A group coming from Madrid arrives thursday. It’s wednesday and I have just arrived from a Training & Racing Week in Palma de Mallorca. All the way upwind, facing the weather. Its not rough in anyway. I feel just very tired. So many good emotions last week with our friends from Switzerland and Santander.
No time to sleep enough, I must get ready everything. And Thurday arrives, the boat is ready and the guys have arrived. Afternoon, sunny coffees and short presentations, we go out Alicante bay for an introductory session. We want sailing. The guys, are not very experienced in this kind of boat.
Chema frequently Sails Dingui in lakes.
Carlos is a motorsailor but wanted to live this kind of sailing experience.
And our third guest,
Quique, normally sails short cruisings on south of Spain during summer, but he is the kind of guy able to be enroled in whatever activity, just feeling a kind passion impulse.
SuperCool guys, but, there is a lot of work to do.
They come with expectatives of Fast Sailing, Training, Self-Improvement, Enhancing Skills. But one day for training, and a weekend of Windward/Leeward in close quarters sometimes is not enough. In this case was a true challenge.
Thursday, 18:00. Conditions: 5-12kn, E, flat water, sunny, warm.
Short sail training session, to mainly introduce the boat and see the skills, handling & knowledge of everyone. They were not familiarized with asymmetric spinnakers, bowsprits, code 0, inner jibes. Not experienced about, how to adjust sails for enhancing performance, hold accurate courses upwind in fresh breeze. Well, much better say that for two of them this one will be the first Regatta in their lifes. So lets talk about some basic stuff upwind and downwind with main, solent and code 0 and next day spinnaker hoisting, jibing and recovering.
Friday, 12:00-20:00. Conditions: 10-14 kn, SE, flat water, sunny, warm.
Superb Upwind to Arenales del Sol!! The guys are plenty of energy and enthusiasm working together, having fun, and the atmosphere aboard is excellent. The previous session yesterday was definitive to increase their confidence about, they can do whatever kind of task racing.
Chema loves all related with sailing, and this is simple, If you love it you enjoy it and Chema seems that sails his dreams, building future projects with the sea in mind.
With enough windward regarding coast line, its time to kiting. After a short explanation about getting ready for hoisting, we were for it and the guys did it. Normally, hoisting, works fine, and this time was not the exception.
Jibbing our A2 with a non experienced crew is a different affair, and the first ones were not really good in fact. It worked but was not “correct”. Perception of people regarding easying out the sheet to make proper inner jibes, is not easy for someones. A good tip is just a good ease out, letting the sheet fly towards front of forestay. It seems simple but in practice the guys have more tendency to “grabbing the sheet than letting it go”.
After 15 inner jibes, the improving is clear, the move much more clean and with fluency, and most important, the confidence of the guys is at their highest. Essential cocktail for fun.
All needs practice, and we worked on. So for the end of the day everybody was tired, but we could say happily tired. Which is not so bad.
Regarding positions, Chema will be on charge of the Spinnaker set up and hoisting, Quique on the sheets and Carlos on the Main.
Saturday. Race 1, 15-18kn, SW
A tricky Windward/Leeward is waiting for us. Good starting going upwind.
Our angle is more open but we compensate with a good speed over 9kn, positioned ahead in fight with the other crew of the picture which was keeping a closed angle.
Then its time to pass the windward mark and hoist spinnaker, and despite the manoeuver was late, the guys did it and we keep on racing.
To be completely novices racing, they are trying their best. They gave it all, but they paid for the nerves, the tension and pressure of racing. So being aware of this, we worked on that side for the next racing day.
Sunday. Race 2, 10-20kn first half of the race, W. 2-6 kn second half of the race, W-SE (Isobaric wind vs Thermal wind **Lotery Game**)
The start was established to begin downwind, so A2 ready and lets go for a controlled start. All ok for the moment, nice speed over 8.5 and 10kn, a couple of nice inner jibes in our way, and the fun starts arriving the mark out of the coast line. Suddenly starts to gust 22kn with a huge windshift, coming more from the beam than on a reach. Lady Velox Sailing, our Pogo 12.50, starts to accelerate and heel, allways easy and supercontrolled, “SHE is just a BEAST”. Making around 12-13kn, suddenly the worst happened and PUUUUUMMM!!!! my favourite sail was broken on the head. Shiiiiii…………………..Thanks to dynema inside the leach we take it down without problems and there was no time to lament. We were racing so lets keep on, but it costed us time, positions, and is difficult avoid that taste of regreting. We pushed to limit, that’s all.
After complete the first turn of the circuit, on the second half of the race, the wind started to drop gradually and was time for A2, but it was out of the bussiness, so Code 0 up and lets try our best.
At the beginning of the wind dropping, was fine with the code, but the wind was going down and more down, until the moment the fleet was more floating than sailing. Patches of wind in one area, a lack in other part of the circuit. Out of the land SE wind 5kn, close to shore W of 2kn. It was real lottery time, and strugling to move, jibbing, tacking, under the Mediterranean Warm Sun we reached the finish line.
The guys covered expectations in reference to technical maneouvers and moves the never did before. The experienced fast sailing introductory feelings from our Lady Velox, Pogo 12.50. They were very satisfied with the experience, the training, the new knowledge, and the sensations of sailing with this wonderful boat. Let us say that they want more, so they will come back to keep on the pathway they started sailing with us.
We must say, that they faced situations they have never experienced, starting from racing, moreover racing in a crazy non stop Windward/Leeward, and followed by hoisting, sailing fast, recovering and zipping Spinnaker again to get ready for the next downwind in 5 minutes…On deck again to keep speed upwind…..And they tried and they did it. And this is 100% actitude. Just born racers having beers after racing, celebrating the experience, sharing the anecdotes and experiences with other crews, making new friends, laughing about the horrible mistakes, and getting filled with the positivity to come back for more. This is why we Train & Race on Velox Sailing.
PD: They “borrowed” the trophy directly from the hands of the general winner to have a picture. It was only to demonstrate their wifes, that actually they were training & racing during the weekend. This post is also a good proof, but you are Very Clever Guys!!!