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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #2601
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Not strictly a cutoff low, but a weather phenomena called a "southerly surge" or trough
    Thanks for the clarification Skip. I've heard you refer to "southerly surges" and now I have a better idea what they are (and I don't think I like them).

  2. #2602
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    Southerly Surges (one is due to arrive early Sunday morning off the Golden Gate) have benefits, just not for racers starting a SHTP. Southerly Surges are nice for doing deliveries up the Coast. You get a free tail wind. Southerly Surges also cool off the land which has been baking in a"heat event" for 1-3 days, which will begin tomorrow.

    The last SHTP Southerly Surge event I was a part of was the start of the SHTP in 2008. The Southerly Surge trapped the entire fleet in drifting conditions for 30-48 hours. Boats furthest west got to the NW wind first and took off. Boats further astern had issues. AH on his SC-27 had a sea lion come aboard as he drifted. The sea lion wanted to relax, or crew, or both, and wouldn't leave. AH pretended he was a matador, and snapped his red foulie jacket at the offending pinniped, who eventually got the hint he was not welcome as rail meat in the light winds.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-21-2018 at 07:48 AM.

  3. #2603
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    48 hours to the start of the 2018 SHTP. The 19 boat fleet has assembled at CYC and "their excitement can be felt all the way across the Bay from here in Oakland."

    Here is a quickie weather briefing. We've got fog in the eucalyptus in Capitola. But should be clearing by mid-morning. Hot temperatures are forecast to begin inland as a High Pressure ridge builds eastward over the state in the wake of a weak trough passing over the northern half of the state.

    Here is the 96 hour forecast. If all goes well, the bulk of the SHTP fleet should be well offshore, 220-300 miles SW of SF, when this chart becomes valid.

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    As is apparent from the chart, there will be plenty of wind just south of track, just less of it further south. When shortening sail on a reach, best to start with the main so as to minimize weather helm and draw on the AP or strain on the windvane. On my imaginary J-105, I could see a triple reefed main and jib led to the rail.

    Here is the imaginary J-105 sailing on Monday, June 25, 48 hours after start. Not much change in routing over the last 96 hours. How come this J-105 can sail DDW after crossing 140W? My imagination has her flying twin jibs...

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    So what of aforementioned "Southerly Surge?" A Southerly Surge will make an appearance off the Golden Gate on early Sunday morning, spreading its foggy tongue north and westward up the Big Sur Coast. Whether it will overtake the fleet's back markers is unsure. The NWS is being coy as to timing. Here is their current thinking:

    The GFS, NAM, and local in-house WRF model have suggested the potential for a southerly surge pushing north along the Monterey County coast and continuing toward the Golden Gate during the day Sunday.

    No tropical formation in the EPAC for the next 48 hours. If you want to experience a Mexican hurricane on your race track, you'll have to go see the film ADRIFT.

    Any "briefing" submitted tomorrow at this Forum site will be early and brief; I'll be pedaling my battery assist bike to CYC for the skipper's meeting. CU there. And please remember not to pack your trash too tight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0YKeegXlsM
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-21-2018 at 09:49 AM.

  4. #2604
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    I used to check this fairly regularly before going out into the Wild Blue, particularly on LongPacs. it at least tells you what you're up against for a day or two.

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/

    Station 46012 is right on the edge of the continental shelf, more-or-less due W of Half Moon Bay

    Location: 37.356N 122.881W
    Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 20:50:00 UTC
    Winds: NW (310°) at 9.7 kt gusting to 11.7 kt
    Significant Wave Height: 5.2 ft
    Dominant Wave Period: 7 sec
    Average Wave Period: 5.7 sec
    Mean Wave Direction: NW (321°)


    Station 46214 is WSW of Point Reyes, also on the edge of the continental shelf.

    Location: 37.950N 123.472W
    Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 21:30:00 UTC
    Significant Wave Height: 7.5 ft
    Dominant Wave Period: 7 sec
    Average Wave Period: 5.7 sec
    Mean Wave Direction: NNW (335°)

    Station 46059 is about 350 miles out and probably 40-50 miles north of the track of most of the fleet, but it's not THAT far away...

    Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 21:40:00 UTC
    Winds: N (350°) at 11.7 kt gusting to 13.6 kt
    Significant Wave Height: 3.9 ft
    Average Wave Period: 5.5 sec
    Mean Wave Direction: W (271°)


    So no Gale, yet.... actually, looks kind of nice out there.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  5. #2605
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    Saturday, 7 a.m.

    Off they go! Today's start sequence for the SHTP at CYC begins at 11 a.m., with 5 classes starting at 5 minute intervals, slower boats first. Weather looks good, with W-NW winds 15 -20 knots out towards the Farallones.

    Winds will begin to slowly lighten this evening to 13-18 knots abeam the Farallones. Then under the influence of a Southerly Surge inshore, the winds will go light and back into the southerly quadrant early Sunday, and during the day Sunday. Here's the weather for Sunday evening.

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    The northwest gradient winds will refill late Sunday, building NW-N, seaward of a NE/SW line ~60 miles west of the Golden Gate. The name of the game is to get west as fast as possible into this gradient breeze.

    Once in the gradient wind, likely Monday, it's a fast trip all the way to Hawaii. A strong EPAC High will remain anchored at or north of 40x138. Pressure of this High varying 1030-1034 mb., a strong High which indicates good winds for the fleet. Here's the 96 hour map:

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    No tropicals have yet formed, but one is about to SW of the Baja Penisula near 13Nx115W. It should not influence the race.

    Winds this morning at Half Moon Bay buoy, 26 miles west of SF, are NW 17-gusting 21.

    Good Sailing!
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-23-2018 at 07:01 AM.

  6. #2606
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    Did I overhear someone say that the intervals are 10 minutes apart?

  7. #2607
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    Nice even start for all SHTP classes: everyone one to two minutes late, except for one boat that had misplaced his cell phone and was 7 minutes late.

    The line was nicely repositioned by the RC, relocating the pin (outer end) further offshore in good SW wind of 8-10 knots, freshening to 18-20 at the Golden Gate. Everyone started on port tack near the outer pin end. The most wind, 15 knots, was further out yet, near Angel Island. And the smart money tacked out to gain entry into the windline, which even had ELIZABETH ANN rail down and charging.

    Reporting buoy wind at Half Moon Bay and offshore the SF Bar is WNW 14, gusting 17. Not too shabby.

    But here comes the anticipated "Southerly Surge" up the coast from S.Cal. its leading edge currently offshore Big Sur at 5 pm, and just passing overhead here in Capitola on Monterey Bay at 6 pm.

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    When last seen visually off Lands End at 1 pm, it looked like IRIS in the lead. 2) CRININ 3) KYNNTANA 4) FUGU 5) DOUBLE EXPRESSO, 6th, just ahead of JAQUELINE was a frolicking humpback whale, and 7th was JAQUELINE.

    Hopefully the tracker will get aboard, as its currently reporting times that are not synched, at least one boat is not being tracked, and another seems to be tied up at CYC. I can confidently report the accompanying whale is not carrying a tracker.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-23-2018 at 08:28 PM.

  8. #2608
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    This 6:30 a.m Sunday satellite view shows the Southerly Surge that has caught up most of the SHTP fleet, the Cal 40 RIFF RIDER and likely IRIS being the exceptions.

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    The western edge of the Southerly Surge currently lies about 60 miles offshore and will be moving east this evening, bringing relief and building NW winds to much of the fleet, beginning with the boats furthest west.

    1,500 miles north, in Ketchikan, AK, the all-woman's team has won the Race2Alaska and will donate their $10,000 prize to breast cancer research. Congrats and well done to them!
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-24-2018 at 07:26 AM.

