Reinrag² Blog!

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

50 miles to go.

We're approacing Oahu.. just about 5 hours to finish.. give or take with
current conditions. Just took down our biggest sail as a largish squall
overruns us. Hopefully it will bring us right into the finish line. Its
been a good day.. pretty fast and the crew is smiling.. thinking about
seeing our families and a clean water shower and a drink with ice in it.
(and for me personally.. I'd have like to say I weaned myself from my
google addition, but I'm already itching to look up the kind of birds that
are swooping out on the waves outside.)

Can't wait for Aloha! Ok.. back to work.. got to pack a spinnaker.. not
there yet.


Last Day!

Just filed the 0800 (PDT) position report... Just 171 "glorious miles" to
go and we have the boat pointed at the mark.

It's still dark on the boat of course as we are so near to Hawaii now.
Venus came up and pierces through the clouds with its intense brightness
that seems to change color like a diamond... like Jerry sang, "the spiral
light of Venus rising first and shining best."

Last night was so beautiful... perfect conditions for star gazing. The
boat moving fast enough to be easy to drive, but not so break neck that it
required a huge amount of concentration.. and the moon didn't rise until
half the night was over. Mostly clear skys let the stars pop out.. the
milky way just parallel with our course on the port side guiding us into
Hawaii. And just to make sure we didn't get lost.. I counted 4 meteors
aiming in the same way off our port bow.

Just hours away now. See you soon our loves.

(Keep the bar open friends.)


Friday, July 18, 2014

300 miles to go!

Just a short update with 300 nm to go. The afternoon wore on with little
change in the heat.. but we did get that squall I was hoping for. For
about an hour it looked like a personal express train to Hawaii for R2. Of
course, it didn't last.. but gave us the opportunity to dry out a few
spinnakers and then enjoy the afternoon under the shade of the big A2. We
joked around and I had to ask for a moment of silence because I haven't
done enough situps to handle the belly laughs.

We see more birds now... two days ago a lone albatross, and now 6 white sea
birds (terns perhaps?) are flitting about. Clearly getting closer to land.

Hoping to get in before the bar closes on Sat night.



Woo.. its hot here. It's late morning.. the sun is out, the deck is
burning hot and I'm writing from down below where its a bit like a steam

The good part of it being late morning though is that the sun will soon
bring the afternoon wind and we'll be back over 15 kts of wind for the next
12 hours.. it will be refreshing not to mention helpful in trying to hold
on to our position in the race. Not much to be done tactically now..
unless you count on strange rituals as means of bringing our own personal
squall to bring us to Hawaii.

In the meantime... we tell stories and laugh. Its been a good trip.. just
another day or so with any luck.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

a female perspective ... by Lashawna

With only a couple days left in this great adventure, a realization occured
to me...I have raced across the Pacific with Team Reinrag four times now as
well as several Cabo Races, but have never contributed to our blog. Being
the only female aboard I figured I might give you the feminine perspective
of living in a 100 sq. ft. petri dish with five stinky boys (I, of course,
smell like roses). First of all, boys have a strange fascination with their
regularity and enjoy sharing information better left unsaid. There is also
the bizarre habit of insulting eachother in a loving sort of way, something
I have not been graciously exempt from. Fortunately, I too know how to say
I love you with four letter words...and, no, I don't mean L-O-V-E. Now that
we are on our 7th day of co-habitation we've really settled into our groove
of sleep, eat, drive, trim. My day goes something like this...wake up at 1
am with a red light in my face saying "Your up"...wiggle out of the "spider
hole" put on all my soggy gear, harness, head lamp...slam a Red Bull...go
on deck, take a face shot of sea water, trim sails for an hour, drive for
an hour, and the last hour of watch usually involves pillaging for snacks.
4 am...crawl back into spider hole, or not, if there's a sail
change...repeat every 3 hrs. All in all it's a good life and there's always
a little angst about the finish of a race. The six of us are spread out
among the East Coast, West Coast and Hawaii and usually only see eachother
to race. But all good things must come to an end the wind is building and I
must go "Hamachi Hunting"

Lush (AKA J-girl)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The power!

