Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Final Day of Practice, Racing Starts Tomorrow

What many people don’t understand about sailing is the amount of prep work that goes into getting one of these high-tech racing machines on the water and up to speed. Just as in auto racing what wins or loses the race often happens in the garage. For a Farr 40 racing yacht there is about 5 hours of prep work for every hour spent practicing or racing. Prep on Nimbus Blue started three weeks ago, with Jeff Miller KP ’04 removing the keel and loading the boat onto a trailer in Newport, RI. Once the boat made it to Florida it had to be unloaded, the keel put back on, the bottom re-faired, the boat cleaned and waxed, the mast assembled and rigged, all new running rigging spliced, sails sorted, electronics installed, and on and on, up to today, the last day before the regatta. Today’s jobs included putting on sponsor decals and bow numbers, installing a new compass, and tuning the rig. The rigging must be adjusted for the anticipated wind, and often changed between races. 1/100th of a knot of boat speed can make the difference between 1st and 20th in this fleet, so everything must be perfect. Tomorrow’s racing starts at 1000, and Nimbus Blue will be on the line and ready.

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