Sunday, 14 December 2014

That's what we like to see.


With me stuck in Saudi Arabia, team FarrOut seem to be doing alright for themselves. At least I can bask in the reflected glory. Good luck today everybody and will you let me onboard when I'm back next week?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tandem keel Laser 28 for sale in Lymington

http://yachts.apolloduck.com/display.phtml?aid=348401

I didn't even know that there was a Laser 28 in Lymington. That seems a good price for the boat as well. I'm not sure how good the tandem winged keel is on a race boat, but what an opportunity to put the Mark Mills keel on....

The season started well for FarrOut last sunday with a win against Saskia VII in a 2 boat windward/leeward match. The first of the WSC spring series, but a poor turnout - where is everyone? Time to get out of hibernation.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Birth of FarrOut - on the Hamble

So I was anti-fouling the boat on friday, and a bloke came into the yard and said "Farr Out, I remember seeing her built - 30 years ago". Obviously this got my attention; it turns out that Keith was in procurement in Performance Sailcraft in Banbury, Oxfordshire in the 80's. Here's some things that he told me about FarrOut and the UK built Laser 28s.

  • She was built by Hedley Bewes on the Hamble. This happened after they had issues with the first builders.
  • She's always been called FarrOut.
  • Flying Fish was the demonstrator.
  • They were built to order. A lot of items were bespoke. This explains why our pulpit and forward bulkhead are different from other boats.
  • They were built in glass fibre and not Kevlar like the Canadian boats. All resins were isopthalic.
  • The hull was vac infused. The deck hand laid.
  • He said that sourcing the bi-keel for that variant was really difficult. Ours is fin keel thank God!
  • The spars were bought as extrusions from Alcan and rigged locally.
  • He seemed to remember the new owner of Farr Out didn't like the life raft supplied and they had to change it.
We looked at the hull number together, Keith said that it wouldn't be very high - HCB868A. So presumably number 8 built in 1986.

He still has an original sales brochure and the marketing video on VHS. Hopefully I can get some copies and post them up here.

He's never been afloat in a Laser 28, so maybe we can change that for him this year.

Graphics in her Oban days.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Breezy Sunday Morning. You got to be in it to win it.



It's been a while since I've made any blog posts, I guess both there hasn't been much to talk about and I'm really busy these days with two small children. But yesterday's race, the ultimate of the WSC winter series was really something quite special.

The forecast was pretty bad and it kept everyone away. In fact only three boats ventured into the bay with Paul Barford's "Sole Bay" going back in as there was no-one to race in their class. That left FarrOut and the J97 "Saskia VII", so a head to head competition with a boat that had already won the winter series with almost straight bullets - no pressure.

The RO set a windward leeward with a spreader mark at the top so that they could finish us near the harbour. Nobody was going to set a kite in that breeze so the goose-wing was a good idea.

FarrOut won the start with Saskia having trouble with their jib sheets, it was going to all be about boat handling. They got to the windward mark in front of us, being bigger and faster, but we were on their tail on the downwind. We shook out our reef for the downwind and then didn't put it back in for the beat. Funnily enough we were less overpowered with a flattened (brand new) full main that with the reef that had some belly due to the reef point positioning.

Stuart drove excellently with Steve kicking arse on the mainsheet meaning that we were working over the top of the J97 upwind in 30 odd knots - unbelievable.

With a mistake causing a jib wrap to Saskia in their "chicken gybe" manoeuvre. We overtook, having gybed in a big gust while we had speed. We held out, to beat them over the water.

I can't think of a better way of ending the season. Well done to all crew, we can win in an old, cheap small boat by not making mistakes and by the other boats losing rather than us winning. I think that brand new mainsail might have helped - well done Hyde Sails!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Single Handed 2 - 2 mins 17 sec corrected!

A trophy at last! As the single handed 1 had been cancelled, it all rested on single handed 2.

FarrOut was blisteringly fast and the JS9000 RWH didn't really get that far away from me. The rest of the fleet were left behind. I was apprehensive to start off with, mostly about getting her back on the mooring...but it was a really good sail and I really enjoyed myself, even if I had no-one to talk to! I'll definately race her single handed again if I can.

That's everyone else behind!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

August Series - Monday 12th - Doesn't get much more fun than this.

So impressed with FarrOut and her crew at the moment. We came out for this race in 15-20 knots with a clean bottom and a very strong crew. Talking about our start issues we identified that we'd want front row committee boat, doesn't everybody? The thing is how to get it.... We knew that the Sigma 33 "Scoline" would beat in to the committee boat shutting the door on everyone above the layline. So we knew that we had to be to leeward of them to take control, there was enough wind to have speed to take control.

