Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Northwest winter sailing

We had a good sail on Sunday with mild temperatures at the first Goosebumps Series race on Lake Union in Seattle. This is an informal race with one start for all boats and is just first to finish. There were three Rockets out and a Pocket Rocket. We ended up with a few extra people showing up so we sailed with 6. This
worked out fine and we all had a good time. After we had some problems that got us late to the start we passed most of the other boats that were out but couldn't catch the other well sailed Rockets.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

From the letter I sent out in October to all the owners, I received a few responses that included some good questions. I will begin to respond to these questions as I have the time. First read the question below from Brian, and then my above response. While I have sailed my Rocket 22 a bunch, I certainly do not qualify as an expert or professional sailor. My hope is to get some discussion flowing from all the owners (not just me!) as to your experiences as well. Please feel free to add your thoughts, photos, & videos to this discussion.

In really light air (under 5 kt), I have every line and the rig tension eased. Make sure you concentrate weight around the keel and give the boat a little heel. The sails are full, but not that much twisted off. Traveler/boom down a few inches from center and vang off. In 5 – 8 kt of wind, I keep the rig tension eased, but sheet in, and vang on a little. Try to have the jib luff evenly along the forward telltales. Unless I have lumpy conditions, once I get some speed on, I find I can sail with pretty flat sails in light air. Have a look at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paqWs74XhLo&NR=1 for some 5-6 kt wind sailing.

HI Jonathon,

I haven't been able to get out this year for a variety of reasons. This weekend just past we had a very light air double handed pair of races. While we finished at the line second in both races we got killed on handicap, finishing fourth. Setting aside the tactical blunders I made, the question I have is how are you tuning for very light air? I followed my previous practice of easing everything: rig, halyards, outhaul, cunningham and the sails were quite full. We had the jib twisted open at the top and kept the slot quite open. Nonetheless, the boat felt sluggish. I am now thinking that we would have been better served to keep the sails flatter in order to keep the flow attached. What is your thinking?

Brian Pickton
Hull #11

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 newsletter

Rocket 22 Owners,
Welcome to 2009, and another a year of great sailing is coming up. This past year was a banner year for the Rocket 22; starting in June with the Seattle NOODs one design start with six boats on the line, and national press in several magazines. We did the Delta Ditch down in the SF bay area. In addition, Whidbey Island Race Week (WIRW) hosted the 1st ever Rocket 22 North Americans. Excellent weather, perfect wind, and tight racing all around were the order for this great event.
Roman Cooney brought #4 to Calgary; Craig Berg brought #5 to Nelson, BC; Tim Star brought #13 to New Mexico; and John Plut brought #3 to Seattle; and Fred Chadsey brought #14 to Mobile, AL. Sylvana Yachts (builder of the Rocket 22) has begun building-up hull #15. A new Rocket 22 is currently priced at CND$39,995 – which is something like $33K US. Pretty reasonable for a new sportboat!
This coming year, we will again be hosting the Seattle NOODS, but in lieu of not getting our own one design start, we will enter the 20ft sport boat class start. We will for sure be holding the 2nd Rocket 22 NA’s at WIRW. The date of this event is July 13 – 17, 2009. With six months to plan, every one of you should have the ability to make it there. If not for the whole week, then plan to come up just a few days. My hope is that you would bring your boat.
I know that the local Seattle boats will be there (John Plut, myself, and Mike Mechaelis). A few of you with boats on the east coast/south (Jan Arps, Jim Lanter, Brian Picton, Tim Star, and Fred Chasey) are welcome to fly out by yourself or with crew, and we will get you into a boat. The rest of you owners (Troy Parrott, Mike Seth, Roman Cooney, Craig Berg, John Ommen, and Vincent Parkin) should make an effort to get your boat out for this event. Not only will I guarantee that you will learn a lot about sailing/racing your Rocket, but you will have a great time doing so. Please let me know if you need help with this regatta’s logistics. Do not wait to the last minute to make plans for this event!
In addition to the 2009 racing, the Rocket 22 website has a new curator – John Plut will be updating and pimping the site with stories and photos of your boat, which you send him! The site has a regular blog viewable by the public and is the spot for race results and fun Rocket 22 stories (please add yours here). The owner’s blog (http://www.rocket22sailors.blogspot.com/) is only available to owners, and accessible only through invitation. This blog is the spot to post questions, tips, thoughts, and your experience sailing and racing your Rocket. I plan to post to it on a monthly basis, but I hope that you all will contribute to it as well. I would check the blog on a weekly basis. Any questions or thoughts should be directed to John.
Again, for 2009 I hope you will sail your Rockets as much as possible, plan on attending WIRW in July, and contribute to the blogs. See you out there,
Jonathan Little