What a fantastic night. Starting just before our party.. we did a sail change and a
sail backwards to remove a rubber 2x4 like object that had wrapped around our keel..
we set out for a squall line. Chased it down but didn't quite catch it for 2 hours.
Then after the party, another squall came through.. JJ set a new record boatspeed at
21.2 kts. The wind kept up in the lulls to 19 kts just about all night. We hauled
the mail.

Morning came and we awaited the 0800 position report. OK.. admittedly, the 0800
position report was a bit of a disappointment to us. Clearly our competitors to the
North are just as crazy as we are racing this inspiredly designed yacht at the edge
of destruction all night long. Kudos on them.. and there are still 800 miles to go!

Our day has been perfect. The sun is out in force. (I've got a sunburn through my
shirt). The seas have grown to 2m giving nice launch ramps for surfing. The winds
remain in the 20 kts range. And R2 is just rocketing along. The sheer power is
amazing. She starts off in the 12 kt range and then a gust of wind comes with a nice
ramp and in seconds you are doing 20+ kts.. (I had a record for an hour at 22.1, but
Kevin took it back at 23.1).
The acceleration is immense. I was thinking of trying to calculate the required
power but the nav table is bouncing too much to put pencil to paper.

Where does all that power come from? Sure, its the solar flux that is measured in
megawatts per meter, causing heating of the water, evaporation, and convection of air
masses both vertically causing the squalls and in latitude causing the weather
systems.. But, still the ocean in a squall is a pretty amazing sight to see. And
maybe still more is that through (ok millenia of) naval architechture and sail
design, we apes got it focused down into a 41' boat.

Oh.. and another scatalogical update.. this ape enjoyed the head today!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Half way party!

Just a quick note.. because this constitutes drunk blogging. Having our
half way party... just after a long squall with 20 miles of 15+ kts
driving.. ( got the record back from JJ who did 21.2 this morning.. I hit
21.2.. silly, but fun.) Enjoyed a bottle of Port between the 6 of us and
we're feeling fine.

Black is the night, and full of FUN!

We aren't technically in the tropics yet.. but its starting to get
tropical. The wind is finally "abaft the beam" and the downwind spinnaker
is up. First typical day of racing.. our die is set, our "slot" can't be
changed and we focus on our boatspeed and hope that the wind to the north
with our competitors isn't that much favored.

My 11 pm watch was... worth the price of admission. Got up in the pitch
black.. moon not yet up and overcast. Lush compared it to driving the
"Space Mountain" ride. Asked about my night driving.. I boasted that it
was better than my day driving. Its funny, but in some ways, its true..
just focusing on the compass course, the curl of the spinnaker lit by the
running lights, and the feel of the sea transmitted through the deck to
your feet and the wheel to your hands. "Use the force, Luke!" On the
other hand, not seeing the world around you does leave you feeling like you
are constantly making a left turn, but just ignore that.

Did I mention there was 23+ kts of wind and we surfed to 20+ kts. Oh...
yeah. Nothing like it. So exhilarating. (As I write this... Sailor Chick
just bested my speed with 21+ kts.)

My last watch ended with dawn.. Venus came up first.. just over the edge of
a little squall. Nice misting and a bit of pressure. What a great
beginning of the day. (oh.. and the fresh air reminds me.. time for a bath

So.. are we having a good time.. you bet. Thanks everyone for making it
possible for us come out to play.


Monday, July 14, 2014


You may have heard.. there is a lot of trash and debris out in the ocean.
Mostly we've been seeing small rubber balls (or floats) used by fishing
vessels to hold nets up. Today we saw about 1 per hour. (A running count
by Kevin is up to 25.. and he hasn't seen them all.) But just a bit ago..
we saw a big ball.. over 2' in diameter. And just now.. a huge one 5' at
least. That's some big balls.

Oh.. in case you were wondering... not the biggest around though. Those
are all on board, baby! Surfing with the big kite up and hoping for 20

Gears, nets, and the rail

Ok... so yesterday's 0800 position report left us a bit down.. hard to give
up that many miles so fast to your competitors and not go... WTF..
Obviously, they had a gear we didn't have or at least couldn't find. So..
we mashed gears a bit more yesterday afternoon before we found one we think
works.. at least it feels good.

