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Thought for the Day - First sailing day after the flu

On Thursday I ventured out to Gosport for the first time this year. The objective was to get out on the water for a bit of close racing and as it turned out, sometimes a bit too close.

On arrival it looked borderline B rig which I tried and then quickly returned to the A rig. Not having sailed for a couple of weeks the set up was not what it should be and my sailing was definitely off colour, finding it hard to ease the sheets on time with the puffs. In the first race I had a stately fourth. in the second race I had a very close finish in first but just touched the finishing mark and in rerounding dropped to 5th. As I tweaked the boat before the next race and held the mast by the jib entry point a shroud snapped. Missed the next race and just got the boat on the water for the start of the next. Then 3 average races finishing 2nd and 3rd. Just before the start of the next race someone decided to sail straight into me at 50 seconds before the start. When I steered to port he did and similar when I went to starboard. There was a head on collision and my jib tack line snapped. I heard the cry after, "Well I was on starboard". There did not seem a great deal of point to mention the fact that collisions should be avoided at all costs especially 50 seconds before the start.

AVOIDING CONTACT A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat, or one sailing within the room or mark-room to which she is entitled, need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room.

CHANGING COURSE When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

Another race gone whilst I changed jibs. By this time I was getting into the swing of things and had a good boat setup and finished with two bullets. The racing was always close and it was good to progress through the day even thought overall it was a shocker.


A couple of days later, it was time to repair the broken shroud. This time I would make 3, with the third open ended so it could be used as a replacement. I wasn't happy with the old shrouds as they were a fraction long and I had used the full length of the bottle screw. I terminated three ends and fitted the three unfinished wires to the mast, then pulling all three tight down the mast, put all three wires in a pair of round nose pliers and bent at a mark on the mast indicating the correct shroud length. Now I know all three shroud lengths are identical.

Once made up, I could label and store the spare shroud and check out the rig to ensure I had a straight mast. I found a new trick to check the mast. Rather than look down from each end, I use a tall mirror. Not sure why I never thought of that before.

Having fixed the shrouds I only needed to replace the broken jib tack line.

In each of the three pictures I wanted to establish settings to get the mast as straight as possible and use this as my starting point. The first two pictures show my sideways bend on the run to ensure the mast flexes equally on either tack. The bottom shows the mast fore and aft bend and by adjusting the mast ram I can get the mast perfectly straight if I wish.

The upper image is reflected.

Perfectly straight sideways with no kicker

The flex was equal on port and starboard

Adjusting the mast ram to straighten the mast

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