Spring has sprung, the Easter bunny is busy hiding eggs and the Thursday's Child crew are ready to race in the 49th annual Southern Straits race. Ever wondered what the heck goes on during a race? If so GREAT NEWS! This year we're inviting you all to join us through the magic of the internet! We'll be testing our live 360 streaming camera from the boat and our on shore producer genius will be broadcasting from land with some expert commentators!
Please click HERE to watch the live streaming (starting at 10:25am PST April 14, 2017) and updates from the race course. You do not have to join Facebook to watch the feed and see the updates, however if you are a member please be sure to like and follow our page!
If you want to see how TC is doing on the course, along with the other competitors, click here to be taken to the tracker website.
Good luck to all the racers!
It feels great to be on top!
The racing this week was an absolute blast. Once again we set off expecting to be drenched in rain and drifting around in no wind. We were all very pleasantly surprised when the rain held off, and the wind showed up! Shelly and Zac experienced their first broach, and we managed another 1st overall.
With only one race day left we're starting with a great chance to be 1st overall for this series, but of course anything can change!
#1 in the Winter Series
TC had a fantastic start to the 2016 season with a double handed entry into the TCYC New Years day Race.
The day was almost a no-go after discovering that Starbucks wasn't open on New Years Day, fortunately the boys are good at thinking on their feet and a trip to Tim Hortons saved the day. On the drive to the boat Benj's car was reading -5 outside, and when they arrived at the club the docks were completely frozen. In addition to the inhospitable temperature it was also blindly foggy. Not wanting to kill themselves, but still wanting to race they made a call to Vancouver traffic, the local harbour authority to determine that there were not big scary boats planning on going through the narrow channel under the Lions Gate Bridge; this is the channel through which the boys have to go to get to the race course on English Bay. Vancouver Traffic confirmed that it was safe to transit and Dave and Benj headed out with frozen decks and lines into a pea-soup like fog to get to the race course. This is the first time that either of them has gone under Lions Gate Bridge without actually seeing it. Fortunately Dave is a pilot for a living and has developed highly honed "Fly by instrument" skills, he was able to keep the boat on-track as they headed out against the current. They felt comforted knowing boat is equipped with an AIS transmitter so all of the commercial boats are be able to see them, and most importantly, all commercial traffic appears on the on board GPS. Fortunately there were no issues, and the boys were shortly at the starting line.
This race is a unique adaptation of the famed LeMans start. Instead of crossing a line, under sail after a count-down to the start, each boat has to be anchored with all sails down, and crew below-decks. Once the starting horn sounds, the crew jump on deck, bring up the anchor, rig the sails, and start racing. Dave and Benj were somewhat disadvantaged as they were double-handed and were racing against a bunch of boats with full crew. Double handing meant that the two of them had to perform all of the tasks quickly and efficiently if they wanted to be competitive.
The race was simple, around two markers and back to the finish. The challenges were the lack of wind, combined with strong current, and also the depth at the last mark.
The race committee had chosen a "Dolphin" as a turning mark. These are put in place to indicate shallow water, and while there are times when the water bear them is passable, it is generally considered poor seamanship to go near, let alone inside one of these markers.
After a brush or three with a boat that shall remain nameless, the boys were off to a great start, and quickly sped past a number of other boats, including regular frenemies Windy Feat, Flaming Red Head and were hot on the heels of Ultraman II.
On the approach to the first mark, they decided to rig a never before seen out of the bag light-air spinnaker for the next leg. It sure was ugly, but the lightweight cloth meant that the sail would remain full with less wind than the other, slightly heavier spinnakers. Their plan paid off, and the sail was drawing, even in the lightest of breezes.
For most of this leg the wind was constantly changing from light to nothing and back to light again. It was an exercise in patience and concentration. Dave was trimming the spinnaker, while Benj was taking care of the main sail and driving. This worked well, and the three way battle between Thursday's Child, Windy Feat and Ultraman II continued.
Where did the water go?
When the Race Committee started the race, the tide was in, and there was plenty of water in the bay but as the race slowly progressed the tide was quickly going out and the last mark (remember - the one that marks the shallow water?) was becoming increasingly concerning. The worry is that the boats would hit the sand, and since the tide was going out they could become stuck for a very long, and embarrassing time.
As Thursday's Child rounded the mark, her depth gauge indicated that they had a little under a foot of water under the keel. After a few very tense and quiet moments aboard they had cleared the shallows and were headed out towards deeper water.
Where did the finish line go?!
As they headed to the finish a brilliant battle between Thursday's Child, Krikket, Ultraman II, and Windy Feat broke out. Each boat was fighting to find even the slightest bit of wind. Many tacks and gybes ensued, and each boat was constantly going from first to last to first and back to last again. At this point the time limit on the race had passed, the race committee had gone home, so the boats were all just playing for fun. As a fleet they decided to race to the 'Hamburger', a fixed mark in English Bay, which would serve as a makeshift finish point. The boats battled and jockeyed to get rights and to finish first; somehow after hours of racing all of the boats managed to finish at 2:38PM. The first boat of this group was within a minute of the last boat.
