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Race results... didn't finish last...Officially... DIDN'T FINISH

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  • Capt. Randy
    Actually, we didn t start. On 3-6-11, Jim and I motored across the River to the Halifax Sailing Club and docked. It was very windy. At the Capt. s meeting the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2011
      Actually, we didn't start. On 3-6-11, Jim and I motored across the River to the Halifax Sailing Club and docked. It was very windy. At the Capt.'s meeting the course was laid out. N.E. 1/4 mi. to the "Manatee sign" then reach 4 miles south to marker #50 then back round the sign, finishing in front of the club. Start at 12:30. My brother joined our crew at the club and he steered while I hoisted the main and working jib. We kept the engine idling in gear to help hold her into the wind. Sadly, the aft reef line fouled on a reef sail tie and the main wouldn't set right. I had set the jib before I realized it. We tacked and I went below to get the knife from the toolbox to cut it free. Meanwhile, we were being blasted by gust close to 25 mph, while trying not to get to far from the starting line. Even the bigger boats were having problems. I reefed the main and we were still closing on the start when the main started coming down! It took a few seconds to comprehend the problem. The main halyard had come untied from it's shackle, gone through the masthead block and was trailing 40 feet overboard. I ordered the Merc. put in neutral and furled the main on the boom. We charged ahead with the jib but she wouldn't point high enough to make it to the start. We were done. With the trailing rope back aboard, we engaged the outboard again and dropped the jib. Now what to do? Dock at the club, return to our slip or chase after the other boats? At lenght, we brought up the center board, stowed the jib, opened the ballast vents and went to full power chasing after the fleet. For you people interested in how fast a 19 will go, please note that we had close to 700 lbs. of crew, 8 gal.fuel, 4 of freshwater, and 100 gal.s of seawater (800 lbs). The ICW was choppy and we had a big crosswind. At first we topped out at 9.5 mph. the racers were sailing at 7 to 7.5 mph and had a big headstart. As the tank emptied, we reached 13 mph and it was surprising how long it took to catch up. To get Windfall up to 20 mph she has to be light and have flat water and light wind. I took some movies of the boats rounding Marker 50 then we docked back at the club. What went wrong? First, I must have carelessly tied the sail reef tie to the reefing line to make it "look neat" when the sail was furled on the boom. The Bowline knot attaching the halyard to the shackle had stayed tied 17 years, it came untied right after reefing, that never happened before. It was Tuesday before the wind was light enough to easily anchor out and lower the mast to put the halyard thought the masthead block and untangle the reefing system. I put a new bowline though the shackle (using the other end)of the halyard, seizing it with light braided nylon and wrapping it again with pvc rigging tape. Maybe it will stay tied 17 more years. Today, I singlehanded her down to marker 50 and back to the club, Dropping sail there, I then motored back to the slip at my condo. It was a nice sail. Capt.Randy
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