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Photo problems: This blog works best via Firefox. You can download the browser Firefox free of charge by going here. The Hot Shot Kaskelot Salt blog also works fine on Apple – but for some reason Explorer makes some of the photos move over the text. Only some photos – not all and not in any particular order. Very annoying. I don’t know why Explorer does this – except that Explorer might revenge the fact that I converted to Firefox when they change the Explorer-layout. I have tried to delete the photos and inserting them once more, I have tried to use the code.. everything is OK and looks fine – and then, bang – Explorer mixes it all up one more. In my humble opinion you are better off with Firefox no matter what you use your computer to accomplish.
Comments: Several of you readers out there in blogosphere sends me e-mail comments. It would be much more fun if you used the blog itself to comment. Partly because more readers could participate in the debate, and partly because it will increase my statistics for the blog.
One reason for using e-mail might be language. I have received German, Danish and Norwegian comments on e-mail. Feel free – use your language – but do it on the blog, please.
I write English as a selfish wish to keep my knowledge of English “bright and sharp”. Don’t let it put you off – go ahead and blurp your thing in Norwegian if you prefer.
Pages: On top of this post and to your right, you will find several pages containing more about racing, about particular regattas, about the Kaskelot Salt and equipment – and there is more to come. The pages are meant to be of a longer lasting information value than the posts. I just want you to be aware of the existence the pages.
New shots: I have enclosed more photos from the New Year Regatta (Nyttårsseilasen 2007) in Stavanger. Some of these shots are taken from other racers. It might be a test of your browser – and it might tell you the difference between a pocket camera and the real thing, about keen photographers and amateurs…..
As the title suggest, the double-o -7 New Year Race is not going to be mentioned much in our logbook. We ended up being a hardly decent 24th. However, we where the first of our competitors racing with the same handicap. We could have done better. We had problems with flying the spinnaker, we had two, possible five bad tacks and all in all we never really got Salt into the fast track.
At the bright side of life the above photo (Salt at right) made the local newspapers-website (Aftenbladet.no) look good. And to our defence – the wind was more or less down to zero when we started. We moved hardly forward the first 20 minutes, and very slowly the last 10 minutes.
The New Year Regatta is sporting a hunting start where the handicap is taken out at the time of start. Each individual boat is given a starting time according to handicap. The yachts with the largest handicap starts first. In theory all boats will then be at the finish-line at the same time. Besides it is more fun for the smaller and slower boats to be overrun by the big and fast ones, compared to loose sight of them few minutes after the start. At least it gives you time to admire them.
Lame ducks. However, when there is no or very little wind – the small and slow yachts, can not gain distance during the handicap-time as long as noone are moving. Just to make the race more interesting – the wind came back to give the fastest yachts and latest starters a little breeze to move. And the wind gave its last little puff as soon as the largest and fastest competitors had crossed the finish line.
Anyway – the race gave us a wonderful excuse to be out on the fjord. There was even moments of brilliant sunshine – followed by torrents of rain and rainbows. And we hade a nice fight going with Loffen – I think we passed each other four times.
So what did we do wrong?
– First – we could have hoisted the spinnaker in good time before start and just left it flapping in the next to non-existing wind. This way we could have ensured that we would get no problems when we finally started.
– Second – we could have stuck to the original plan of reaching starboard of Tjuvholmen – thus getting a better spinnaker reach, possible a little more wind, and we would have been out of the incoming flow. However, we had Loffen fighting us in lee pressing us above Tjuvholmen.
– Third – we had some really awful tacks. I guess we are plain rusty and out of touch. But still – we have to learn to give Salt a wide tack, filling her big Genoa and let her pick up new speed before we adjust to the new tack and wind angle.
