Reinrag² Blog!

Read the documentations of the trips and trials of boat racing on the Reinrag2!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A somber morning

One last push and role of the dice.

It shouldn't be much of a surprise we dropped back in standings.
Yesterday was aweful. When squalls come in with energy, they take more
than what they brought when they leave. We could not get away from
them. Do 15 knots for 15 minutes with tons of fun and then 3-4 hours of
wallowing in confused seas, no wind and massive frustration after they

Kind of like a divorce from what I hear.

Anyways, there is still over 200 miles of racing left and lots can
happen. Maybe we had our worst game of the year yesterday and they
bowled a perfect game?

Currently in about 15 knots of breeze with the big kite up and a
beautiful sunrise and skies.

The boat is a total petrie dish. Unique cultures will be discovered and
then used against enemy countries like Tennessee or Alabama or
Troutdale. We suspect a new life form coming from the head area and we
believe is will resemble Shrek when it completes the embrionic stage.
And Agriculture Hawaii is worried about fruit??

Scott is out driving. Tom, Kevin & Lashawna are checking for light
leaks in their lids - none noted, and I'm down here sending emails.
Leave poor Scott alone. 'Uh, dude where ya going, head up.' 'Oh, you
mean that up.'

Might be bath day - I smelly.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Captain Brown Pants Reporting for duty sir.

Friday 7/11/09 9:30PST

As I learn bits more about life, I keep coming back to two things that are becoming truths for me:

1. Things aren't always as they seem.
2. There is always more to the story.

That being said, where do you want to start?

How about last night. Sailing along dead at Hawaii, big running kite up,moon & stars... All good right? About 5 minutes later with little on the horizon we get hit with a sustained 22-26 knot puff. More big boy sailing. I mean the real stuff because what you don't know is that we are now in asset presevation mode as we had a little fender bender yesterday and trashed a kite. Not a huge deal accept we only had two big 2A kites (our work horse) and now we have one. And we'll need it for this to end up right.

So what do you do, send someone forward to spike the tack and go for a take down or grit it our knowing it could end REALLY badly in a matter of seconds. The really pisser is all the clean you have after a crash. Other things often get broken and you don't notice until sun up or you perform another manuveur. Trust me, going forward to spike the tack at 17 knots, loud wind and water, hopefully your crew is watching and ready to do there jobs, driver is hyper engaged... and oh ya, it's always 2 in the morning.

We gritted it out.

One the thing I've learned too

All good sailboat racing stories start with one of two things or maybe

1. Dude, trust me this is no shit...
2. It was 2 in the morning when...

More later,


We're about 450 miles out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday - closing in.

It was a weeks worth of Mondays at the office this week, but we had a little off-site this afternoon with cookies, crackers, oysters and a bottle of wonderful Port provided by Kevin's mom JoLinda along with other appropriate party favors. Thank you.

With 565nm left we are truly in gring mode as in grinding people down. We jumped from 7th to 3rd place over night with only Tachyon and Bad Pack in front of us. Many things can go right or wrong, wind speed, wind direction, sea state, asset preservation and so on.

It really is getting pretty exciting. We've made a strong recovery and now we'll see about willing ourselves across the finish.

Last night was what I usually call Big Boy Sailing. It was full on. +20 knots of breeze, pitch frikin black and puffs of air that just launch the boat. We weren't on the edge but definitely out playing near it. With only 5 people on board and somebody need rest for the next shift there are usually only 2 or 3 people in the cockpit.

We've had another strong sailing day today and hopefully more tonight. If it looks to blow again, we may change to the heavy air kite.

More soon.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

And so it goes - Thursday the 9th

I already told you about the exciting morning and we've had a couple other bits of excitement with some squals. No really large winds but we did have some good rain. It lasted about 40 minutes, and then just like a classic squal, it went to no wind and lumpy, icky seas. That has all passed now.

We are sailing along nicely back with full main, big running spinnaker and staysail - Givin' her all she's got captain. Not as windy as yesterday so we don't know if we gain on people in these conditions. Four more knots of wind please.

The water is amazingly blue. As I write this email and the boat roles to port I see the water. It is difficult to discribe.

Let's talk about food for a minute. It's a short minute - don't let Tom do the shopping. Nuff said. He is however a good maker. Every night at about seven he goes and prepares 'the trough' with a freeze dried meal from House Mountain or Mountain House - can't remember. They are a very good product. We make in a small igloo cooler to let it reconstitute and then dish it up. We then determine as a team who gets the trough. Sounds a little crude but it works well and is easy to do in rough weather. Doing dishes off the back at 12 knots is a different story though.

Today, Tom made me a little sneaky peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. The sneaky part was the small flying fish instead of jelly. I crunced down twice before realizing I'd been had. Very gross. Darren you would not be proud of me and I wouldn't make it on Deadliest Catch on the Northwestern.

More later,


Shovel and plow

Holy Crap, last night was a lot of work both mentally and physically.