What ensued was an exiting match race start which commenced during the squib start 10 minutes before ours. We tried to keep below and on their quarter. It was successful and we caused enough trouble that we were clear on the start and they were out of position. In fact we were able to gybe away last minute and push up "Effusion" on the line getting us away clear.

A great race with very little error by us other than handing it to the Beneteau 31.7 "Crystal Voyager", or Crystal Meth to you and I. They haven't got an IRC cert so we don't really care. They have got brand new Sanders D4 sails though so we'll let them have the 15 seconds corrected that they beat us by on PY.

Well done to everyone for a great sail. Anybody have any ideas where we could have got that 15 seconds back? I know I do. Just great to be out on the water on a night like that and so sad to be missing Weymouth Regatta in our current form.

Friday, 9 August 2013

August Series at WSC

We might have had some glorious weather in the UK for a few weeks there but the combination of high pressure and a lot of sun meant that we had evening racing with zero breeze. This started to become very frustrating for sailors though not understood by the majority population. I was very glum for a while back there!

Fortunately we seem to be having a period now of lovely moderate breezes and these have coincided with the August series which started on Monday. The first race was eventful as we were missing some key crew members meaning that people were out of their normal positions. We also did the classic of doing so well on the start and first beat that we were first at the windward mark and then started sailing to the wrong mark, a quick gybe and we were back going where we should!

Monday's breeze was very shifty out of the NW and the windward mark was a horrible place to be, this combined with poor driving by me and some other issues meant we ended up in irons the second time we got there. Very poor and ended up with a coming together with another boat. Out of this and an RS600 decided to capsize at the mark. Race over for us really.

Thursday's race looked much more promising as the 240 deg direction at 13-15 kts is perfect for stability in our bay. We were a little early for our port tack start so pulled a 360 turn and tacked over to starboard to lee bow the fleet. Stayed in clean air and what do you know...the Race Officer set a ridiculous asymmetric course. Lovely, only problem was that we'd ended up with 8 people on board which was too many and as it's all about who's got the cleanest hull at this time of year, we were too slow on the beats.

A great enjoyable evening resulting in a 4th place, we didn't manage to get in front of Scoline but it's great battling with them. It has to be said that they had 9 on board!

Here's a video of Magnum 3 from Poole pulling a gybe peel for all fans of the foredeck:




Thursday, 27 June 2013

Friday, 17 May 2013

Feeling the Pressure on a Thursday Night

I was feeling the pressure for thursday 1 race 3. I haven't been driving at all in the Spring Series and Steve took the boat out with a thrown together crew on monday night in 20 odd knots and stormed to a win. How was I going to live upto that?

A sunny evening with a chill about it, thursday had little wind, not light airs but less than 10 knots most of the time. We were just right at four crew; Adam (Bow), Jack (Pit), Steve (main) and me driving. There were about 50 boats on the race course which was excellent to see so early in the season. Race Officer Bob Turner set a triangular course which kept it hot in the event of the wind dying.

With a straight line, we considered our start options and elected for a starboard tack pin end start. Pre-start we tried to place ourselves in the "waiting room" to starboard of the committee boat. With a timed reach in what could possibly go wrong? As the horn went, another went for OCS though Adam on the bow was adamant (ho ho) that it wasn't us that was over the line. I put my trust in him and we got a front row start and drove left a little cracked off to gain space. We bravely found a slot at the windward mark by hitting it on port layline and taking the inside as Rocket messed around with their kite launch.

We'd chosen to reach on our AP symmetric kite as pre-start it looked a little too deep for the ayso after the gybe. Probably a wrong call and we changed to ayso on the second time round. A windward drop put the gear on the right side next time and we span up from the leeward mark. The fleet went out on port tack and then tacked for the committee boat. We tacked early and popped through the other races on starboard so that we could head right going up to the windward mark. Going back through the start line Z we crossed tacks with the Sigma 33 Scoline, them in front.

At the windward mark we rounded in front of them. They'd tacked underneath us and were probably pinching to make it. Down the first reach and they started gaining again however we kept in front and I stopped looking behind! For the finish we were still in front of Scoline and, hooray, still in front of Folio the MGC27. The leading group of RWH (JS9000), Jammy Dodger (J80), Rocket (Dehler 33) and Effusion (Elan 295) had the legs on us though which showed in the results in PY.

Congratulations to Gary Owens and team (Rich Veale on tactics methinks) for their second in only their fourth race with the boat. That's a bloomin' massive kite on them J80s! A great sail from Ricky Bruton's Effusion as well, didn't put a foot wrong from what I could see.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The GoPro generation

So Jack in the pit has got himself a GoPro camera. This is the first footage we've taken on the boat. It was a fairly light wind race (7-10 knots). Celia's driving because she's the lightest, everybody else is trying to put their weight where it should be!