The Crew
The Photos
The HOUSTON NOOD BLOG...Read entries starting at the bottom (oldest) and work your way to the top of this page.:

9/23/07: 3:10 P CST

On the road again. Sat all day without any breeze, so at 1:30 they called it. Motored in for an hour while we were breaking down the boat, and were on the trailer, de-rigged and rolling in under an hour - these boats are simply awesome. On my 105 that would have taken hours and involved a crane and a hoist.

So...not out best effort, but we learned a bunch. Without a chance to improve our position today we ended up in the same slot - 7th overall. The guys worked their tails off to get the 7, which shows the level of competition as wels as the nature of racing in light air.

Tom Reese won first place, followed by Kathyrn Garlick and the team of Onsgard and Remmers in second and third respectively. It was fun, but we're glad to be heading home.

Thus ends the Houston NOOD blog. f

9/23/07: 7:20A

Better yesterday, but not good enough. We scored a 4th in a race that was 6 legs long in dying breeze. It was up and down for all, with Tom Reese's crew Flight Simulator maintaining their lead. We had a great start, almost getting shut out at the pin and bailing out to run the line, finding our hole and forcing 3 boats over early.

Unfortunately we just couldn't keep the boat speed and pointing angle that the top boats had, and found ourselves in 7th place at the top mark. Downwind we couldn't sail as deep as the others...gotta figure that one out.

Crew is working hard - having a great time with the other teams as well. We all met to have a celebratory drink for Ron on Tom's crew - his nickname is "Guns" because he's got arms like Popeye. Great guy who doesn't look his 64 years.

Going to be having fun today. Hope we get one race in.

More later. - C.

9/22/07: 6:45A
A picture is worth a thousand words...

For those of you who aren't used to looking at a GPS track like this, it can be confusing.

This was the first race (before our Velocitek died). There was a massive windshift to the right during this race (First leg (upwind) was the line to the far right - all was good, going according to plan). Second leg (downwind) was the line to the left of that. You can see the start of the shift by the bend of the line to the left as we get to the last third of the leg. Here's where we get in trouble - if you look to the far left of the lower corner, you'll see a bunch of squiggly lines as we wrestle with the spinnaker and eventually start sailing upwind with the chute held together by Craig while Scott was up the mast. As you trace it up you'll see the line start to straighten out, which is when we got things squared away, Scott down from the mast and the chute ready to go on the screecher halyard. At this point the wind was dying and shifting fast and the game changed to finding/staying in any light puffs we could find. The last leg tells the tale of sailing with the screecher as the spinnaker halyard (means that the sail was too long for the location it was in and as a result lost its shape/got very baggy). Incredibly frustating.

We don't have a pic from the second race, as the unit ran out of batteries. Going to get that taken care of this AM.

Forecast is light again. Anybody's horserace. Stay tuned.

9/21/07: 6:00P

Well, I sure am glad that is over. The highlights...Race 1: 5 legs, shortened to 4 due to lack of wind. Bad start, 8th at the first mark, then we got the boat rolling. We were 4th closing in on Evolution in 3rd when we couldn't get the spinnaker down. There was a legacy knot from the prior owner that we always said we have to replace but never did (there's a lesson here) that got jammed into the top sheave. We had to send Scott up the mast during the race to try to pull it out - couldn't do it, so desparation kicked in and we had him untie the chute to drop it. We used the screecher halyard to hoist the sail, but by that point we were pretty much screwed. Finished that one DFL. If you don't know what DFL means, I pray you never learn.

Race 2: Sea-breeze filling in softly - caused a 90 degree shift. We had a much better start, but got into some dirty air from the leward boat, so we tacked away. Using the screecher as an upwind sail (Scott went back up the mast and was able to free the jam in between races) we had trouble clearing 50/50 on port tack and ended up fouling them. We did our 720 and found ourselves again in DFL. No way we were going to let that happen twice, so we took a risk and went up the left side of the course, where the wind was in the process of shifting another 30 degrees to the right. We rounded in 5th place, and then ended up losing ground in the flukey wind (literally doing .5 knot boat speed). Had to make a bet and chose the wrong side. They again shortened the course after a brutal upwind leg - we finished 7th (?) we think. Going to the party, but wouldn't be surprised if we are DFL overall. Boys worked really hard on the boat - wasn't for lack of trying that we stumbled. Just racing. As we know - Tomorrow is another day.

