Welcome to Yachting Girls

Welcome to a blog where the adventures of a team of crazy women who are mad about sailing can be shared.
We are living in the beautiful Huon Valley in Tasmania, surrounded by outstanding sailing waters.  In June 2007 my husband and I purchased a Columbia 27 cruising yacht.  My husband crews in a Top Hat 24 in the races held by the Port Cygnet Sailing Club so our yacht was going to sit idle for most of the sailing season.  A great idea came to us - lets have an all women crew and take on the men!

Follow our adventures...share our laughs...cheer us on...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twilight Race 5

This week's Twilight race was so frustrating. After a small but steady breeze just before the start, we found ourselves struggling in very light air for the rest of the evening. A new crew member - the "Brisbane Bather" (named as a result of an unfortunate and unexpected dunking in Port Cygnet Bay) - had a perfect training day on the water. Coming 15th did little to cheers us up, but we did have a great tussle with Cap'n Stan on Wyvern. The lead between the two yachts changed a number of times and, fortunately, the girls under the close tutelage of Cap'n Tank, were able to catch the last little bit of breeze and make it over the finish line a minute ahead.
It is interesting just how tiring it can be sailing on a calm day. So many changes of sail settings and constantly adjusting the angle of the yacht to the winds as well as the concentration needed to keep focussed and ahead of Wyvern made for a very tiring evening. Coming in to the clubhouse later than most other people also meant cold steaks off the BBQ and cold potatoes! Mmmm.....next week we must do much better. Cold food is not much fun!

Cap'n Tank was as exited at beating Wyvern over the line as he would have been if we had won the race. Even with such a poor placing we are still well up in the seasons ranking so cannot be ashamed.  This learning to sail stuff is FUN!

Hopefully we will be able to improve next week (our handicap will go back to being a little better as a result of this week's poor placing) and keep up in the rankings.

Only three more races to go......................................:{

'Til the next time - sail well!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Twilight Sailing 2012

After many months of inactivity we have finally been racing in the 2012 Twilight season. With a new coach "Cap'n Tank" and a new crew "Overboard" and "CC",  I have finally been on the helm full time. We have had a great season to date. After 4 races we have had a 9th place, two 2nd places and a 5th which puts us pretty close to the lead over the season to date. We have been blessed with near perfect sailing conditions up until tonight when we were subjected to 15-20 knot winds and choppy waves. "Overboard" and I managed to put a reef in the main sail for the first time ever which was not easy to do when the yacht was heeled at 40 degrees. On reflection it probably would had been better to have rolled in a little of the giant genoa on the furler and left the main sail at full size. I needed to battle constantly with Pathfinder's tiller to keep her from turning up into the wind. A couple of times this was unavoidable as she just did not respond to the helm. This usually occurs in strong winds and when the yacht is over powered.  I have tired shoulders from fighting the tiller!  The girls worked well as a team and Cap'n Tank is a gem. He gives great support and confidence. He is always there to solve a problem or advise and is a great tactician. We have done far better this season and it has been really satisfying knowing that I can manage the yacht myself.  I was so reluctant, in past seasons, to helm the start of the race but with guidance it is now far less of a challenge.  
I really appreciate having two girls on board who are confident and knowledgeable as well as great fun. We still do not take it too seriously - but  the girls and Cap'n Tank agree that it is really enjoyable and low key - great team work and a good atmosphere on board.
Til next time - great sailing and kind winds to you all.