Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Forecast Confidence: Below Average



These are the girls. Sabrina is on Mommy's Lightning. Camryn is on Daddy's shoulder. We miss them.

Have I told you that we get regular weather forecasts every morning? Well one of the facets of the forecast is where the forcaster tells us how well the various weather models are agreeing and how much confidence she has in her overall prediction. I feel sorry for our weather guru. This place is nuts. We went out today in about 12 knots of breeze from 180 (the south). We take wind readings every so often to try and get a handle on what the wind will do during the racing. Well in a one hour period between 10:30 and 11:30 today, we saw wind come from 270 different degrees. That means we had that southerly. Then the wind did a 180 and we had a northerly. Then we saw it from 160, then 110, then north again and then it went into the northwest before crapping out alltogether. Then it came in from...you guessed it...180 and the committee set a course and we got going! I would not want to try and make a living predicting Rio de Janerio's winter weather.

Well, today was supposed to be the day we got to tour the cement Jesus and the Sugerloaf mountian via tram. But, since we've had such unreliable weather, we needed to use the reserve day for sailing. We also were supposed to start sailing at noon today vs. the usual 1pm start times. Anything they can do to get in some races is fine by us. It's really tough on them given how early it gets dark. Today, eventhough we went out early, we still only got in 1 race.

In that race, we started to leeward of the group tacked onto port with the pack. They must have gotten out of the current sooner than we did (please understand there aren't any channel markers on the race course) and we rounded the weather mark last. The guy who rounded the first mark first was first to tack onto port, went all the way to the corner, tacked and lead at the weather mark. We fought back on the run, passed a couple of boats, got closer up the second beat and passed one more on the following leeward leg to finish third behind Chile and Brazil. So as of tonight, there are three boats tied for first, Chile, Brazil and us, each with 11 points. We hold the tie breaker against Brazil but Chile is untouchable right now. It won't get any better after we complete 1 more race and they can discard their OCS.

Tonight's "Neatest Thing That Happened Today" Dedicated to Camryn and Sabrina:
This morning we went out onto the racecourse before the racing to check out the conditions. One of the things we regularly do is to sail by a permanent sea buoy of some kind to check the current. We have tide charts that tell us whether the tide should be coming in or going out. But the wind delays that sometimes. Or else the wind can even prevent the tide from going out at all. This happened on Tuesday. Anyway, we put a sponge in the water next to a big red buoy. The sponge floats low in the water so that when it moves you know it's the current that's moving it and not the wind. You might also do this with a weighted stick. Ok, so we picked up the sponge and I told David I wanted to touch the buoy for good luck. I smacked it a good one as we went by. Later I looked down and saw a red splotch on the side of the boat. I thought someone was bleeding but in reality it was a hand print. The red sea buoy 3/4th of a mile off shore. The red sea buoy smack dab in the middle of the dirtiest harbor you'd ever never dream of swimming in. The red sea buoy, one of thousands in a giagantic country where very little appears to get periodic maintenance...had just been painted. Incredible!

3 comments:

rtwl said...

Sail Bunny-

Though it sounds like you're sailing in the flushing channel, you are doing us all proud. Keep going and keep at it. I want to see you on the podium with a gold medal around your neck. Congratulations and good luck,

-Mike Loaf

Pete said...

hope you're breaking out the chuck t's for tomorrow.
quite a good showing for a vanguard sailor flying a spinnaker.

Stuurs said...

BF,
Congrats on a great regatta to date, keep it up. Since Rio is "dry" and Harbor Springs is not we will hoist a beverage tonight at the "Friends of Dave Party" at Irish this pm. Cheers,
Jamie