Season’s endings

The gelcoat is sanded off to begin with laminating

the new gelcoat is sprayed onIn November the boat underwent a small refit-session. During training in October there was a misunderstanding with the Pogo2 514 during a tacking duel, they took our priorty and we T-boned them. Luckily for the 514 we hit the hull/deck joint so they remained unharmed, we however took quite a hit under the forestay, also the metal “V” that is used to unfold the bowsprit was ripped off.

While Younn took care of the gelcoat- and underlying laminate-damage I took care of some other things on board:
– sanded the rudders and applied new gelcoat
– new tillers adapted to the rudders, drilled and installed
– repaired the solent-light (soo cool when trimming at night, also awesome to be seen by fishing vessels)
– re-waterproofed the mast where it leads through the deck
– re-waterproofed the pushpit & stanchions
– re-waterproofed the engine mount at the transom
– small service on the fuel cell
– changed the speakers in the cockpit (again proper music!)

During the week I also kept the dehumidifier and heater running and completely cleaned and dried the boat on the inside.
Around 5pm on friday Younn & me worked hectically – kindly supported by Erwarn – to finish the installation of the pushpit and the forestay fitting to get the boat back into the water before 6pm The bow, good as new.

Saturday morning I started getting the boat ready for training but a look around already indicated bad news: thick fog (visibility 200m?) and no wind whatsoever.
To make the best of it, we did a “mast trim day” and measured all boat’s stay tensions and prebend, then did a long theory session in the meeting room to discuss mast trim, sail combinations for the transat and a deep-dive into pilot settings.

That was it for this year – the boat is now in hibernation for about end of january when training will resume.

Fall training with Lorient Grand Large

Winter’s coming and that means a final set of training sessions with my training group Lorient Grand Large before the end of the year.

The trainings I participate in begin saturday’s around 09:30am with a short briefing on the pontoon, the boats ready to leave the dock. Once out of the bay of Lorient, the sessions are a mix of speed-tests, maneuvers (tacking/gybing/sail changes), fun games (like the game where you have to attach, hoist & unroll your Code0, then sail with it two minutes, then take it down again, into the cockpit and all over again, the one who manages most hoists in 20 minutes wins) and towards the end of the day usually a race around some buoys back to the harbor.
We usually arrive back around 4pm where we get around 30 minutes of time to tidy up the boat, then we meet for a debriefing with videos, photos and feedback. Once I’m out of the briefing and have finished tidying up the boat and making the odd repair it is around 8pm.
On Sunday it’s the same program but we start at 8 am.

In October we did two weekends of training doublehanded where we mainly focused on sail trim with our trainer Tanguy Leglatin giving feedback on the water so we can find the perfect trim and mark our lines to be able to reproduce the settings lateron.
The two following weekends in November then focused on optimizing the maneuvers in singlehanded mode, working more actively with the pilot.

Mid-November we had a quite windy training with an impressive swell rolling from the Atlantic and a wind of 20 knots, the peak being 28 knots consistent. It was very interesting to do a long upwind speedtest in these conditions where Tanguy would instruct us to tack on his signal. As we were a large group of 12 boats it became immediately visible how much you can win or lose with a proper or screwed up tack.

When the wind picked up to 28 knots we reefed the solent (the main was already in 1st reef) and tried (my personal less favorite) Code0-“game” (ref. above). With a boatspeed of already 9 knots (without the Code0) and quite gusty conditions it was a wet ride and with the odd autopilot in our fleet not working perfectly you also had to make sure not to collide with another boat whose skipper was wrestling with his Code0 on the bow.
My participation in that exercise was over after my 2 minutes of sailing with Code0 (doing 12kn) when it turned out that the furling line had separated from the furler and I had the pleasure of taking down the 30sqm foil sail in a classical Spinnaker “douse”, trying to squeeze it down the companionway. Once that was done I turned back towards Ile de Groix and soon the rest of the group caught up and we had a nice ride back to Lorient with the Code5 (storm spinnaker) doing 12-16 knots.

The sunday was a bit of a contrast. On the way out of the bay we had the big kite up and gybed our way out (12 boats again) but once we reached the end of Lorient’s southern approach the sea was dead calm. Turned out we were in the center of a depression, with impressive clouds at the horizon with blue skies but not the slightest wind for us.
For two hours we tried to compare Code0s vs. Code5s and later any sail combination there was to make any headway until we finally gave up at around 2pm when a tiny bit of thermic gave us just enough wind to get back into port.