|7/10/2004 – 6:27pm: Day 12|
|Finally some wind in the trades. We have had 20 knots all day and we are clicking off the miles to the finish. We currently have about 350 miles to go. It looks like a Monday finish. We played the south for the second half of the race, that has not worked. Currently fourth to the two Beneteau Firsts and a modified Farr 40.
The boat has held up great. No damage and no issues. The only ripped spinnaker was due to a hoist problem. We eat mostly backpack dinners and Gatorade.
Today’s Best Equipment Idea: All boats at sea seem to have problems with their heads. Our’s was no exception as it broke on day three. This is not a new problem so others smarter than I have come up with solutions. For the 2000 Pac Cup the Swede built an elaborate stainless throne that mounts to the swim ladder holes. It has angled bars that allow a leeward or weather release and hand holds for safety. Thanks to a generous deal from Tom we are now proud co-owners of the best transom crapper in the fleet.
|7/8/2004 – 5:08pm: Lightwave Searches for Squalls|
|We still have 650 miles to go but it feels like we are getting close to the end. We stand third in class with a group of 4 boats less than 20 miles back. The leader has sailed the whole race well north of great circle and has about 100 miles on the fleet. The finish is about DDW from our present position. It feels like the asymmetric rig will hurt the most over the next three days. Trades have been very light with 15kts in the afternoons. We go searching for squalls in the evening to get the boat moving. Wet but fun. Most wind we have seen the entire race was been 29kts. Highest speedo reading 24kts!
Boat has held up well. The only thing broken at the moment is the head. Par for the course. Today’s most valuable item is the airpot we fill with hot water every evening. We way over planned the food, which is. I hear, common for newbies.
|7/7/2004 – 9:57am: Lightwave Passes Half-Way Point|
|Less than 1000 miles to go with just over half the race completed. Life has begun to get interesting in the evenings now that we are in the trades. A fun night involves 29+ knots of wind, quick hitting squalls, and limited to no visibility as they pass through. Needless to say, the 2am broaches are fun and if nothing else, ensures we’re awake through the early morning shifts. Take the above, throw in a boom to the head, B&G data going completely haywire (think Bermuda Triangle) and that was pretty much night 6 of the race. Good times.
Newest MVG (most valuable gear) candidate: anti-wrap net.
|7/5/2004 – 6pm: Lightwave Contemplates Day 5|
|Do all other 105 owners know that the fresh water tank drains to the head on a hard starboard tack? This will force us to shorten the length of the hot water showers. Most valuable item so far has been the bean bag chair, least Deckman for windows.
After sucking eggs for the light air reaching, the wind made up to 20-25 yesterday. Boat sailing well, we moved from last to second in class over those two days. The wind has shifted astern and that has forced us further north than desired. We will see how the next few days go.
|7/4/2004: Lightwave Moves into 2nd Place|
|Position: 31-50N 135-00W
Day Run: 185.1
To Go: 1365.6
Place: 2nd in Divison – 24th Overall
|7/1/2004 – 5pm: Lightwave Sends Mail|
|One of the cool things about the 105 is how we don’t have to change jibs during a race. Guess what, at times that is a problem. We have mid to light close reaching about 200 miles into the race. The big jibs are doing well! The high is a mess in front of us, we will try south and see what happens.
Just to let them know there was a 105 in the fleet we yelled at a weather boat at the start and he was over early. Thanks for the practice.
|6/29/2004 – 7pm: Lightwave Calls Home|
|On Tuesday evening, Lightwave was drifting around the Light Bucket. With no wind, what else is there to do but eat! Rich’s sister, Cathy, had prepared several packaged dinners for their voyage. On their gimbaled propane one-burner stove installed on the bulkhead, they cooked themselves a hot meal and phoned home on their mobile to chat with dad.
When out of cell phone reach, family communications will be e-mailed to Cathy, who will in turn fax a hardcopy to Kinko’s in Alameda for dad (who doesn’t use a computer) to pick up on his daily walks. Jim Sr. has agreed to share those with us.
In conversation with Jim Craig, Sr.
|6/29/2004: Lightwave’s Start|
|On Tuesday, I was at the St. Francis Yacht Club to watch Rich start the Pacific Cup. I was able to spend a little time with Rich at the dock prior to sailing out to the starting line and both the crew and the boat looked well prepared. I didn’t get the chance to look below but I can only imagine how difficult it must be to pack food, gear, sails and safety equipment for a two week trip below deck on a J105.
Lightwave started with a group of eight boats and definitely won the start. Unfortunately for Rich and his team, he had a boat to weather at the start that sailed over the top of Lightwave without regard to several of the racing rules of sailing. To Rich’s credit, he pushed the issue until contact appeared likely (See the photo, courtesy of Chris Ray) and then altered to avoid a collision. Probably not the way Rich would have preferred to start a 2200 mile yacht race, but it showed the class and skill of the Lightwave team.
As I watched them sail under the Golden Gate bridge, I must say that I was a bit jealous. While a J105 might be somewhat small for such a long race, who wouldn’t want to sail their boat 14 straight days without interruption from annoyances such as our day jobs ?
Good luck to Lightwave and her crew !
|6/24/2004: J105 on the Pacific – Skipper’s Note|
|What would possess a person to take a J105 on the PacCup? To paraphrase a recent President: “because I could”. As with Clinton, mid-life crisis demanded some form of entertainment. Given a few alternatives, my wife voted for sailing to Hawaii.
One of the big challenges is to modify the boat for the race without making it permanently less competitive as a one-design. Before you snicker I am talking about the boat not me. I think we have done close to the minimum. We added an autopilot, put in additional batteries and upgraded the alternator. To pass the safety inspections we added a second manual bilge pump and second water tank. We also needed an emergency rudder, which we rented from the Swede, thanks Tom. Add the raft, SSB and EPIRB and you are most of the way there.
We decided to stay with the asymmetric spinnaker arrangement. For the Hawaii race this is a slower configuration but we were driven by the desire to minimize the boat modifications. This led to some creative advice from another 105 owner, “drop the main and sail dead down wind”. No comment… We are planning on four spinnakers 1) reacher, 2) light runner, 3) Standard 89 runner, and 4) 1.5 Oz small runner. I may also throw in an old small runner if I have room.
We will sail with a crew of three. We started the project double-handed with my nephew, Jeremy Moncada and myself. At some point my brother, Jim Craig, joined the fun and we ended at three. Rumor has it we have already won the triple handed division.
We should have e-mal capability during the race and hope to send periodic short notes on the comforts of a J105 at sea.
|Lightwave Avoids Collision|
|Lightwave’s Div. C Start|