Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sailing–ADCA Commodore’s Cup 2012-2013

RACE #1 on Pacer 27 Unwind

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Debating whether to tack sooner, or later.

There are thirteen races on the 2012-13 Abu Dhabi Cruiser Association (ADCA) racing calendar September 15, 2012 through June 1, 2013, occurring on Saturday afternoons every three weeks.

Last weekend’s season opener was a 6 nautical mile course that Mark and I had not sailed before. It took us around six channel buoys.

ADCA 2012-13 #1 course
Race #1 Course

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That is not a Superman cape, it's a towel.

Unfortunately, we got a terrible start. It was light air, and although we had timed the approach to the line, the wind changed at the last minute. Soon after Mark’s comment that they were all early, we found ourselves buried. Ouch!  We tacked onto port toward Lulu Island, sailed a few meters, and tacked back, all the while watching the Farr 30 Idefix and 1720 Saeeda sail away.

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Idefix and Saeeda, ahead.
 Fortunately, Unwind is a light and fast boat, and we have new sails. We caught up with Saeeda on the first leg, in part because we saw what we thought might be good current. Current is hard to understand over here. There are tides, but no tide charts. That made it interesting when I'm on my SUP, too.

Unfortunately, we can’t beat the Farr 30 in light air, especially if there is a downwind leg, because they have a symmetrical spinnaker. The five-boat fleet spread out, with Idefix elapsed time 1:38:02, Unwind 1:44:00, and Saeeda  1:50:25. The other two boats were much slower; the last boat’s elapsed time was 2:58:30.

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Match racing.
The Beneteau 7.5 Jr.Yalla Yalla  was not racing; I think it was because the boat was needed for a concurrent match racing event hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club (ADSYC.) Either that or the French just didn’t show up. Our owner Emiliano wasn’t on Unwind because he was match racing.

I don’t know much about ADSYC; it’s too complicated. They seem to focus mainly on Emirati participation, and dhow sailing which is all Emirati. Adil Khalid, the Emirati crew member on Abu Dhabi’s Azzam in the Volvo Ocean Race, was a key person on the winning match race boat.

You can read about the match racing:
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Marina Mall tower has two restaurants
with great views.

It was a beautiful day. Even though the wind was light it was steady, and the scenery was fascinating. We sailed around the Marina Mall break wall toward Musnouah where I believe a new Emirates Heritage Club, which is associated with the ADSYC, is being built. Around here, it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on. 98% of what you hear or read is a rumor, and 99% of those aren’t true, I'm told.

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There really isn't a word for how large the new presidential palace is.
What I do know for sure is that this is where the new presidential palace is under construction, and it is GINORMOUS. You will see, in the photos, that it dwarfs the Emirates Palace Hotel.

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Emirates Palace Marina at twilight.
 After the race, there was an ADCA gathering at the Emirates Palace Marina. Emiliano, who is a great promoter of ADCA, has been building a relationship with the marina for some time, trying to work a deal where ADCA boats can move there from the marina facility across from the Marina Mall where there is little parking and no decent facilities. Some boat owners are reluctant, worried that even with reasonable slip fees, the cost will go up later and become unaffordable. Meanwhile, they will have lost their slip in the other marina.

Another reason is that it would add time to the sailing day, assuming that we keep using the same start line and courses. As it is, we can get from the slip to the line in just a few minutes. If we are at the Palace marina, we will spend an extra hour on the boat in each direction. For people like Marco, who lives in Dubai, this is an issue. He says he spends too little time with his wife, as it is. A familiar story!

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I wore a prototype  t-shirt
designed by Mark with a diagram
of Wildcard's polars on the back.

From our selfish perspective, Mark and I are hoping that it works out. We live close enough that we don’t have commute issues, and we would love to spend even more time on the boat. Plus, the Emirates Palace Marina is so beautiful, and the facilities are first-class. We bring our food and beverages, but they prepare and light a barbecue for us. And, we are given real wine glasses. AND, plates trimmed with gold leaf! Perhaps some day, if they get the marina filled up, they could even open a food and beverage operation there. Beer on tap, maybe?

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Hot times at the barbecue.

Now, a story about getting sailing gear, hardware and supplies shipped internationally. 

After we got the new sails, Mark spent the summer thinking about improving how the boat is rigged. He’s been talking about getting new lines ever since we first stepped onto the boat but the problem was, where to find them? It soon became evident that he wouldn’t find the ropes he wanted in the UAE.

When I went home to the USA, it sounded like I would be bringing ropes back with me. Which I dreaded. I knew how heavy they would be, and experience has taught me how quickly the weight in a suitcase can add up. I can now tell, by feel, whether a bag weighs 48 pounds or over 50.
I was relieved when Mark found what he wanted at Mauri Pro Sailing in Texas. “International Orders? We Ship Worldwide!” their website says. And they were having a special; free international shipping with orders over $500.

Of course, it’s a bit complicated to ship to the UAE, where there are no street addresses. If you read the earlier stories about sending visa paperwork, you know that this greatly complicates sending documents and packages. Not  deterred, Maya from Mauri worked with Mark on a shipment to the UPS office in Abu Dhabi. Mark requested for UPS to call him for pickup when it arrived, which would be in about 10 days.

Two days later, Mark got a call. The package was being delivered to our apartment! Could he give the driver directions?

And, Wildcardtravels is in Mauri Pro's September 2012 newsletter:

So, you never know. Sometimes things can go better than expected.

ACDA Commodore’s Cup #2 is October 6th, and it will be a “long course.”

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