  9. #2609
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    Congratulations to the Y2AK winners!
    The realm of the Macho man sailing image has been severely dented.
    Proving once again that you don't have to be a man to be successful at crazy things!
    :>}

  10. #2610
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    Sunday evening, 6 pm, ~30 hours after sailing out of the Golden Gate, it's a 3 boat race at the front of the SHTP. Cal-40 RIFF RIDER leading by 8 miles over JOUJOU, with CRINAN another 24 miles back. All 3 boats making similar speed, going fast, averaging 7.75 knots. It's will be hard to catch this trio. But its a long race, and anything can and will happen.

    One of SSS's staunchest and most loyal supporters is at Good Sam hospital in Los Gatos. We wish Susan W. the very best and a speedy recovery from sepsis. Her doctors fortunately caught it in time, and she is receiving 3 hourly IV antibiotic drips and accompanying blood tests to get rid of the bad bugs.

    The sun never came out in Capitola today, "June Gloom" in full bloom. A big contrast from yesterday thanks to the Southerly Surge.

    Something special in sailing happened late last night in Ketchikan, AK. We'll let Jake tell it first hand.

    There was something different about tonight; everyone felt it. From the crowd of families and fans who gathered at the Alaskan Fish House to watch and wait, to the manager who stayed to keep the place open three hours beyond her normal, kids in tow, to support the proud and expectant crowd with the dry/booze/coffee of an Alaskan welcome, to the tracker fans from around the globe who stayed up well past prudent to be a part of this moment from whatever time zone their well-wishing required, until the moment seven women stepped simultaneous, arm-in-arm, off their Melges 32 to ring the bell of victory for First Federal’s Team Sail Like a Girl at 00:17 local time and became the fourth champions of the R2AK—from whatever moment along that spectrum of incredible—it was clear the spirit of community supplanted individual ambition as the central force carrying this year’s $10k winners into the rare air of R2AK glory. As much as this was a win for any one of them, to a sailor, they said, it was a win for everyone.

    “Six months ago, I had my doubts,” a family member confided in the hours leading up to their victory. Before the New Year’s ball fell and ushered in a new calendar, Team Sail Like a Girl was an idea and a 20-year-old race boat purchased based on a single theory: let’s race a team of women to Alaska. The odds were stacked against them: a monohull had never won the R2AK, the pure speed advantage of multihulls loomed large as a forgone conclusion in a race with no handicaps. Beyond the boat, the crew assembled ran the gamut of experience. “Really, only about half of them were sailors when they started…one of them learned to sail just to be on the team,” a fact that led several potential crew with real deal experience to opt out of coming along. What chance did they have in a race with a history of heavy wind and sea conditions that routinely extinguished the best-prepared, breaking boats and sailors’ wills and sending newbies and veteran sailors alike running for mama? At least a few America’s Cup veterans on boats of note had bowed out as vessel fatigue and heightened competition made their bids for the crown fade from assured ascension to a fleeting hope at finishing. Why would anyone sign on to six months of boat work and training for the longshot chance of even making it to the starting line? Team Sail Like a Girl’s bid for glory was an uphill suspension of disbelief from the start. But yet, she persisted.

    It’s said that for every 10 minutes of excellence, it takes 100 hours of preparation, and from its time of formation, the Sail Like a Girl crew followed a tireless schedule to work the boat and work each other, shaping themselves into a hard-charging team that drew strength from each other and the ever-growing community that surrounded to embrace them. After months of replacing every bolt and wire, designing and fabricating the twin screw bike-drive that would take them through the calms, and half a year of two-to-five-times-a-week training sessions crammed into already busy lives balancing the no-joke demands of careers and motherhood, it all came together when they raced Swiftsure as a shakedown.

    For those of you joining our narrative from outside of the Northwest’s sailing world: Swiftsure is a bucket-list PNW contest against the region’s best sailors in some of the most exposed waters we have to offer. Unlike the mild weather of this year’s R2AK, Swiftsure 2018 shook off its “Drift-Sure” moniker to offer up a full dose of rough-riding sea state with some of the worst conditions the race has seen in recent memory. The women of the Girls sailed all of it and endured like the champions they were soon to become. “It was tough, they were tough, at least three of them were puking over the rail…” According to the weather service, the winds blew against the tide, building waves to hurling proportions. “They’d puke over the side, then get right back to work…they were so determined, I knew they were there.”

