Wednesday 29 January 2014

A Last Look at Last Year: Cyclone Season

"And bad mistakes, I've made a few..."

     Those of you playing along with the the home game version of the sporadic-but-still relevant Dock Six Chronicles may remember that I became a racer last season.

     So, how did that turn out?

     Surprisingly well.

     Better than it had any right to, in fact.

      On paper, we didn't have a chance.

      Cyclone is a beautiful boat.   She is a great example of the state of C&C's art...

...40 years ago.  She may be the oldest boat in our racing fleet.

    Her sails are original.  They are definitely the oldest sails in the fleet.

   Charitably speaking, Cyclone is...  experienced.

    Her crew, on the other hand?
    .....  not so much.  Some of us had at least a decade of experience under our belts, others had years, I had three months, three decades ago.

     I was definitely the boat's greenhorn...and it often showed.

   We also had the widest age spread of any crew in the fleet to add to our notable statistics. Five decades separated our high- school- freshman bowman from our most experienced retiree winch grinder.

  If this was a Hollywood blockbuster, our season would be summarized in under 2 hours of running time including all of the expected cliches- a crew of oddballs and outcasts work past their initial wariness, bonding over beer, a montage, broken gear, crises of confidence, a crusty mentor,  another montage, climaxing with winning one final race, backed by an orchestral score heavy on strings and timpanies, with a single wailing electric guitar.

   Alas, this isn't "Seabiscuit."  We didn't win it all.

      But, we won enough.

       At the wrap-up banquet, we got to find out how we finished the season, after all the protests were settled and the phrf calculating was done.

       We finished pretty damn well.



JAM Fleet

Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Rating system: Custom, Entries: 5, Scoring system: Appendix A
1stJAMCYCloneC&C 35 MK111153A.Elkin1391.
2ndJAMWest WindC&C 33-228069L. West1542.
3rdJAMStargazerC&C 27-2 M344150G & C Overmars2053.
4thJAMShaibu IVNonsuch 302810H. Jackson1627.00 DNC4.004.0015.0015.00
5thJAMFlashdancerGorman Express 30481E. Skinner1535.00 DNF6.00 DNF7.00 DNC18.0018.00
(Historical footnote:  The Maytham cup is named for Jack Maytham, a Port Dover  marine engineer/ naval archietect/ boat builder who built the Niagara Falls  tour boat Maid of the Mist 6. )


SPIN Fleet

Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Rating system: Custom, Entries: 8, Scoring system: Appendix A
RankFleetBoatTypeSail#OwnerRAUG 7AUG 14AUG 21AUG 28TotalNett
1stSPINLegacyJ-3532690S. Hewson722.
2ndSPINCYCloneC&C 35 MK1A.Elkin1293.50 CB4.003.0010.5010.50
3rdSPINRitualJ-3542922J. Vallee721.009.00 DNC1.0011.0011.00
4thSPINAmazing Grace IVBeneteau 36.7080L. Grace783.002.006.0011.0011.00
5thSPINCaliedoscopeCal 31140M. Thomas1624.003.004.0011.0011.00
6thSPINEnigmaC&C 33-174207J & J Parker1505.005.007.0017.0017.00
7thSPINMenaceHobie 3353243J. Morey939.00 DNC6.005.0020.0020.00
8thSPINSpecial KC&C 9955L. Kramer1089.00 DNC9.00 DNC10.00 DNC28.0028.00


SPIN Fleet

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Rating system: Custom, Entries: 16, Scoring system: Appendix A
1stSPINCYCloneC&C 35 MK1A.Elkin129(9.00 DNC)
3rdSPINGoldfingersC&C 29-144131L & M Dowds1804.00(5.00)
4thSPINSpecial KC&C 9955L. Kramer108(9.00 DNC)
5thSPINSequenceJ-30A & B Smith1443.006.004.00(7.00)4.5024.5017.50
6thSPINAmazing Grace IVBeneteau 36.7080L. Grace785.003.00(8.00)8.007.0031.0023.00
7thSPINPromiseCS 33 SD3345P. Murray153(9.00 DNC)
8thSPINEerie WitchGoman Express 3074207R. Chivers144(9.00 DNC)
9thSPINUnbridledC&C 309307E.Bilopavlovic1706.009.00(11.00 DNC)9.008.0043.0032.00
10thSPINShaibu IVNonsuch 302810H. Jackson1742.00(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC49.0037.00
11thSPINCaliedoscopeCal 31140M. Thomas1629.00 DNC(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC56.0044.00
11thSPINMenaceHobie 3353243J. Morey939.00 DNC(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC56.0044.00
11thSPINLegacyJ-3532690S. Hewson729.00 DNC(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC56.0044.00
11thSPINRitualJ-3542922J. Vallee729.00 DNC(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC56.0044.00
11thSPINEnigmaC&C 33-174207J & J Parker1509.00 DNC(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC56.0044.00
11thSPINTapestryRedwing 304055N. Fraser & F. Smith1969.00 DNC(12.00 DNC)11.00 DNC12.00 DNC12.00 DNC56.0044.00

