Our first sailing movie

This weekend we shot our first sailing movie!

See how we look...
Watch how we sail...


Credits: music: Dire Straits (Sultans of Swing)

Easter cup / Paascup 2008

We had our first club race this weekend.

The “Paascup” (easter cup) is traditionally the first race of our catamaran racing season. This year the club decided to have this race 10 days earlier that we’re used too. And we felt it! It was cold, 7°C air and water temperature.

The day started out very windy (5 BFT) and cloudy. Winds were to pick up to 6 BFT later that day. Racing was going to start at 12.30. Gill and I got on the water at 12.00. It felt ok, although the waves were larger than expected.

After 20 minutes we trapped out to test everything. A wave hit my feet and I fell back on the trampoline. I got back out immediately but while doing this another wave hit me and my feet were slammed of the boat. We were speeding and my legs immediately “flew” to the back of the boat. I was still hooked and I got turned, my back against the hull. Gill tried to slow the boat down but he couldn’t turn into the wind because another boat – a Hobie Dragoon - was sailing right next to us. It took a while for them to pass us and finally Gill managed to reduce the speed and pull me back up. At that time I was exhausted and freezing. I had several cold waves over my head and I was shaking and cold. After a lot of discussing and doubting I decided the race was over for me and I wanted to return to the beach.

So we returned and took the jib off so Gill could start the race solo. He managed to get back in time at the start and he did ok. He could keep up with the Nacra Infusions. Buy, after half a lap, there was another team in trouble. Iris pulled her shoulder and she had to get back to the beach. Gill noticed this and decided to follow them to the beach. Since by then it was really blowing Gill decided to get back with Jan on his infusion and finish the race.

Race 2 started, but never ended. After rounding the gate, Gill and Jan capsized. Due to the strong current (spring tide coming up the next day) they got separated from the boat and needed to be put back on by a rescue boat. At that moment 4 other boats were capsized (with crews separated from their boats) and since the rescue boat was also the start and finish boat, all further races were cancelled.

What a day!

Right now we’re trying to sail as much as possible in the weekends. We need to be prepared for our next event: Eurocat at Carnac. This event is looking great: 4 days of sailing (May 1 to May 4) in France, with 400 participating boats. We’ll also see some of the F16 sailors from Holland and the UK, so I am really looking forward to that. Just keep your thumbs up that weather will be nice. My wish list: sunny and 3-4 BFT! Please help me weather gods!

A-Cat/F16 Invitational, Gulfport Yacht Club, Gulfport FL March 15-16, 2008

The weekend began as 29 A-Cats and F16’s converged on Gulfport, Florida, from all over the states and the world for The A-cat/F16 Invitational. YES - Gill and Kathleen made the regatta as part of their two week holiday to Florida from their home; Belgium.

We all had a great time this weekend. A little sore and black and blue but that is just proof that we were there.

Boats arriving early Friday for practice were washed out. So much for "it only rains in Florida for 10 minutes a day". Gordon Isco was very gracious and opened his home for us all to party Friday night. Thanks to Gordon we enjoyed drinks and appetizers; and we also met a lot of the F16 sailors and regulars on the Catsailor forum. It was nice to put a face on all the nicknames. In addition to the Florida guys there were two F16’s from Tennessee and two from Maryland, an A-Cat from Rhode Island and lots of other sailors (very sorry for those I missed). Everyone was so nice, it would be cool to see this guys down in Wales, for the F16 Global Challenge!

On Saturday the event officially started with the races starting at 1200. With winds 15 to 20 building to 25 with gusts in low 30's by days end it was HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE!! The 4 races followed quickly and there were lots of flips and wreckage due to the strong wind

That was the most wind Oley and I had ever been in with our Blade. We flipped once before racing started. First race we were doing great coming up to the line in 4th then Ed/John flipped in front of us. Avoided them and was about to finish 3rd and flipped for the second time. Seth &Stephan flew past us and did a GREAT job of saving a capsize. Finished 9th in that race. Second and third races were blurs. In one of them we came through the gate rounding to port and flipped again. The other, we came across the line right behind Matt/Gina to get a third. The last race of the day we flipped twice. After the second time I told Oley that we should call it a day because I was worn out. Once we got up he said no way there were boats behind us-so we finished 4th.

Gill and I only finished one race because we lost our jib traveller track during race n°2 and we had to retire to the beach. We stayed on the beach and watched the other teams come in. By then the wind had really picked up and gusts of 30 knots were recorded

After the 4th race the RC called it a day and sent whoever was left back to the beach. Some of the carnage included a fractured port hull, at least 2 bent booms, rudders coming off in mid race, sheered off dagger boards (two on one boat), broken jib traveller, and a torn downhaul line.

After everybody had secured their boats, the party started. GYC really does a great job partying. We felt at home and enjoyed lots of drinks and great food. Best thing was spent swapping stories and laughing with all the different people. Turnout was great by the way. There were 14 F16s on the water. One-up and 2-up teams, all men and mixed teams, light and "heavier" teams, everyone had fun. We shared the course with the A-Cats invitational event. They also had a great turn out: 15 boats on the water.

After a night at the bonfire the second day started out totally different. At 9 o'clock it was still foggy, cloudy and almost wind still. The A's started first at 1100 and then the wind shifted - the RC shorted course and moved marks. At 1230 the F16 flag went up. Compared to Saturday; Sunday was a slow but tactical race. Team Olson/Lienti made the strategic and right decision to start the 1st race on port tack and they were soon way ahead of the boats in second and third place. They won this race Matt and Gina McDonald won the other two races of the day.
Saturday was definitely the day for teams with lots of high wind experience and the weight to keep the boat down. Sunday was a great day for the single guys and the lighter teams.

At 4PM we were all off the water and the boats returning their long way home could start de-rigging.

It was wonderful to have that many boats to compare too and thanks again GYC for hosting us all for a great weekend.

Final results for this great event:

1/ Robbie Daniels/Matt - Viper
2/ Matt/Gina McDonald – Blade
3/ Oley/Joanna – Blade

1/Bret Moss
2/Ben Moon
3/Clive Mayo

Written by Joanna Lienti and Kathleen Vandenbulcke