– Fourth – we where to slow getting the spinnaker down and setting the Genoa twice. First I guess I hoped to keep the spinnaker flying the complete first leg, and that the 6-meter-a-second wind (12 knots) from the weather forecast would finally show up. When we finally got the spinnaker down it was during a squall, not out of control, but less elegantly than we normally do and without the Genoa working properly. The second time around was a little improvement, but far from the best we can do.
I guess the proverb – winning a yacht race is not a question of getting everything right, but to do less faults – is true.
Well – next year we will be back and even more ready! The party was nice thanks to sponsor Subsea 7. Besides hot shot sailor and TV commentator, Christen With, had some nice videoshots of Salt and remarked positively about our spinnaker handling. (Admittingly – he also commented that we were to consentrated on the spinnaker and forgott the main…)
The hull is scrubbed as clean as is possible when you are alone and the water is turned off so not to freeze, the large spinnaker is patched, taped and repaired, the new carbon fibre Genoa 2 is repaired by the sailmaker – in short Hot Shot Kaskelot Salt is ready to tackle double-O-7’s first race.
It is cold and miserable, but it is also lots of fun to race this time of year. The race it self is not a big deal, just a couple of hours – but we might be in for a gail with hail. Last year the race had to be postponed for a week, because of a grand storm. In 2005 it both blew and snowed so that ice formed on deck.
Hot fish, bragging and beer
After the race we all assemble downtown Stavanger for hot fish-soup, beers and video commented by hot shot sailor Christen With from big town capital Oslo. It is all nice and friendly, bragging, hugging and lots of well wishes for the new year to come.
My two daughters Thale and Vilde, my brother Morten and friend Odd and two girlfriends, both named Elin, will be the hefty racers this time.
I’ll blog you all about the results and what happend at the race – even if it is bad news!
Down at the dock the spray form the fjord was washing over boats 200 feet away. No night to be at sea – but it worked out to be nice night to be in the cabin. At least as long as the boat is securely roped to the dockside. I don’t understand why anyone would wish to live close to a sailboat marina. The howling of the wind and the clatter of halyards hitting the aluminum masts must be annoying – to say the least.
Not so nice
On any given day this would have been one of the no-so-nice trips to check out the boat in the middle of a gale. But a few days ago I installed a new diesel oven. And the change is formidable. I have kept it burning just to check that everything is working fine. So during the gale I went below and just savoured the heat and dryness. The yacht has never been among the very wet ones, but she always get damp, cold and uninviting during winter. Everything start to smell a littel stale and all my equipment seems cold and damp.
What a change! Why on earth did it take me five years to get rid of the old diesel-electric heater? It never did work right – and when it worked it made noise and ate through my batteries. It finally sign it’s own death-penalty when it quit during a two-hand race from Bergen to Stavanger and back. At best this is a long race. When hit by cold strong headwinds and no heat below – it was unendurable. When my first-mate turned blue and her upper lip started quivering I knew it was time for some fast reaching towards the island Utsira.
Well – the real reason for dragging my feet for so long, was that I had to cut through the teak-deck for the exhaust-pipe. And I hate making holes – I hate it even more than I hate cutting rope. Sailors who buy expensive ropes, and make sure it is long enough by overdoing it by two meters, know what I mean. Anyhow – I finally did summon courage enough to drill a large hole in the cabin roof, and it was no big deal. Nothing to stay awake and think dark and sorrowful thoughts about leakage and rot.
Now it is so nice that I want to go x-mas sailing. At least I want to go out to see if there is cod to be had for 2.day x-mas. That is the best cod ever. Coming up from the cold fjord, hard and white in the meat and snarled by bait a cold and snowy day. Served with small potatoes, lots of boiled carrots and melted butter with cream and parsley…. And I want to cruise the fjords towards Sjernarøy for a two day lecture in university ped.
I have sailed the Bahamas and Florida – and the truth is that cold wind sailing with a nice glow below is much to prefer to hot wind sailing all day and even hotter nights.
If I get to the x-mas sailing and the cod fishing – I will blogg you all about it. Be my guest!