       In a fit of utter insanity, skipper Andy invited me back this season.

       I'll be there.

     "Talk the Dock!"



  1. Wow! Pretty impressive! But the Mk 1 is a good boat if you ignore (or no longer have) that weird wire halyard winch on deck. The thing about the old C&C designs (recall I have a '73 Viking 33 with a similar PHRF) is that if they are stripped out in terms of weight and don't have wet decks (i.e. if they've been maintained), their "IORiness" means they charge to windward and only give it back in long, light downwind runs, at which they generally suck. Also, the PHRF is well-known and is comparatively fair at this stage.

    If you make sure the knees and chainplates are sound, tune 'em up HARD for extra goodness. Those keels give you the oomph to plow to weather in waves that stop the average Catalina 34 or most Hunters. It helps with that vast J measurement (it's like mine in terms of percentages that you can pole out the No. 1. Is it still hank-ons? That would be very good given your competitors.

    1. Rhys;
      Thanks for your thoughts! We're really happy with the boat.
      We've not yet tapped her full potential...this was our first full season with her. She carried a fairly standard amount of cruising gear - food, blankets, liquid refreshments, along with all her cushions, decorative pillows, tables, etc....
      We've got some new, and some new-ish sails this year, to go with.
      Headsails are roller-furling, but we don't take the PHRF credit so we can change sails for wind conditions.
      Wonky halyard winch was long since removed.
      Tuning is still a work-in-process. Haven't been able to find a conclusive tuning guide.



  2. Jonesy;
    Great post! Not entirely accurate, but who cares, right?!?
    To be honest, it wasn't just an open invite - more a polite request. (if i thought I could get away with a demand, I would have made one...but Yvonne has thoroughly broken me of that habit...)

    You may well be the most critical part of the team I'm trying to build. Sure, the other guys have more experience, but none of them have your enthusiasm.
    Where else am I gonna find one guy who can fill the roles of Clown, Cheerleader, Poet, Scribe, Oscar-the-grouch, Socratric methodist, and photographer, all in one compact sports body??

    Looking forward to seeing you soon!!

    Andy the idiot skipper.

  3. Skipper,
    I take umbrage, sir, at your assertion that my account of our season was "not entirely accurate"! The aforementioned recollection may have been described as enhanced, or embellished or even abridged, but inaccurate? Okay, fine, so I left out the part about some useless grinder wrapping the winch backward on a vital tack in a late- in -the- season race when every second mattered, with points on the line...
    And maybe there are a couple of other minor spots of artistic license... but I promise to be more accurate next season.

  4. Jonesy;
    calm down, man...
    my major beef was that you posted the incomplete August results, potentially giving your multitudinous readers the image that we beat RITUAL, of all people, in a series.
    If word of this outrage gets back to Vallee, I'll be in some hot water.

    I wasn't going to bring up any reverse winch-loading. The 'Unbridled' crew is much worse for that...I hear 3 times in a row one race!!

    BTW...what, exactly, is umbrage?

  5. and no comment about the compact sports body??

    come on!! that's comic GOLD, I tells ya!!

  6. The dismissal of RITUAL's victories were not the fault of the author, but rather the PDYC's online results. Close enough. If Vallee gives you any flack, tell him to talk to me. Besides, word will never get back to him anyway- he doesn't read cruiser blogs. "Umbrage" is what your bowman mumbles when you proceed up the river and try to remember who you have to call on the VHF before going much past the Museum. BTW, your focus on my stout build is flattering..a little creepy, but flattering. :)