In the end a little breeze had filled in from behind bringing late-runners Flaming Red head and OCD up to the rest of the fleet. They fought for every moment and Flaming Red Head managed to win the unofficial race! It's great to see them doing so well! TC managed an unofficial third place, ahead of their favorite frenemies and ultimately everyone had a fun day on the water!
This was a fantastic start to 2016!
Th-Th-Th-That's All Folks!
The last Polar Bear race of 2015 was an absolutely fantastic way to end the season. We had light-air, technical sailing, constant jockeying for positions, near misses with other boats but most importantly loads of fun!
Aboard Thursday's Child we really had our work cut-out for us. Most of our crew were unable to make the race. Being so shorthanded meant everyone had to take on extra tasks. Leifka, our chief rookie, was upgraded to our chief light-weight do-everything person, Rory had to put his Tinder/Fantasy sport-of-some-variety down and take over jib-trim and tactics, Dave worked his magic in front of the mast, where he passed through almost every sail we have, which left Ian and I to figure out where to go, whilst driving and trimming main. This was a true trial-by fire scenario with the extra added difficulty of almost no wind, and strong currents. In these conditions any movement aboard the boat can cause us to loose speed; every movement and adjustment has to be slow, gentle, and calculated. Sailing in light wind is akin to a delicate dance, where every step is carefully choreographed, thought through, practiced ad nauseam, and executed flawlessly...unless of course it's me.
Being more of a displacement design my grace manifests itself in ways other than fluid movement. When dancing I'm usually biting my lower-lip and flailing around like a drunken chicken, or busy stepping on my partner's feet shortly before spinning her in to some unsuspecting innocent bystander's fruit parfait. This day was no different. As everyone was gently moving about I, with all the grace of big-bird, swung the boom directly in to poor unsuspecting Ian's head whilst I was trying to invert the battens on the sail. After this I was invited to stay-put and stop moving. Fortunately we had plenty of light people on the boat who were able gently move around and make any required changes. Everyone did a fantastic job and Ian's head seems to have recovered, though my boom may still be bent...
We did it our way...
At the last leeward mark rounding we opted to tack and break away from the boats ahead of us. We knew we weren't going to outpace them and that our only hope of getting past them was to gain some sort of tactical advantage. This unfortunately paid-off like Madoff investment and we drifted around whilst XS and Equilibrium sailed away. In retrospect this was particularly dumb, as we were most certainly in first place on corrected time when we rounded the mark, and had we sailed to protect our position we may have done better... Grumble...
We managed to finish third in the race, with the Santana 3030 brigade Talisman and Jasmina nipping at our heels, which put us in to a very respectable 2nd overall in the fall-series! This is something to be very happy with!
Highlight of the day
The highlight of the day has to be 'rounding the windward mark neck-in neck with XS, fighting to be ahead, and looking back to see their spinnaker hoisted upside down. The look on Benoit's face was priceless. What did he expect putting someone who owns a Maple Leaf 42 on foredeck!?
The fat lady has not yet sung!
While this may have been the last race of 2015, and the last race of the Fall Series, We still have the winter series, and the overall series (Fall/Winter combined). There is lots of great racing to come, and I'm so excited to have such a fantastic crew to be racing with and such fantastic boats to be racing against.
The Goal Remains The Same
We've had some wonderful successes aboard TC as of late, we've even won a race or two, but this doesn't change the goal we set out with each day which is to Have fun, do our best, and try not to hit anyone. Anything over and above that is fantastic but not expected.
First place baby! (for now)
As we enter the final race of this series and 2015 we have some serious work to do if we want to stay in first place!! As soon as the next race is finished each boat is entitled to throw out one race. This is where we could be in some trouble. Our worst score is a 6th, whereas most of our competitors are going to be throwing out a 15. This is because most of them didn't manage to finish the first race.
There is hope
The racing is so close; in the last few races Equilibrium has beaten us by less than a minute. This race Talisman and XS will both have mentors aboard. If we wish to win this series we have to beat Equilibrium by two boats. Lets just hope Talisman and XS are fast enough to beat equilibrium, but not fast enough to beat us!
Regardless of how we do, this has been an absolutely fantastic series! Aboard TC the crew have learned loads, and somehow managed to make the boat move quickly! Not bad for a team of misfits and rookies! I can't wait to start the 2016 series!
Introducing John 'Jack' Charles Rummen
Mida and I are beyond excited to welcome our new crew member, weighing in at 9lb 6oz born 9:57am on June 27th . Mom and baby are doing brilliantly and expect to be out sailing in short order!