    Gelled, hurl-hardened, and R2AK ready, from the Port Townsend start until the last few hours leading up to the the Ketchikan finish, they never got the conditions their boat was designed for but persisted nonetheless. They were as surprised as the rest of us that the wind never showed. “It was so flat, and so hot, for so long.”

    By their estimation they human-powered through at least half of the race. “We did so much biking…” and did it with the all-for-one-and-one-for-all ethos that is often quoted and seldom realized in the face of actualized ego and gains to personal reputation.

    They hammered the bikes, motoring in hot calms before Seymour Narrows and motorsailed in the fog-ridden light stuff beyond to fill their sails in the apparent wind they created themselves. To the end, the human power of their pedal drives drove them on for 13 hours straight in the final push.

    Could they have done better and sailed faster? Overloaded for optimum performance from the sum total of gear/food/water/crew that a 700-mile trip up the coast demanded, their overgrown dinghy racer with strapped-on pedal drives was lower in the water in all the wrong places for the mathematical performance the armchair set was expecting, demanding, and mansplaining from across the internet. “They should…” was a de rigeur lead-in line for countless posts in online forum upon online forum. Their victory sidestepped the “Yeah, but they should have done this…” bullshit from couch-bound whoevers by shining on positive with the everything that went as right as it needed to. They were first to Ketchikan, full stop. Proof positive enough for them and the rest of us that the finish line was theirs by right. Could they have optimized differently? Sure. Did they make mistakes? Of course. Hindsight is somewhere between 20/20 and 50/50, and that their victory lap was a day or two slower than past years is as unquestionable as the the $10,000 they’ve rightfully won and will donate to breast cancer research once they’ve settled their expenses. Hell yeah. Whether you looked at absence of weather or the fullness of intent, this year’s race was different than any that came before, and their triumph was indisputable.

    While the wind and a spineless element of the Internet might have failed them, the gratitude they expressed in their post-finish moments focused on the power of the community that carried them along. International encouragement poured in online from as far as New Zealand and Croatia, and their corporate sponsors at First Federal Savings and Loan stayed up well past banking hours to cheer them across. And then there were the ethereal spirits of female mentors whose names they’d scribed on their mast as a memory and for inspiration to keep going, the spirits watching from the other side of the mortal divide, and the female sailing heroes still in the making who might use this as a touchstone for their own accomplishments-to-be. “We hope more girls will get into sailing, be courageous, and follow their dreams.” Amen, sister, amen.

    In these past weeks the crew’s moms have bitten their nails to nubs, and their own kids flew in from a coastline away to witness the way-past-their-bedtime triumph of their maternal heroes. Their husbands missed four out of the last five days of work because of tracker-driven, adrenaline-fueled nervous enthusiasm. How is he now? “My heart is bursting,” he offered in a tear-filled, pre-finish adulation mere minutes before reuniting with the sailing warrior he was as proud as he was humbled to share a ring with in her moment of glory.

    “I don’t know if it’s a female thing or not, but we took care of each other.” Thank you’s, and other focused concern for water, sunscreen and sleep were the stories of the day. Despite fatigue and the need for hot food and a cold beer, they even stayed late to welcome in the Team Lagopus two hours behind. The mutual respect and celebration obliterated the lurking narrative of embittered rivals. It was hugs and high-fives all around. “We are so proud of you!” was the universal and sincere sentiment.

    Whether you declare it a gendered stereotype or an aspiration for the whole of our society, Team Sail Like a Girl’s triumph was the victorious manifestation of what is possible when people take care of each other. From the deepest part of R2AK’s self-reliant spirit, we can only hope that the ripples of that lesson wash up on shores worldwide. We need each other, now more than ever. The lone rider can only get so far, regardless of whatever spectrum you place yourself on. Let this victory be a beacon for the power of together.


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    Last edited by sleddog; 06-24-2018 at 06:43 PM.

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