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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October 30, 2018-Twenty Five Years Ago

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Winning PSSC

Wings is sailing home to Shilshole Bay Marina on October 23, 1993, after winning the PSSC regatta. It was tough sailing that year with winds in the 24-30 knot range for the three races on Saturday, then light winds on Sunday and we battled it out with Bill Buchan’s Sachem, in the end beating them by .25 points. It was mostly crew work, including one glorious leeward rounding in the last race where we came into a big traffic jam at the mark in 6th place and did a perfect floater takedown keeping our speed up while the other boats were basically stopped and came out in 3rd then hung on to win the race and the regatta. We have a good crew now but we had a pretty good crew back then too, most of them had sailed with us for several years, some for eight years.

You can see who they were on our log book page for that day here.

That was our last season racing in Seattle and it was a good one; we got trophies in 35 out of the 48 races we did that year, including 14 first places. After this season we stopped racing for two years to completely remodel the boat for long distance cruising.

Those years were glory years of living full time aboard Wings and racing every week, going sailing or cruising whenever we were not racing, and still having time for jobs in the city (we had a 6’ hanging locker full of suits, men’s and women’s). We also loved the community we sailed in with all of our yacht club friends in Seattle, at the Corinthian Yacht Club, the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club and especially all of our crew, and racing 40-50 times a year. Those were the days.

Crew: As best we can remember the crew positions are as follows: Jim Bonnichsen, Foredeck, Jim Watson, Foredeck, Bryan George, Mast, Jennifer Wright, Halyards, Kathy Clotfelter, Halyards, George Harvey, Trimmer and Grinder, Mark Nuss, Trimmer, Robert Schuler, Trimmer, Scott Davidson, Mainsail and tactics, Carol Noel, Runners, Judy Jensen, Runners, Fred Roswold, Helm. They were family to us after eight years and we keep in touch with many of them.

Sails: The mainsail in this picture was one I made on the floor of CYC in 1993. This was its first season and it was a winner. It was Kevlar/Mylar, 52 panels, designed with a home-made Lotus 123 spreadsheet. Each of the panels were shaped before sewing. We used ultra-light graphite battens which had a nasty habit of breaking if we flogged the sail at all. It was last seen in Raffles Marina in Singapore in 2007 serving as an awning for a marine store. The spinnaker was the 1.5 oz runner that came with the boat and it was already old then. A wonderful sail which we used relentlessly for another 11 years, from 1986 to 2007, when it blew up two days in a row while winning the King’s Cup Regatta (with one all night sewing session between races.) We used a variety of headsails in this regatta, primarily the Fracker #1 and the Sobstad #3, both were paneled Kevlar sails, tough but heavy.

The Boat: There is not a lot of difference between Wings in 1993 and Wings today. It would look the same to you if you saw it back then however it was more stripped inside, back then, but Judy and I still lived on it, and we didn’t unload it to go racing back then either. Since 1993 we’ve added a bit of furniture, all of which is made of ultra light weight nomex and carbon fiber honeycomb panels we got from Boeing surplus. Plus we added tankage, ground tackle, wind vane, etc. Not a lot else.

Click here for a few more images (more to come later).

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 14, 2018-Back to San Sabastian del Oeste

Friends, Food, and Photos

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
San Sebastian del Oeste

I said I would never drive to this place again. Road is too bumpy for my car. But John and Elinore said they were going, would we be interested? OK, I'll give it a go. We'll stay overnight so we can have dinner there. The hotel is very inexpensive. Off we went up the hill.

A couple of hours later (with time out to try a great Mexican breakfast joint on the way, Casuelas), we pulled into San Sebastian del Oeste, booked into our rustic hotel (Los Arcos de Sol) and set off the see if anything had changed since our last visit. Not much had, but the sidewalk café was still pleasant and the beer was still cold, and we found our favorite silver jeweler.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Artisanal Silver

Then we meandered down to the Jardin Nebulosa to try some of their craft beers. They were good, and afterwards we needed a nap to prepare for dinner.

