2023 Gulfport Midwinters

 In the spirit of procrastination (as usual), I decided to make boat improvements after the 2022 Nationals in Elizabeth City a week before the 2023 Midwinters in Gulfport.  Thankfully that only meant a mulligan on the traveler controls.  Still hard to control.  In this edition, I am moving to a 2:1 system with control adjustment on both the port and starboard side of the boat.  After I finished putting it on I learned that block gets stuck on the tiller moving from side to side, so I added a roller that the traveler loop has to rotate around. It seems to work, although not exactly elegant.  There's an opportunity for further refinement

Anyway, on to the regatta.  Light air and choppy with breeze building in the afternoon...and another chance to face off against the mighty Mouse Trap.  This is the Jeff L. boat that has won everything for like the last decade.  His boat has been the hot Mistral mod Moth and also a boat that I had a lot of success sailing when I got the opportunity to substitute for him.  After day one we were all tied up. I had another mast puller debacle that lead to a rough end to the first day with 3 race where I had no leach tension.  Leach tension is important upwind! Especially when the breeze picks up.  I kept shoving water bottles in the mast step as a mast block, but only had minimal success.  This is two midwinters where this was a problem.  I will finally move to a forestay like the rest of the fleet.  Should have done this after the first regatta.  

Day two was similar to the first day.  light air in the morning with lots of chop.  We got in another 4 races that went my way in the head to head battle.  The boat is fast upwind and downwind in light to moderate conditions.  The reaches were a push between the designs. It was great to get a win in Gulfport.  

There was some learning and will be some improvements before the next event.  

  • Change the mast puller out for a forestay
  • Add a composite gooseneck stronger and lighter than the metal one
  • Stiffen the tiller - the squeaking and friction from the spacer rubbing was driving me crazy
  • Stiffen the boom - the boom bends way too much.  

Next up, the Mug Race: a distance race from Palatka, FL to Jacksonville.  I should be the shortest boat in the race.  First time doing a Portsmouth handicap race in a dinghy!  More to come...

Regatta pictures:

2:1 traveler system with controls on both sides of the boat.
The roller is just to the left of the access port

Mousetrap (102) and KBN (134) off the starting line

Upwind to the finish line

Close up across the finish line

Downwind leg

Reaching in the bay chop

Fleet spreading out after the start


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