Sunday 29 September 2013

Water Rat

Pleasant hour out on board Glenshane last week pumping her out, checking on things and generally taking it easy.  Might have gone for a short sail in the harbour if I had had the time.  But the boatmen clock off early these autumn evenings….

Like water rat there is nothing as nice as messing about on boats. Or something like that. ( there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.)  OK. I googled it.

I pumped her out then thought I would try and find where the water might be creeping in.  This involves clearing out all the clutter and sponging all the water out of the bilge when the pump has done its best.  It’s still difficult, nay impossible to find the gentle slither of water into the hull.  Up at the bow, where the most pounding happens is the obvious place to search.  Here and there the bilge paint seems to be lifting, another good sign.  But its hard to tell for sure.

Then I espied a white breasted cormorant drying  its wings.  Not sure if there is such a thing as a white breasted cormorant.  Had a go at getting a photo.  Its perched on the hi tek ferry terminal.

An old codger passed by in a day sailer, I cleaned up a rope end with my needle and thread and tied off the jib halyard with a gilguy.  A Sigma 38 passed by and I started dreaming.  By then it was time to go as the launch arrived.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

More America's Cup stuff

I may complain about it but the Americas cup is absolutely compelling viewing.  As it proceeds it would appear that the boats are very well matched, something  that has not happened in the AC for a very long time.  And that has resulted in some very exciting close racing.
But to get there, there are very many negatives.  Are the boats really sailing boats?  Certainly not as anybody outside the handful of sailors who design build and operate them would probably agree.  The wing masts have to be removed as soon as the race is over.  Otherwise the entire structure would be simply blown over.
They will never be sailed again.  They will never lead to a racing class using wing masts which even very wealthy yachting enthusiasts might get involved in.  It’s a dead end, a cul de sac.  The rig and the technique reminds me more of some type of kite flying.  These guys have built complicated kites which they hoist up into the air and control very skilfully and skim them across the surface of the water.  Its not sailing, and it will not become sailing.

They use the rules of racing as we know them but have had to modify them.  This is most obvious at the start.  Gone is the hallowed upwind start, the most significant part of sailboat racing since day one.  I’m not sure why, but apparently it has something to do with safety and/ or the fact that these boats can do little unless they are moving on their foils at about a minimum of 20 knots speed.  So if they were trying to tack and jybe in a conventional start they might get blown over!

If money is the deciding factor then Oracle can win.  They have two boats.  NZ have only one.  On the last race with NZ facing winning the cup all Oracle has to do is take her out in a strategic crash.  Both boats go down.  Oracle, with its back up boat, goes on unopposed to win the cup.  I would not put it past Ellison. 

But its compelling viewing with all the professionalism of American sports broadcasting brought to bear on a sport which traditionally is not a spectator sport.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Heavy Weather sailing

Heavy Weather Sailing

Last nights race  (Thursday 1st Aug) was a humdinger.  The race officer put the wind at Force 4 but I think it was gusting at times well into force 5.  Well at the limits of where these wooden boats over 50  years old should be racing.  But it makes for much more exciting sailing than drifting about in the tide hoping for wind.  Which has been the situation for the past month or so.

Jerry was crewing.  And he also managed to get the time to take the attached photos.

We got a super start, more by accident than anything.  Simply good timing and then tacked immediately to clear our wind and beat into Scotsmans Bay avoiding the end of the flood.  I judged the tack back on to starboard to fetch the first mark spot on.  Other Glens took a safer course and in fine style we rounded the first mark in the lead.

It was all down hill from there, holding on to the rail but being overtaken on the long downwind leg.

Laser Worlds

End Of season distractions

With the world Laser Championship taking place out my front window and the weather continuing its exceptional mild run it seemed like a sensible thing to do to sail out and check it out. Here is the view from the front of the house:
A  nice chap on a GB rib dropped us on board.  I asked him if he had any Olympic medals to which he replied he was just a Youth Coach and then he lit a cigarette.

On the starting line all was confusion in the 20 knot wind.  We trashed back and forth getting wet from the spray.  The OD was having difficulties too.  Three times he tried to get the fleet away but had to recall the lot.  Joshua was very patient and put on my oilskin but was probably just as glad when I said we would head for home. We picked up the mooring and had our sandwiches and coffee.

Good luck to Finn Lynch and all the other Irish boats.  I doubt that the America Cup boats would have gone out in those winds.

From Sandymount
From Sandymount

Tuesday 27 August 2013

The Americas Cup N Glens

Would'nt it be a blast if they decided to sail the next Americas cup in the Glen class.  It would certainly do a lot for our profile.  One would see a big jump in the number of new Glens being built.  Second hand Glens would be in demand as trial Horses.  Of course one would have to stick to the original plans as drawn up by Mylne.   Built in wood with wooden spars and no winches.  I suppose one could have instruments and a choice of three or four crew, maybe utilising the weight restrictions such as they have in many classes.  Certainly the racing would be more exciting than the present spectacle from the San Francisco Bay.

