Race Geneva-Rolle-Geneva (11.6.2011)

Dear all
I know the bloody hobbycats are the only thing that seems to be interesting for people here. And you will not read much about the Q28 and what she did in that race. But in fact it is not quite like this  - there is also a monohull community, well aware about the "Allianz". It is maybe more the money behind the D35 circus and the famous names, that makes it interesting for the media and Geneva as a City of the World.

But back to the race of saturday
It was quite hard to get off the starting line. No wind and all the big boats (here that means 12 to 14m and huge rigs, like cathedrals) in the spot, we had to take off also. So just waiting desparately for about 10 minutes to get some air to move the boat at least some meters.
Then slowly the bigger boats got away some 100meters and we also started the little rocket with the help of the new headsail (pole half out, up to the top and clew to the middle of racks, sheeting point same as for chute) we got from North-Sails with the help of Kos. After 20minutes we could sail the course we liked to and we started to catch up very very quickly. In fact by then - we were the fastest monohull at all. So we sailed along the shoreline and passed one boat after the other on even leeward side easily. After maybe 1 hour we got the lead over all monohulls. All the boats of our size were out of sight totally. We just sailed up the lake by ourselves. New feeling for a Sportsboat-Sailor like me. I had to concentrate very hard as Kos is quite a tough teacher, shaking is head, when i am not keeping the boat on the proper course (too deep or too high:-).

We sailed about 5.5 to 7.2kts in maybe 3 - 4 kts of breeze. But it is quite hard to estimate true windspeed as you sail almost completely on the apparent wind. Then this breeze seems to be dying for some minutes, what was good for us. We extended the lead. Slowly the direction of the airflow changed and after some other minutes we were on a real upwind course which of course was not totally ideal for us to keep the lead against the "big boats", as also windspeed was picking up. By then we had to sail another fourth of the course to the first mark. 

We peeled sails to the basic jib sailing up to 7kts of bsp. Then we put out the foil as it got choppy, as the waves going on the shore came back out where we had to sail. Nevertheless we raised speed up to 7.3kts. (in my better moments at the tiller - Kos was gettng nervous). I love how this boat is going upwind. It was nice to sail like this but for this race it was a bit too much or too less of windspeed for us. Further out 5 or 6 of the bigger boats came up slowly and passed us on weather.

We had to tack two times and the hobbycats came down crossing us - a lot of turbulence - impressive. We rounded the mark 4.10 pm between the new and old former "Full Pelts", hoping to catch up going completely on the foil while reaching. In the first moments we had a few surfs but we saw that it will be not enough going on the foil really also because of a windshift turning the course in a real downwind. We changed on the big kite. The race more and more turned out to be a real up and down course and the wind was dropping again, instead of increasing.  It took us about another 2 hours to go back to Geneva, gybing 4times i think and Kos was driving the last part as i got tired a bit.

I enjoyed sailing in this quiet and pleasant mode, although i was hoping for more wind or at least a change of a wind direction. Sailed real time we ended up as 8th monohull (out of about 240?). in our division second elapsed and second corrected. The one boat beating us, was a 42 footer with a huge rig ( she should sail in the big-boat division - but he maybe found out to be able to win in our division - you know sailing with rating coefficients is like this.....)

The whole downwind was pure displacement sailing where length is the thing to have.
As a conclusion: This second place is of big value for us as we know now that this boat is incredibly fast even in conditions not ideal for the boat. All the more as we were too heavy for the conditions maybe.
Sailing back into the harbour of the SNG the guys of the big boats were cleaning their yachts - all of them put away what they were doing for a moment looking us passing to our berth, surprised and wondering what that means. They have to get used to the fact that even small boats can beat them in certain conditions. And if you analyse the time sheets it shows the quite amazing performance of the Q28. Not to think about the same situation going downwind in a bit more of wind....
I am really happy with the result as i always told Hugh and Kos that it can be like this on the lakes - and size - its a pity matters most of the times going to races of a certain distance. Having the same boat in 36 to 40 foot you are off and gone in any conditions. I work on it, finding somebody with spirit, guts and money:-)

Hang loose

Dr. Foil



Tags: Boats, Quant
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