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Sunday, March 27, 2016

TRYC RG-65 Sailing Day at Railroad Park

We had a good RG-65 sailing day today at Railroad Park in Lewisville, with about 10 skippers in attendance at any given time, and 6 or 7 boats on the water. Afterwards, a couple DF-95's sailed also.

The location, Railroad Park, will host the RG-65 Region 5 Championship in September and it is a very nice venue, with a good breeze that blows right down the pond, easy launching areas, and good sight-lines. Parking and Restrooms are conveniently nearby...I was quite impressed with the venue and think it should be a terrific regatta, I hope to see many of you in September!

Bob Piper brought out his RG-65 from Breaking Winds, and had it going pretty well in the windy still requires some minor running rigging adjustments, and he switched to his DF-65 for the racing...I didn't get a chance to get any pictures, but I look forward to seeing it again soon! Mauricio brought out his RG, and a number of inventive rigs, and Roo and I brought Mustang and PeckForce (Peck is still in for a refit). The rest of the fleet rounded out in the ubiquitous DragonForce's. There didn't seem to be any wind when we left for the lake, so I left the B-rigs at home...of course it cranked right up once we got there, I'd say a steady 12-13 mph with gusts over 15. The DF's A-rig can handle that, but Mustang couldn't stay up on the runs very easily. We got in at east 6 scored races, with several skipper switches so guys could try boats, or visitors could sail. The results, as I have them were:

1. 65-50--71-61
2. 09-50-71-65-61
3. 65-09-62-71-50-61
4. 71-65-(50-09 tied)-61
5. 50-71-09-65-61
6. 71-09-65-50-61

Roo sailed PeckForce to a very credible 2nd in the first race, and I took a second with him in the next one. A slight lull (barely) allowed me to get Mustang out for a race in the 3rd and it was good practice sailing an A-rig in very high-end conditions. I was pleased with how she went and held together...should have brought that darned B-rig! Mauricio sailed a number of rigs, including a "B+" rig that went well in conditions. Bob sailed well as usual, and Chuck took a quick win before helping a new skipper get his DF ready for several races. We had several visitors and new skippers, so boats were changing hands frequently and not always sailed by the same skippers (particularly 09 and 50).

As usual, a few pictures...

Roo and Cash warming up before racing.

DF guru Chuck helping ready a new boat. 

Mauricio's latest; with a "B+" rig. Note the aft position of the fin...

Plenty of room for skippers at Railroad Park...

Panoramic shot of the sailing area; the shore runs straight and is distorted by the panoramic feature, a very nice venue!

Too windy for the A-rig, but got a few races in; everything stayed tight & dry in the overpowering conditions, a good test!

Running upwind in a blow; note the swing-rig angled off to dump to speed and keep her feet up.

Roo skippering PeckForce, he pulled a 2nd right of the bat!

Mauricio heading in to the control area.

Quite a few boats out today; some skippers swapping boats!

Nice venue, good sight lines & wind, plenty of room.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

More Reader Built Boats!

I received this message from reader György in New Caledonia (the internet makes for a small world!) I'm glad to say reading my blog encouraged him to build his own Blue Splash RG-65...his note and pictures follow:

Hi Christopher,
Just a couple of pics of one of our saturday mornings of regatta. As you can see, Xtasy the blue splash is in good position, ahead of different rg 65 and others, it’s honestly the case most of the time (as far as I’m not too stupid). You can recognise 2 goths (violet and white) a Palo de agua (red) and behind the last conception of a good friend: a trimaran (first time on water).

I’ve almost finished a new boat: MaLi, deutsch slim design, I’m gona take pics and will send them to you. It’s very different, I will let you now if it can be a good alternative to Blue Splash that I still like at the moment, but can’t stay without building something different so...

Extasy, an ERC Blue Splash kit with fractional rig... leads the pack!

 Thanks for sharing György, good luck!

Texas DragonForce Series #3, Back to Houston...