Just as we found that gear.. after passing 26 rubber plastic fishing
balls.. we caught something on the keel causing an interesting flutter
through the boat. Had to take down our new found gear and sail backwards
for a while. 3' x 8' piece of net. Man this Pacific Ocean has a lot of
trash in it.

Overcast most of the day.. sundown brought some wind and we found the
rail.. put R2 up on it and blasted away. Found that extra gear.. where she
jumps to 20 kts boat speed in 23 kts of wind... and only 1 meter seas.
Funny thing.. its then that you know you are at a winning pace, and its
then you don't care one bit about the "race".. just the exhilaration of
riding a thoroughbred through her paces.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The moon!

Great night last night. Getting a little warmer so its not completely
freezing up on the rail. We went through a bit of the laundry as we
finally found the right kite for the conditions.. and just one fat lip for
our troubles (mine.. its not a big deal, but someone owes me a Mai Tai.)

The moon which was hidden these past days made herself fully known last
night.. it was like daytime on the ocean, with the moon shining through our
vermilion chute making the crew think about tasting blood.. (oh, maybe that
was just me).

Stars tried to shine too, but Luna was too powerful.. could only make out
the big dipper and part of Cassiopeia. Of course, Orion which graced the
skies in March was nowhere to be found. Maybe tonight before the moon makes
her big entrance, I'll glimpse other celestial figures.

Oh.. the other big news.... and it is big.. 1/2 the crew has had movement.
Yeah.. I'm talking about the scatological.. you know.. the old number
2... we pooped, okay? (Its a topic that doesn't seem to get old on the 3rd
day at sea.)


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finally a kite!

At last, the western wind that has been our impediment to a normal Pacific
Cup of downwind spinnaker flying has clocked to the North. So, a day of
Code 0 and now at last a spinnaker. Yes!

The Pacific is our playground now.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Whale sighting!

Just a quick update.. there is life out here besides the rafts of jelly
fish.. got a glimpse of the charismatic megafauna. A smallish whale
crossed our bow this afternoon... about 100 feet away. Light colored,
with a small dorsal fin... about 30 feet long. Left Melville at home, so I
'll just have to wonder what it was.

Chilly and damp night

Nice night last night.. if you like beating towards Hawaii in the mist.
No, really, I mean it. Big headsail up, seas were reasonable.. wind about
10 kts... a big bright moon that we never saw but it made the sea look like
it does in old WWII movies. Windy enough that we wanted weight on the rail
so we took turns getting cold and damp with the occasionally misty fogs
that would roll by.

Morning did not bring sun, but did bring billions (and billions) of tiny
blue man-o-war.. my brother calls them blue bottles. At first we thought
there were a lot.. perhaps 10 per square meter covering the ocean. Then we
got to patches where they were stuck up against eachother... thousands per
square meter... and carpets of them 10 meters wide by 100 meters long.
Like you could walk on a blue green grass on top of ocean. But.. don't try

0800 roll call confirms we split from Swazik and Hamachi...

Thursday, July 10, 2014


We have started... beautiful day in San Francisco Bay. Sun was shining and
about 20 knot western wind blowing in from the gate. Start line at St.
Francis Yacht Club did not disappoint as we could not quite pull off a port
tack start. Hamachi, our sister ship pulled off a nice lee bow tack on
us.. kudos to them, although after the gate we seem to have taken opposite
sides of the course.. it will be interesting to see how that develops.

Picked up a bit of kelp along the way.. was pretty easy to tell as the
boats around us seemed to put on jets while we wallowed... sailed
backwards for a bit to clear it. All part of the fun of ocean racing.

Just passed south of the southern Farallon Islands. Last bit of land for
2000 miles.


Data (AKA Darren)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pacific Cup 2014!

We are doing the Pacific Cup.. and I just remembered we have a blog from
our days past... So this is really just a test message from the boat.
We're doing a bunch of last minute things.. that don't really need to get
done but occupy our minds and let us deal with the growing excitement for
the race. To bad we can't turn all this nervous energy into wind.. but
still a couple of days for the forecast to change.

Also... the big development.. we'll have the full board of the UAC on the
boat! (Yes.. Capt. Brownpants is coming! Woohoo!)

More coming.

Data (AKA Darren).