We have been getting in a lot of sailing lately, which is awesome. This past weekend was a holiday so we spent the whole time at the Yacht Club. The news kept saying the weather wasn't good for the long weekend, but they must not have been in Victoria because we had sun, wind and it was warm (for Victoria). Saturday it was a gusty westerly which kept us on our toes. We and about 6 other boats had a great training session. We sailed out past Trial Island and did some starting drills and went for a long sail upwind. There was probably 5-6 knots of current out there, so we sailed upwind for about an hour and ended up less than a mile from where we started just off Trial. Then we headed downwind, surfing on the nice big waves that develop out there. A blast reach took us in between the Chains and Discovery Isle back towards the club. Steve set up a short course and we did some little races, passing the lead back and forth between the 29er girls and us. The racing ended when a random 20+ knot puff wiped out the whole fleet. Jen and I took our time getting the boat back up so we didn't tear another spinnaker, and then headed in for the day.
Sunday Jen and I took a break from our beloved 470 "Toque" to try out the 29erXX. This is a 29er, but with double trapezes, a taller mast and larger sails. The 29erXX is trying to replace the 470 as the women's Olympic boat for the 2016 Olympics. We found the boat fairly easy to sail in a straight line, once we both got out on the wire. Turning, however, was a different matter! Lets just say this will require practice. We spent a good couple hours alternately blasting around the bay and swimming, and we have some lovely bruises to show for our troubles. Next time Jen plans to wear her water wings and a snorkel. Thanks to the Round family for letting us take out the XX.
Monday we got back into our trusty steed and had a very good morning session working on acceleration and tacking with the 29er girls Jess and Erin. They have qualified to represent Canada at Youth Worlds this July in Turkey, so are training hard. We had the yacht club's latest toy, a "speed puck" GPS strapped to our boat for the day, so we had instantaneous feedback on how effective our pumping was at increasing the boat speed downwind. The GPS data can then be downloaded and viewed on the computer so we can analyze our training session in great detail.
It was a great weekend and we hope to continue getting lots of time on the water before we head over to Europe. I've attached a video of Jen and I reaching in the 470 and Jen and our friend Maddy sailing the 29er XX.