Friday, March 28, 2014

Around Bainbridge Race- March 29th- A Pre-Race Analysis

After breaking my hip a couple of weeks ago, I cannot race sailboats for at least a couple of months. When I do race, I usually write a blog entry with my view point of how I sailed the race. To me it is a journal that I can refer to later and I hope others may find some information that is helpful to them. Since I am not racing and therefore cannot write a post race report, I thought I would start writing pre race analysis's of how I would attack the course.

The Around Bainbridge Race is a 25 mile race that starts and finishes at Brownsville Marina. The direction of the course is optional, you can sail either direction. New for this year is the single handed/double handed format and also the inclusion of a halfway point that allows for the race to be shortened if necessary.

A race around Bainbridge Island has been in existence for a long time. In the mid 70's. Brownsville Yacht Club started the event and usually scheduled it for May or June. When West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club came into existence in the early 80's they also had a Round Bainbridge Race with a start/finish at Port Orchard. This version was run in the month of January and often resulted in late, cold nights on the water trying to finish the race. Later it was moved to May and warmer temps and now to March. Port Madison also runs a Round Bainbridge race in the fall, but it is a two day event.

This year, the race starts at Brownsville Marina. The warning is at 0900. From the various models, The winds are predicted to be around 12-16 knots from the south with some lightening and a slight shift toward the west in the evening. Currents at Agate Pass, Rich Pass and Restoration Pt are as follows:

Initially, it looks like a clockwise rounding of Bainbridge Island would take the best advantage of the all day flood current. The time from the start of the race until the beginning of flood at Agate Pass is not very long. If the wind does not cooperate at the start, the boats may find it difficult or impossible to sail through Agate Pass against the flood. The best approach to Agate Pass against a flood is along the east shore and after the bridge, a course along the west side offers the best trade off for current and wind. The east side tends to be more blanketed and the winds lighter. Either way, have an anchor ready in case boat speed is not greater than current speed. Approaching the north end of Agate Pass, it is a wise choice to sail about a quarter of a mile north before heading east to avoid the potential dead wind zone.

It should be an easy reach to Pt Monroe, but again, don't get greedy and sail too close as there is often a hole there too. Once in the open sound, the current will be favorable. Stay in the current, but favor the Bainbridge Island shore and look for lifts under the points and the possible shift toward the right. Be careful around Wing Pt where the spit shoals rapidly.

Around Restoration Pt and then to Beans Pt. This will probably be a beat with long port legs and short starboard legs. Be careful that you do not sail into a hole along here. The wind can pile up along the bluff and stagnate. Give Beans Pt a little clearance to avoid any adverse current. From Beans Pt through Rich Passage to Pt White, the current should be favorable and nearly at max flow. Reach through the pass between Orchard Rocks and Bainbridge Island to Pt Glover. Again give Pt Glover some clearance to avoid a wind hole, but the current should be favorable. Tack into the middle of Rich Pass, stay in the rough water and line up your approach to Pt White. At Pt White, don't get too greedy and sail too close. Avoid possible adverse current here. Since the flood current flows north here, head toward Illahee for a couple hundred yards before bearing off and setting the spinnaker for the run to the finish.

Give University Pt a wide berth and initially sail low of the finish. The wind will come ahead and chances are that you will need to change to the jib to finish anyway.

A counter clockwise course around the island could also be possible if the winds stayed strong, but it is a gamble if the winds drop. The current at Rich Passage does change to flood about a half hour later than Agate Pass, so it would be possible to sail through Rich Passage against the current, but you would give up a lot of time doing so. The temptation of a long run north is really strong, but again, it is against the current. I do not recommend this course. I feel that it is more important to get out of Port Orchard as soon as possible.

It will be interesting to see the results and the decisions made by the competing boats.

Friday, March 14, 2014

It Should Have Been Easy -Again

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my trials of buying a new smartphone.
I love this new phone, but it is hard for me to type on. But even though I am still learning how to use it, I have found it recently to be invaluable.

A week ago, a new member of the Bronco II was offering to give away his 1990 Bronco II. He lives relatively close at Woodinville north of Seattle. He had two Bronco II's and this one reportedly had a fuel pump electrical connector issue that prevented it from running. The pictures made it look good. And it was FREE!

So I offered to take it. I was in second place behind the Utah boys that wanted to part out the Bronco. The Utah boys dropped out because it was too expensive to transport to Utah. So it was mine.

So, Tuesday, I rented a car dolly and drove to Woodinville to pick up this next project.
I arrived at the owners home at 1030 and looked at the Bronco II. It was immediately apparent that this is a nice vehicle : straight body, nice paint and excellent interior.  It had been garaged.

We concluded the business and loaded it on the dolly. I was performing one last check of the tie downs when  I either tripped or fell over the trailer tongue landing on my right hip on the asphalt.  I was in tremendous pain. The land owner took me to Group Health urgent care at Overlake  Hospital in Bellevue. After xrays, I was told that I broke the ball off the top of the femur. And immediate surgery was needed to establish blood flow to the head of the femur. I sure did not need this! I sent the owner home with my truck keys.

Surgery was Tuesday night and they set the break and put in three screws. I was pretty pain free on Wednesday after a sleeplessness night. The physical therapist got me out of bed in the morning and I set in a recliner most of the day.

On Wednesday night Jim and Matthew took a night run to Woodinville to retrieve my truck and Bronco. By late evening, my truck and new Bronco were at my house and the dolly was back to Uhaul.

I was to be discharged Thursday or Friday depending on how well my skills of using a walker and crutches are. Or I could be sent to a rehab facility. I aced the crutches test and was discharged Thursday night. My sister took me to my parents place for a while.

So, how will I heal? For 6-8 weeks, I cannot put ANY weight on my right leg. So no sailing, cycling, hiking, or even driving. But so far the prognosis looks good if the blood supply to the joint is fully restored. Such fun! I will probably stay at my mom's for a few days and than hopefully move back home soon.

It should have neen easy to pick up a free car!

My in hospital selfie picture. My smartphone is the only computer I have right now.