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Thursday, January 2, 2014

DragonForce RG-65 Match Racing at Corinthian Sailing Club, TRYC

To kick-off the new year, the Trinity River Yacht Club hosted a round-robin Match race with two DragonForce RG-65's, which the club is adopting as an entry level boat (along with RG-65's broadly and IOM's). These new boats are quite the rage, and seem an excellent ready-to-sail buy at below $200 (and increasingly hard to find as orders remain high!)

This was a good test, the boats were match raced by varying skill levels in a stiff breeze with typical White Rock rollers...winds started about 18-20 and peaked at 28mph. The boats took it extremely well, no breakdowns, minimal interior wetness, and quite raceable and maneuverable. With winds continuing to build, the semi-finals were carried over with the seeding being Brig North 6-1, Eric Rosenbaum and Chris Cafiero 5-2, and Chuck LeMahieu 4-3. Two or three races were within a boat length!

My Experience: Sailing small boats in high winds means it is invariably better to foot and keep moving for speed; pinching quickly leads to stalling usually and a difficult recovery...I had two good port tack starts by disengaging the start and running to the port corner, both led to victories. One win was helped when Maurico hit the downwind mark while rounding in a gust. Best race was against Chuck LeMahieu, a "Founder's Match" as we started the club 17 years ago...I went after him aggressively on port, and he seemed a bit surprised. Held a very narrow lead the whole race and finished ahead by about a boat length, whew!

Years of wrestling tender Victoria's in high wind and water was clearly helpful to me. The boats took it very well, and I was impressed by their ability to tack in wind and swell...I could (barely) tack in 28mph, but found it generally hopeless going downwind in the A-rig at those speeds, and repeatedly pitched and rolled. I would imaging with B and C rigs the boats would have handled it nicely however. Good boats!

Video (iPhone 5 with tripod) of Brig and Chandler racing, about 18-20 in A-rigs...

...and Chandler besting Maurico...

Pictures taken on iPhone 5 with telephoto attachment...

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