We have had a spell of dreadful weather, which is very unlike our usual serene Septembers here on the South Coast of Norway. Yesterday though was one such day with light airs, blue skies and a sharp sunshine so typical here either end of the summer.
So we jumped at the chance of grabbing a practice sail and seeing pretty much literally, where the wind would take us, in the 12 sq meter classic design.
Upon reflection the sail made me think of three things – hull and keel speed, spinnaker work and learning to re-learn.
On the Subject of Sailing Badly in Light Airs in Classic Boats
The 12 sq meter design is indeed a mini twelve mR designed as a training boat for youth of the wealthy on Oslo Fjord. It soon however became a favourite day boat of adults looking for an easily crewed regatta machine. King Olav had an early ‘Fram’ 12 kvm indeed as a young man. On some of my previous outings in these elegant classics, much prettier it has to be said that most all of the UK’s one design day sailers, I have sailed very badly. Or been made to feel like my sailing skills were somehow thrown out of the window.
Coming back to the class after some spats and a very poor nationals in 2010 (the boat had mussels on the keel and when I first inspected her sails, GAFFER tape fixes on the spinnaker! ) I took these former failures as a challenge to learn the boat and prepare a decent example, and crew, for racing.
The burning light in the revitalisation of the class as a one-design with our local centre of gravity, has been the boat builder and all round craftsman in wood, Petter Halvorsen. He like others before gave me a recent ‘heads up’ that the 12 kvm (kvadrat meter = sq. m) was so different that I should throw out all I have learned in the Melges and a long line of boats, and rather learn the arts of keeping her moving.
However there are certain principles of science at stake here, rather than leaving it all down to art. The boat may be very different in design from the modern regatta machines, or the RORC tonne rule derived OD boats I sailed mostly before, but Scotty will tell you, a 12 kvm cannae defy the laws of physics, Jim.
Wave Goodbye to your Logs, and Say Hello to your Waves