitting on a chest in my study, I can see them from here. All three of them. The best season finish I ever notched was eleventh, Dan Alvarez edged me out of the top ten that year.

    Why? Lots of reasons, I wasn't willing to spend the money is one, but the REAL reason is that I am an OK racing skipper but not a particularly good one. My fine-tune sail trimming skills are so-so, I'm good at making bad decisions on where to go. I'm plenty competent enough, have been to Hawaii solo twice and around the Farallones so many times I can't count them any more but those things don't win Bay or ocean races.

    Here's another reason... I didn't go out there to WIN. I went out there to challenge myself to do better. I'm not trying to "Beat Bob" (that'd be a waste of time!) or "Beat Greg" (fat chance!)... or "Beat Synthia" (I almost did beat her boat-for-boat once....but then my boat gave hers about 50 seconds a mile) I went out there to face the challenges of handling my boat well, learning new things, trying new stuff (asymmetric spinnaker for a couple of races in my last season). It was always nice to finish somewhere in the top of my division, but that was never the primary goal.


    You wrote this --- "We all know that sailing under non spinnaker has big disadvantages in SSS races when it comes to start times, courses and likely effects when a boat finish." --- Bunk.. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I've been beaten boat for boat by non-spinnaker boats that rate slower than mine. How many races hit big wind shadows and virtual re-starts in the middle of the race? LOTS. I really thing you're way off the mark going on and on about the disadvantages of sailing non-spinnaker. That, and if it bothers you so much, if you're so convinced that you're at a disadvantage, then get a spinnaker and use it. There's a good challenge for you....running a spinnaker singlehanded, with no autopilot.

    What's your goal?

    If you know what your goal is, and if it's not "finishing in the top five for the season" or "Winning the SSS Season" then why worry about it?
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    1962Buesher "Aristocrat" tenor saxophone
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Alameda, CA
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    Alan - Our approach into SSS has been very similar. I read everything you write and consider your view point with a bit of wisdom and weight.
    I have always shoe stringed a boat and racing program on such margins that would make the most frugal Scot shiver. All my personal boats were always free or less than 500 dollars, all weeks from the crusher. I have always done and make nearly everything myself. I have been successful in capturing top spots in other sailing organizations (twice Master Mariners Class Winners as well as the Central Bay/Estuary stuff) despite my tightness. I have been very lucky to have incredible mentors and friends who give me advice. In return I will always drop my own boat projects, freely lend my time and efforts to help them rebuild, restore and join their race programs. Although you never took me up on my offers of help, I would and still will come if you ever needed me.

    You asked me about what I want. My goal is to finish within the top 25 of the SSS. I am quite competitive when it comes to sports and games. For me to justify the ultimate goal of doing 2023 SSS Transpac to myself i need to find measure among the best here. Preparing for the Longpac and making the standings most of the races will tell much of what I need to know and indirectly make it easier for my wife to be part of this.

    This past year I dropped an unprecedented 12k on the boat which includes a new main from Kame, a second symmetrical and Asym, laid up and built a 6' carbon bowsprit with a Selden ring, hauled out with a bottom job, picked up new chart plotter along with a new auto-helm plus a Raymarine ST2000 as back up. She has a new forestay and 4 new halyards too. I am sure many more boat bucks will be need if I have to do more and then I also have to repaint her. (Currently I am rebuilding the Yanmar 1GM10 since the oil pipes were toasted, spraying oil due to a weeping water pump. I could not be happier with the whole thing is right on top of the keel and have full access). I did/do this all while being self employed, often 70 hour work weeks even during Covid and make those compromises to keep my marriage very happy.

    I am having a ball every time I am out there. I spent this last entire season and numerous days of recreational sailing practicing several self steering options and methods. I will likely continue to sail with less electrical devices except when doing long race runs and overnights because I feel it keeps me sharper, better sailor. (The SSS is always teaching us/me something.) In the end, you are right it is not about winning but being and doing the best you can do. I could not help but be disappointed when I was minutes from finishing not making the time cut offs due to the fickle Winter wind fading out in late afternoon after most of the earlier starters have finished. Then there was the Round The Rocks race last Spring where I was boarded by the Coasties directly under the Richmond bridge and they held me there for nearly 45 minutes as the sun was going down and the Homeland security did a complete security boat check. Had I not been in last to start grouping and been among the SSS pack, it is very likely I would have avoided the boarding, finishing within the time limit. I can't make a case for others not to sail in the non spin division because there is lots of wisdom and gold in each event. My thoughts are if it matters to the racers like me that go out and make the effort to race all day - it is nicer to record a documented finish rather than record a DNF. Catching an earlier start can help a few of us get there.
    Last edited by Black Jack; 01-06-2022 at 07:29 PM.
    Without friends, none of this would be possible.