Going to try to upload the ugly plot of the race later. Still searching for a firewire cable for the vids..

9/21/07: 6:30A
Race Day!

So, light air all day out of the North which isn't standard here. Should be shifty - going to have to keep a strong look outside the boat.

Craig and Scott are ready to roll this morning. Dave is still sleeping - Hmmm...

Wish us luck.

9/20/07: 9:25P CST
Happy Birthday Mom!

Wow is there some talent here. Big names of the sport were milling about at the skippers meeting - Wigston, Remmers, Hudgins, Reese, Garlick - this is going to be FUN! The crew is really pumped to sail head to head with these guys. With no throwouts and 3 races a day expected, this is going to be anybody's regatta to win.

I met Marc Waters and Robert Remmers tonight for the first time along with Phil Styne (sp?). Really seem like a group of great guys - can't wait to see their A-game on the water tomorrow. We're getting plenty of rest tonight and I expect that we'll be in top form as well. Don Wigston was there too - always a pleasure to see Don.

On a final note, we saw Grey Rachle and his family tonight at supper. We think the world of Grey, who sailed against us at the St. Pete NOODs with Brian Harrison on Rocketeer. Grey is from Fort Walton, and his dad Bill can tell some good tales about him growing up with Craig and Dave.

Got to get some sleep now - we start racing at 11:00 and it will take us an hour to motor to the course area. Not sure what kind of weather we're going to have to deal with because of this storm in the Gulf. Hopefully it will just be a rain issue and not crazy wind.

More tomorrow.

9/20/07: 1:30P CST

Texas!!!!! Woo Hoo!

9/20/07: 11:20A CST

Now on Strategery, we only buy our sails from Smyth Sails (let there be no mistake), but one cool thing that you get access to at major regattas like KWRW and the NOOD regatta is a forecast summary daily sponored by North Sails. If you aren't signed up for this free resource, you need to. Here's the announcement they provide.

North Sails has partnered with Sailing Weather Services to provide FREE weather forecasts for the Sperry Top-Sider Houston NOOD Regatta from September 21-23 in La Porte, Texas. To sign up, visit North Sails' online weather center:

9/20/07: 10:30A CST
We're on our way. After some much needed maintenance and TLC, Strategery 3 and the team are on the way to Houston for the NOOD's. After a late start due to my oversleeping, we are now 200 miles from Houston. Frankly, this is a rough looking crew right now - the only guy who appears showered, shaved and ready for socializing in Houston is Craig in his Hawaiian shirt and shades.

Currently there are 10 boats on the line, including some old friends the Garlick's on Evolution and Tom Reese on Flight Simulator. Tom wins the distance driven award, having road tripped all the way from NY state.

So, here's the wildcard about this event - there's a tropical depression ripping its way across Florida and chasing us to the regatta. As with all tropical weather, lots of question marks about whether it will grow or where it will end. Most agree that Saturday AM is when it will become a factor. Some models show it becoming a hurricane and ending up in Florida near home. Others (most) show it coming ashore in Louisiana - an area that needs no more attention from any kind of weather. Finally there are some that show it moving ashore in TX near where we'll be sailing. Ah the joys of the South in hurricane season. You just never know.

I'm expecting some great racing this week with the opportunity to make some new friends, learn a ton and attempt not to break too much on the boat.

We'll be posting a combination of video, still and GPS data on the blog if we can figure it out. Expect light air for Friday, building throughout the rest of the weekend.

The kids gave me a new mascot for the boat, and we're jacked up to get on the water. Stay tuned...