I began the third of the Texas DF series by driving down to the Houston regatta with Chuck LeMahieu of Dragon Sailing (USA) with our boats, and several boxes of Dragon Sailing deliveries to the Houston guys, including two new DF95 boats and Chuck's own DF95...a tight squeeze! We left in overcast rainy weather at 6:30am to make the 11:00am start time. For my European readers, Texas is a big state; driving Dallas to Houston is a greater distance than driving (if one could!) from London to Paris! Suffice to say, Texas alone supports a very robust DF65 (or for that matter RC sailing itself) community. After some re-routing due to road construction and traffic, we arrived right on time for the start of the day's racing...and what a day, the weather cleared beautifully with nice wind (A-rig all day), blue skies, and 26 competitors!

The venue; perfect for sailing R/C boats!
The hosts arrive for the day's event!
The venue, while perfect in nearly everyday, was slightly disfavored by the wind angle; some reaching a difficult port tacks; but improved slowly through-out the impediment to good racing! The fleet itself ranged from novice to expert; with all 26 boats racing in one heat, which generally worked, but led to some hair-raising traffic at the marks...

Lucy the dog ate my old racing hat, let's test the luck of the new one!

PeckForce sallies forth; determined to do well and avoid another foundering!

My day...

I finished, I believe 7th out of 26 boats, which puts me 6th in the state series (out of, I'd guess, approximately 30 potential boats). My finishes were: 3-22(dropped)-5-6-18(dropped)-12-13-12-10-10-3-7-8. As I have mentioned before, I need to work on my's tough to follow a 3rd with a 23rd! Fortunately, as I sail more this year I am seeing some improvement. Anyhow, for me:

  • Boat rig, tune, and speed were good. The times I was up with the leaders I did not want for speed of pointing ability (though in smaller boats like these, low and fast is almost always better than high and slow). No breakdowns or leaks;
  • The down-wind sheeting angles are fixed, though I think my jib may still be a shade tight up-wind;
  • Generally good starts; which is saying something with 26 boats on the line!
  • Generally good course selection;
  • I need to improve my ability to sail clear, a right-away is of little use when boats are cracked-up in a rounding, or they (or me!) are uncertain as to the right-away. I need to remind myself more forcefully that sailing with more room in clear air is always a better alternative;
  • I need to take better angles downwind and quit over controlling so much; and
  • Room, room, room! I need to take and give more...


  • 18 boats at CSC were manageable, my opinion is 26 boats were simply too many. The Texas Series is continuing to grow, and some fleet racing system may have to be adopted. I think HMS is too much for such a casual affair, but I'm sure there will be discussions and something worked out. My opinion is that a simple red-white-blue system would be best; again, for this regatta series simplicity is the relevant factor in my opinion. I look forward to seeing what develops;
  • Collision avoidance...sometimes it seems people almost want a collision to prove their right-away, I think the fleet should be encouraged to avoid this; it is always faster to avoid the collision and protest, especially when the avoidance is slight;
  • Fleet composition for the series is good, with a few top skippers to gun for, a few new folks learning the ropes, and a vast and competitive middle to make for some fine racing;
  • We need less talking at the starts; 26 skippers chatting in the wind makes it hard to hear, or perhaps a louder clock, lol...
  • As mentioned previously a fun series to participate in; next time we'll be off to Austin
Of course some photos, courtesy & copyright of Mike Biggs; see there full gallery here.

PeckForce holding off regatta winner Macaluso with a tight mark rounding...Chuck just ahead! 
21 of the 26 boats in this picture give an idea to the busy starts...

One bad tack, and Chuck edges me for 2nd!

Great start for PeckForce, which he held until the last leg, finishing 3rd...consistency needs work!

Another busy start.

A portion of the fleet beating upwind.

Nice view of skippers area at this venue.

PeckForce charges towards the line in one of his better finishes, just behind Mauricio and Macaluso.

Nearing the start, PeckForce aiming to go low and fast...

Nicely powered-up for the first beat, you can see the sail's curve generating some power here...

A good day! PeckForce crosses on starboard on his way to a rounding.