That was some really fun sailing. 20-23 knots of wind with 2A spinnaker, full main and staysail (bad idea) but we were flying. I think we maxed out at 18 knots coming down a wave, it is a strange sensation. It is close to weightlessness, but even the slightest turn of the helm and the boat immediately responds - on rails. As you come down the wave you could so easily (or accidently) turn either way. The correct turn allows you to sail on, the incorrect turn is a catastrophic crash. UGLY!

Anyway, very tired and will try for a bit of rest now that we have had role call. I know well only moved up to 5th in our class, but the next batch of positions should fall quickly if the breeze come in today. I think we had a 275 day.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday July 8th

While our results may not show it, we are doing much better. Finally the wind has shifted, we have up everything we own and now it's just a drag race. Just a couple more knots of breeze and we will then have no cards left to play other than time and skill.

The boat loves to sail and in over 19 knots with a big spinnaker life gets really easy. Point and go and start smiling.

Having two parties tonight. Both are extremely exclusive with a small and focused guest list. Halfway party is at 8 and my birthday at 8:30. We going to ask the band to play both gigs. They offered a discount.

More later,


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another day at the office

Finally, we have reached R2's dance floor.

Regardless of the outcome, this is why you do this. Currently under partly cloudy skies, full main, 2A spinnaker and running staysail - we are flying. The wind has been steady from 18-21 knots and at it's current direction only about 10 degrees low of Hawaii. Our boat speeds range from 11-17 knots depending on the 'ramps' and how they are set up. Ramps are waves that really set the boat in motion. Big air, fast, downwind ocean sailing is a bit like skiing moguls. It's much better to work with them and go around them than over or through them. If the ramp is right, and you pick a good course, you can rip along at 14 knots for minutes.

Several highlights today one of which is watching Lashawna drive. Literally her chin barely clears the top of R2's wheel but she can really go. She has done a lot of suffering and sailing which helps her understand how to set the boat up in the wave pattern to take and advantage of the next set - and she does. Just as in 03, 05 and 07, she currently holds the top speed.

Another cool thing this year is that Kevin brought a mini, waterproof camera that shoots video. He took some great stuff that should turn out fun. He even shot under the boat looking forward with fish eye.

Finally highlight today is Kevin took the first shower. I think I'm due but that first bucket is colldddddddd.

If this keeps up and the shift comes in, our standings should improve, but if not, it sure is an awesome sail.



Monday, July 6, 2009

Tipping Points

People who don't do ocean sailboat races have no idea how many things go into creating and participating in the experience. Millions! It's a bit overwhelming when you step back and acknowledge the items you do have control over and those things you truly only react or interact

Tipping points occur in such small increments and set of by items that set things in action and a cascade begins - to the good or the bad.

Today we've finally had the spinnaker up which is good, but it's not the ideal angle to let R2 dance. Just the smallest things, like 2 more knots of breeze, 3 degree wind shift, 1 more person hiking 2 inches farther out on the rail, someone trimming a little extra harder as theboat begins to launch down the wave. It all matters - millions of little actions, decisions and moves.

Hopefully in the next few days we'll see if our focus with have a tipping point.

Sailing is good!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Fun


Not sure exactly how we faired as the standings are a bit whacky and
they don't seem to have our correct position. Oh well, we are were we

We are all in good spirits but not into R2 conditions still yet.

Skies are cloudy and we have decent breeze.

Sure wish we had more news to report.

The only thing of interest is that due to the economy, we had no fire
works on the 4th.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

Team R2 is having a fine day this 4th. We are having a huge party tonight. We've sent hundreds of invitations with only 5 confirmations. Maybe the directions to our home were a bit unclear.

Perhaps the dolphins will provide the light show as they look like torpedoes rocketing towards us with the fossies in the blue ocean waters.

Not much sea life to date other than the growing gamey smell on board.

Moving along ok with main and reaching jib and toying with the kite if a small shift occurs. It's about the set up and hopefully we've set up well. Hopefully the good news is that we are getting much closer to R2 time of big, solid air and surfing condition. Grinding people down is something we've always done well.



Another day at the office

Not sure what Kevin wrote earlier, but here is my view.

Have had a good run so far and are able to 'hang with the crowd' in less than prime R2 conditions. Those should be coming soon hopefully.

The next 24 hours will tell who made the right call for the set up of the next 24. Vegas anyone?

Been reaching along well with full main and jib top. The combination seems to work well but needs refinement of the jib lead position. Given we only sail the boat once or twice a year there is always several times when we look at each with no idea how we did it last time.

Partly sunny skies with warmer weather today.



Friday, July 3, 2009

First Day

What a great day for the a sail! We started the race at 1300 yesterday off of Pt. Fermin with about 14 kts of wind. We had a good first leg to the West End of Catalina. After rounding the West End at about 1600 we crack off a little and picked up some wind and about 20 dolphins that started to lead our way to Hawaii!! We are looking forward to the warmer weather and hoping for more wind!!

Aloha R2

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The day before

Tomorrow is the start and this is a test email.