The Gaastra 52 Worlds the winds were generally light. I would guess without looking at the data that over 60% of our races were sailed in less than 11 knots of wind. For me this is one of the most interesting times on the boat. In under 11 knots on Vesper our play is for me to sit inside the cockpit and work the traveler, basically I am a mainsheet caddy aka Skip's Bitch. I love this position for the communication as it relates to speed and trim that passes by me on a constant basis. The direct conversation between our tactician Gavin Brady, our mainsheet trimmer Skip Baxter, our Headsail Trimmer Rob Salthouse, offside trimmer Ryan Houston, Runner Control Rodney Daniel and Helmsman Jim Swartz is constant and is a perfect example of how communication onboard should work. Its soft spoken, direct and clear.
First you hear Ryan Houston. He is constantly interpreting the immediate wind velocity and change in direction. Depending on the upcoming changes Gavin will then tell the trimmers his tactical needs for any given puff. Depending on those tactical needs the trimmers will then outline a plan between each other and then communicate their needs to myself and RD. For instance in a lifting puff you will hear Skip call for an increase in runner and drop in traverler. At the same time Salty will be easing the jib to the lift and then Jim will be steering the boat up into the lift as the Jib gets sheeted back on. Then Ryan will call that less velocity in incoming in X number of seconds. At this point RD will begin easing the runner to straighten the mast, I will hear him easing and will start to bring the traveler car further to windward as Skip eases a little sheet creating more twist and acceleration into the mainsail. Everyone is always anticipating and setting themselves up for the next scenario. As the week went on you could hear the difference as our verbal communications became quieter, more brief and our ability to maintain our target boat speeds better.
Ok, time to go pack the bags. Leaving this afternoon for West Palm Beach to load Vesper on the ship to St. Thomas. Then fly to the Caribbean myself for the St. Barths Bucket with the 44 meter Dubois S/V Lady B.