Everywhere we went I was on the lookout for photo opps. This trip was all about friends, food, and photos.

Dinner was fantastic, and the Raicilla cocktails were fun and entertaining. I am sure Elinore's Facebook page has a review of the restaurant, buT damned if I can make FB cough up the link to it. Good Luck if you try to find it. I hate FB.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

The next day, more photographs, and then the drive down, which was better, and once we got to the black top we swept through the curves with eyes on the road and a foot on the brake peddle, on the lookout for pot holes.

We loved the trip with John and Elinore, but now I am sure I'm never going to drive that road again, until next time.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico

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October 14, 2018-Bright Bags

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Bag Art

I call it "Bag Art". Oh, it's not all that much art, just something which I think is kind'a fun; making an attractive and colorful sail bag. You see, I got a couple of spinnaker bags from China, one more than I needed. (I guess ordering in Cantonese is not my strong point). Both were black. Boring. What is worse is that I knew it would cause my forw'd hands some confusion: "Go get the A3". If there are five to choose from, maybe you get the right one, maybe not. But if I gave the bags some distinctive colors and distinctive markings, well then it would be easier: "Get the A3, (black bag)" or "Get the black and yellow bag with the A2 in it".

So I bought some yellow sunbrella scraps from Mike and my white insignia cloth and we got out the sewing machine, and off we went, making new bags.

On top of that, we took some time to re-measure the spinnakers, just in case we needed to prove that they were legal size, and we put the sails into the bags with a nice fold, to make them pack smaller.

All in all it was a nice project for a couple of days.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October 2, 2018, Sailing Again

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
John Trims the New Kite

We’ve been heads down working, not sailing, for three months. The boat has been laid up.

Now the boat is back together and though the work is not finished it is to a point that we can sail and we have some new sails to try so we will go out tomorrow.

Sitting on my settee, the Chicken Tikka and red wine still warm in my belly, I felt the cool bundle of battens for the carbon mainsail lying on the pilot berth next to me where I placed them earlier which must be mated with the sail and set for the first time along with a new jib fresh out of the bag and a new spinnaker, still unseen.

Oh Heaven, new sails, a refreshed boat, and a good breeze forecast. I trembled with anticipation.

The crew shows up on time and we strike the awning and single up the lines and then we head out.

Out of the marina, out to the Pacific Ocean, out into the breeze.

The mainsail unfolds from the deck and snakes skyward. It fills, we heel. Next the jib; it is stiff and hard to handle; the price we pay for a racing sail.

But when these awkward sails are aloft and their shapes reveal the power designed into them the boat starts climbing to windward. We love it.

The new mainsheet winches make sheeting the main seem effortless. We are happy that change worked. The new runner leads are good. The secondary winches are fine, and other sheeting revisions don’t even seem worthy of note.

It’s all good.

But this is a test run, to look things over, to find stuff which needs to be fixed. We see that the jib needs a strop because the shackles can’t fit into the small ring. That goes onto the list. Then the kite is set. What a foul-up! We hooked it up backwards, my fault, I’d told Kelly, “Red is the tack.” But it was green. So we took it down and reversed it, then there was a twist we had to undo.

But when the new spinnaker filled, finally, we had had some fun. It was flat and we sheeted it in and sailed high onto the wind. Up we went. The crew was amazed but I nodded, this is what I ordered and this is what I designed.

We jibed and some more items went on the list, a prod for the lazy guy, some chafe patches, new rings on the kite. The bags need some labeling; plenty of time for all of this, racing does not start until December.

And then we were back. We folded sails and sent the crew home; too hot to ask them to hang around any longer. Judy and I finished it off; we folded the kite after dinner.

Now we can focus on the smaller projects. We know the main things are done and the boat can still sail.

In December we will be ready.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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