  3. #13
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    Sep 2007
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    "Currently I am rebuilding the Yanmar 1GM10 since the oil pipes were toasted, spraying oil due to a weeping water pump."

    Yep, the little raw water pump leaks salt water right onto the bottom oil pipe. It didn't appear to matter if the pump was brand new, it still dripped. On the third set of oil pipes I put a piece of split loom over the pipe, with the split facing down. That solved the problem.

  4. #14
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    Feb 2010
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    Alameda, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    "Currently I am rebuilding the Yanmar 1GM10 since the oil pipes were toasted, spraying oil due to a weeping water pump."

    Yep, the little raw water pump leaks salt water right onto the bottom oil pipe. It didn't appear to matter if the pump was brand new, it still dripped. On the third set of oil pipes I put a piece of split loom over the pipe, with the split facing down. That solved the problem.
    Great suggestion Bob, thanks! I pick up some loom today.
    Without friends, none of this would be possible.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Hi --

    Figured I should jump in with a comment or two since I was mentioned earlier in the thread and I've definitely thought about this topic.

    I agree that racing non-spin is a disadvantage. But it's a self-imposed disadvantage. I don't own a spinnaker and haven't bothered to learn to sail solo with one yet, but I should. It's on my list. Until then I pole out the jib. (Mostly I only regret sailing non-spin on the way home from the Farallones.)

    My PHRF certificate says "Spinnaker: No" but there is no rating adjustment for that. Would NCPHRF offer me a non-spin rating adjustment if I specifically asked? I don't know.

    I don't think I have had any DNFs that were caused by my choice to sail non-spin. I've noticed some higher-PHRF-rated boats with spinnakers have as much or more trouble with the deadline as non-spin boats. Slower/smaller boats have a tougher time beating the adverse current in races like TBF than faster boats, and this is a bigger deal in my opinion that spinnaker/non-spin in overall results for that race.

    On race start times, I think starting non-spinnaker and slower boats early is a nice thing to do for the longer races, but this is already being done. At least it was for SHF and HMB races in 2021 -- I don't remember the others.

    Regarding my good fortune in the 2020 season: While it does show that it is possible to win as a non-spinnaker racer, I am the first to admit that there was plenty of good luck involved as well. I tried hard to do well in every race (and also "beat Bob" I suppose ) but I assume everyone else is also trying their best.

    Here are a couple things that I believe had a bigger impact on my final 2020 results than racing non-spinnaker:

    1) showing up and avoiding DNCs (I had one, but one result gets dropped from final score). A lot of people miss races -- particularly the Farallones -- or sometimes race double handed which shows up as DNC in the single handed season results.. DNC is scored much worse than DNF in season scoring.
    2) in the "good luck" department: the later start for non-spin fleet was a big advantage in 2020 Corinthian. I had a good race that day, but _everyone_ who started in the later fleets did better than the earlier starts that day, and that definitely helped my season results. I think Round the Rocks the non-spin fleet also had better wind than earlier starting fleets, but not as pronounced as the Corinthian.

    Just one person's thoughts. Hope it is helpful or at least of interest.

    Good luck to all this season!

    Todd

  6. #16
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    Apr 2009
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    Petaluma ,CA
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    If your boat is rated with a spinnaker. There ya go ' you are choosing to not use it

  7. #17
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSutchek View Post
    If your boat is rated with a spinnaker. There ya go ' you are choosing to not use it
    And really, why not? Some days, when the wind dies and there are ten more miles to go, what else is there to do but set up and raise your spinnaker! Gosh! You've already been talking to your boat for hours, texted everybody else on the course and called your brother. Huh. What to do next?

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    Oh yeah! Raise the spinnaker! Like on Tuesday: No stress winter sailing. And besides, they're so pretty!
    Last edited by Philpott; 01-13-2022 at 11:16 AM.

  8. #18
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    Wow, Jackie....I don't know if I've ever seen a spinnaker cut like that. That's some sort of modified mitre cut.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    1962Buesher "Aristocrat" tenor saxophone
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  9. #19
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    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bodfish, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanH View Post
    Wow, Jackie....I don't know if I've ever seen a spinnaker cut like that. That's some sort of modified mitre cut.
    Secret weapon
    Hush

  10. #20
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    Sep 2007
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    San Francisco Bay
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    Hey Jackie, it looks like you've got a bit of a hole in the port side blue panel, and it looks bigger than just a sticky patch. I'd repair it, if you bring it to me in San Jose. Or take it to Quantum, they'll take care of you without the long commute.
    Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship. Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip.
    Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship. On your way to a world that others might have missed.
    ~ Blues Image

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