The Americans were often accused of keeping the Cup because of the rule that the challenger had to sail on ‘its own keel’ to the competition.  Thus the Challenger always had to be a sturdy cruising boat.  It might be no harm if they were to revive this rule.  The present wing masted vessels are hardly sailing boats at all and certainly could not survive a simple gust 5 knots above their designed wind speed limits.  Never mind cross the Irish sea or venture further afield.  Not to mention a cabin and bunks.

Bring the Americas Cup back into the ambit of the gifted, well financed, amateurs who used to get so much fun out of it.  The Liptons, Bonds,  Biche’s and Turners.  Take it away from the rocket designers, lawyers, and spacemen who currently control it.   The Dark Lord Larry Ellison has a lot to answer for.  He should be made to walk the plank.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta took place in very light, marginal, sunny conditions for most of its 4 days.
Not the sort of weather I like to race in, whatever about getting a nice tan.  I am afraid to report that Glenshane consistently came in last in a large fleet of about 10 Glens.  I am not sure why.  I tried adjusting things as the event progressed.  The backstay, the luff, and foot tension of the mainsail.  That's about all you can adjust on Glenshane.  But to no avail.  Hard to avoid the conclusion that it could be my helming.

Great crewing over the days from Brien, Felicity, Elma, made for a very enjoyable event.  Perhaps that what it should be about.  Sailing with people who you like rather than winning.  But it would be nice....

Ill post a few photos
Lolling about before a start.



Arch rival G29

Thursday 27 June 2013

Mitchells race seriese 2013

The first race of the two race Mitchells seriese drew only 5 entrants for Thursday evening.  This might be because of the blustery conditions.  No one wants to loose a mast or blow out a sail.

The starting line was well laid. at right angles to the wind.  Glendun, somehow chose the pin end and approached on port.  The rest of the fleet at the other end, were all late and watching each other.  Result, Glendun calmly gets a perfectly timed start and heads off on port ahead of everyone and that was the last we saw of her.  Glenroan then proceeded to loose her main out haul and retired.  So the three, Glencoe, Glenmiller and Glenshane fought it out in an exciting three boat race, the prize being 2nd..  It went to Glenmiller following a dramatic tussle that saw the lead change several times.  The conditions were at about the limit Glens should race at.  There were several Chinese gybes and missed marks.  A lot of the other fleets retired and there was at least one dismasting - a Shipman.  The second day, next Thursday will see a winner of the Mitchell cup
, presumably from among these 4 boats.  If I was a bookie I would not take any odds on Glendun.

There do be a few artists on board Glenshane.  Not least myself I should say.  The cameras are clicking and whizzing as we sail along.  These are three examples. 'Reaching Glens' by Gerry Glynn.  'Helmsman' by Brien Vahey and 'Starting Vessel' by Pete Hogan.

Monday 10 June 2013

Star Crew

This is clip of Joshua doing what he spends most of his time doing.  He sometime crews on the Glen.

Friday 7 June 2013

This is a video Ki made of the Bloomsday regatta in 2011. Its a great piece of editing.

Thursday 6 June 2013

Race last night was held in ideal conditions.  On board two newcomers and Ciaran who is old hand.  I did the driving  for the start and the first all important upwind leg.  
Messed up the start by trying to be clever and try another Port approach.  G53 was up to it though and I was forced to dip her, passing very close and then getting going at the gun.  By this time the rest of the fleet were rumbling up on starboard, yelling their heads off and forcing us to tack back on to starboard.  This we did and got going proper about 3rd overall.  Not a bad and an exciting effort.
From there on it was all downhill.  We gradually lost ground to G53 and G10 and by the first windward mark were lying a bad 4th.  Ie there was a long distance between us and the next Glen, G10.  On the positive side we were welll ahead of the rest of the fleet, some 5 Glens.  I handed over to Ciaran and put the spinnaker up and we held our position on the long run.  On the next leg we lost a lot of ground and G107 slipped ahead.  We caught up a bit on the short downwind leg and for the short windward beat to the finish had an exciting tacking duel which we won.  4th overall.  But the three boats ahead
were a long way in front.  Have to do better on the upwind legs.
Very light wind today.  6 th June.  THursday.  That means that sailing might not happen tonight.
Here is a picture of the glens on their moorings ready to go.

There are 12 in all.  Only 9 in the picture.  Getting 9 out on a starting line would be a good fleet.

THis seems to be working better.  Ill try posting in a report of race from last week: