Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On April 4, the STYC’s Blakely Rock Benefit race took off with over a hundred boats registered. It was a light air day, and both the SLUT, 2201, and Red Fish Blue Fish, 2208 had a tough time at the rounding of the rock. However, in the end we did very to the rest of the fleet. It was fantastic weather and a great start to the spring sailing season. We should have three rockets at the Seattle NOODs in May.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Final Goosebumps series

For the second week in a row, John Plut and his Rocket 22 took a second in Seattle's Lake Union winter series, Goosebumps. In a shifty 10 to 15 knot breeze, he pulled away from the pack on the second of three laps of the lake. Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzJbP501KJo for some video of him racing. Also out on the course was Paul Kalina's Pocket Rocket (see below). And go to:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In the midst of recent winter weather throughout North America, it seemed like we got a bit of a reprieve in Seattle. The past two weekends it was bright, hot sunshine and upper 40’s and lower 50’s temp with a gentle breeze. Perfect time to get the Rockets out for a spin around the Lake. Last week we had three Rocket 22s plus a Pocket Rocket out for Seattle’s Goosebumps series (every Sunday in January and February). This weekend, Mike Mechales and I took out the MV Slack Alice and watched John Plut and his Rocket 22, and Paul Kalina and his Pocket Rocket rip around the course. What a great way to start the year.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Well, it was a beautiful weekend in Seattle this past weekend. Bright sunny skies, in the 70’s, perfect wind, and some great sailing. I took my boat, Redfish Bluefish aka Slack Alice, out for a practice sail Friday evening, and watched a beautiful sunset over the Olympic Mountains. Saturday was the Sloop Tavern’s Jack & Jill race (http://www.slooptavern.org/). After a not-so-perfect start, I got into the upwind groove and closely followed a Riptide 35 and a J105 all the way up to the weather mark. We had an excellent set, and proceeded to take off on a reach in about 12 knots of wind at 8.5 knots through the water. We hung with the J105 and put major distance on the rest of the fleet. In the end, we beat the J105 by almost two minutes over the line and corrected over the Riptide by more than four minutes, winning both the division and the overall trophy. Once again showing that the Rocket 22 is outstanding in double-handed racing. On Sunday I took the boat out again for a fun sail with Rocket #1, South Lake Union Trolley. Go to the following site for a little clip of the SLUT up on a plane:
Unfortunately, it’s back to work today – but the fall season is just beginning. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Delta Ditch 2008 Photos

Peter Lyons from www.lyonsimaging.com once again shows his superb photography skills with these excellent shots from the Delta Ditch Run this year. His site is well worth a visit as he didn't only take pictures of the Rocket, but hey, these are the ones we like!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Alan and Jonathan Road Show Continues to the Delta Ditch Run 2008

These guys are true road warriors all in the name of sailing, beer and everything else that goes with living in the back of a van! Thanks for another great post and your ongoing support of our fantastic little boat. Next is Whidbey Island Race Week, July 20th to 25th. Hope to see everyone there.

Well, this past weekend I loaded up the car, hitched up the Rocket, and headed south to the fabulous San Francisco bay to compete in the famous Delta Ditch run. This is one of those competitions that was conceived over a few too many rum and cokes as a sort of “dare to do this” event. The idea is to launch the boat in Richmond and then drive the trailer an hour and a half east to Stockton. Spend the night, and then take a chartered bus back to Richmond in the morning. The race starts just off the breakwater from the Richmond Yacht Club, and then heads north (downwind) into San Pablo bay. At the north end of the bay, the race turns east (also downwind) up the Sacramento River, and then up into the delta of the very narrow San Joaquin River. Total length of the race is 67 miles or so to the Stockton Sailing Club, give or take about 300 jibes -- that extends the race another several miles. Except for one short reaching leg, you basically put up the chute for 8-10 hours, and enjoy the ride and flat water.

We left Seattle where it was raining and in the 50’s. and by the time we got to Richmond it was in the upper 80’s, no clouds to be seen, and it felt like someone had turned on a overheat heat lamp! We started in the second wave with ten Melges 24s, a few Mumm 30s, Cheetah 30s, and other light, downwind roadsters. During the first leg up to Benicia Bridge it was fairly light, and we managed to be ahead of just about everyone in our start except one Melges. Entering the delta, the wind started to come up, and the river began to get narrow. Doing jibe after jibe, we started to lose distance to more polished crews and boats flying symmetrical chutes.

We had a few rookie mistakes and equipment issues, but we managed to stay out of the mud and away from other hazards (there was some major carnage out there). It was a fun race and an event not to miss in one’s sailing career. Have a look the following YouTube videos for a few scenes from the start of the race. Sorry we were too tired at the end of day to pull out the camera for the finish.



Also go to Peter Lyons site for some great photos of the event.


Big thanks to Sandra for crewing in the race and helping drive the 1750 miles down and back. And also to Alan for coming down to the bay to make my boat go fast.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Mighty Johnson

Yes, the might Johnson 3.5. Loved by none and hated by many. BUT when the wind pooped out at the end of the 3rd day of the Seattle NOODs, who they turn to??
But wait a minute. Do I see young men on the front of a Rocket flashing skin in the hopes of a tan? In May? This can't be Seattle!! The home of moss and people who wear socks and sandals at the same time.
But it's true, the 1st annual NOODs will probably never be repeated. People were thanking me for bringing the weather from the Sunny Okanagan, but I think it was because it was the first time 6 Rockets had come together to do battle. Zeus himself must saw it fit to pull in all his godly markers to to make the wind and weather perfect for such a momentous occasion.
OK, OK I might be over stating it a bit, but it sure warmed my heart to see 6 Rockets on the line. At first there was a bit of feeling out period. (maybe too much on Mike's part!) Nobody had done this before. Would the boats be equal? What's the best way to tack and gybe. Do you foot, pinch, full sails, flat sails? How do you get that honking big chute down at the the leeward mark while on a full plane?
The first day was definitely a day of teething. Little things, like easing the main before you duck a Starboard tacker and giving the crew lots of time to get the chute down at the leeward mark. By the end of the first day you could see signs that things were being work out and people were starting to get their heads out of the boat. Full cudos to the race committee for putting 4 races in the first day with the attitude of "making hay while the sunshines". At the end of the day there were a lot of tired and thirsty people in the Mt. Gay tent. Those veterans of Whidbey quickly figured out to double up on the drinks and go to the back of the line guaranteeing maximum fluid replenishing .
Next day the wind was a little more kind and gentle and from the opposite direction. This put a little less strain on the crew work and little more on strategy. A trend started, it was great to get to the windward mark 1st but the big gains were for those that figured out the downwind gybe angles and controlling the left. The boat that figured it out 1st was the team of Andy, Mike and Bev. Rarely was "For Sail" at the front of the pack at the first weather mark but because of their experience sailing Rockets at Whidbey last year, and some impressive jets, they seemed have the ability to come out ahead at the leeward mark. The other was Jonathan and crew. They had always had the jets but were starting to figure out the tactics as well. Racing was getting tighter and tighter! A mistake at the leeward mark instantly became a 2-3 position loss (I know 1st hand).
So after another 4 race day, things were getting interesting. People were coming in and yaking about "mast screw tension" and "role tacks and gybes" and twist. At the tent that night, Jonathan actually wanted to show his fellow sailors from other classes, what was meant by "twist" on the dance floor. I don't think the Moore girls understood but gamely tried to keep up.
Day three got even lighter and probably was painful on some of the under powered, over weight lead mines that shared our starting line but it was business as usual with the Rockets. At the end of the second day you could see the light bulb had come on and was shining brightly in Paul and Matts Rocket. Sunday was the their day to show there stuff and capped it off with a bullet on the last race.
In closing I would like to thank the Dave Read for having the vision to bring the NOODs to the PNW, the race committee for packing in 11 races in three days, Andy, Mike and Bev for winning the regatta but mostly I would like to thank all of you that made the effort to take part in the regatta and lets do it again at the NAs at Whidbey.