Neal Freeland

Engineering/marketing manager, family guy. My personal blog with a few work thoughts mixed in.

Thistle Nationals 2007 Eugene Yacht Club

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The Thistle Fleet had 64 boats attend the 2007 Nationals Regatta at the Eugene Yacht Club on Fern Ridge reservoir last week. I raced with Darlene Woo and Jeff Crombie from the Seattle fleet (Erik and Brooke were both working) and considering it was the first time racing together we had a great time. The venue is perfect, with tent camping on site. Julia and the kids stayed with her parents in Springfield, and Kerrie and Ron came up from Sacramento with their kids to join Vanessa with hers. 6 cousins under 4 years old. Lots of fun.
Here’s what I learned from the racing:
  1. Flat really is faster, and we probably need depower the rig. The conventional wisdom is to keep the boat flat and moving. We’ve never been able to do that with 1160, and I’ve always felt the need to let the boat heel to ‘load up’ before easing mainsheet or traveller in the puffs. Mid-week the top 5 in the standings talked about how they go fast and in the heavier winds. They all footed, easing sheet before the puffs. I tried this and it worked! It felt faster. Plus they all said they kept relatively loose rigs to flex off power in the puffs. I’ve always been worried about touching the rig, but even though our Loos gauge tension is on low end of band I think we need to take some factors out. I’m going to do that before putting it back in this weekend and see what happens.
  2. I can compete, but need a coach. There are times when I can really drive excellent starts and really get the boat moving. However, I’m not consistent. Though I’ve been improving over the past 3 seasons, and I probably need to get someone with a lot of experience into the boat to push me up the learning curve faster. I should ask Dennis Lettenmeier if he’ll sail with us on a Tuesday club race.
  3. Keep being positive. I think the most fun Darlene, Jeff and I had was when I found lots of reasons to say positive things. There’s always something to critique, but the experience is better when we focus on what’s going well rather than the other way around.
  4. Bring Nana and Opa, and a Nanny – give Julia a break. Next time, I’m going to hire a weekend nanny and invite mom and dad to come along to watch the kids while I race during the day. This will free Julia to do whatever she wants and give her time off. Even though her family was around she had too much kid duty while I was sailing, and then I didn’t feel like the kids were around enough at the club. Plus I think my folks would really enjoy it.

Written by nealfreeland

August 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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