“Rage” Pacific Cup preparation Log:
6-25: Helpers: Tom Wylie, Adrien Fournier. They help me go up rig and remove upper spreaders to check bases. Not an easy task, with many pounds of duct tape & goo on the spreader tips to saw off with my leatherman serrated knife blade. Thanks goodness I just sharpened it. Spreader bases were pretty beat up, especially the port side. Called Rander & found out they had snagged a J35 rig while sailing, and dragged the 10,000 lb. 35 footer along for a while with the upper shroud. Good thing they were overbuilt to start with. You never now when you’ll be dragging boats along with your rigging.
6-26: Helpers: Adrien. Adrien got started on our communications installations. A major task. We are installing: Inmarsat-C satellite email transceiver, a Mini-M satellite phone and data station (web access at sea!), and Sea-Station 2000 real-time weather satellite receiver. We need this stuff to send our daily updates from the boat, and to get super clear weather pics direct from the satellites. I got started on the new track installation for the spinnaker pole. Using 1-1/2″ track, the biggest stock stuff around. For a 32ft pole we can’t risk ripping the track off. Drilling and tapping in the thick carbon mast was gross. Carbon dust everywhere.
6-27: Adro, Tom, Steve Nurse, & Me. Turns out that there are all kinds of computer configuration and software protocol problems with getting things to talk to each other. It’s really too bad that you can’t actually buy stuff and have it work. You have to be a programmer to figure out what the hell is wrong. Thank god Adrien can figure this stuff out! More carbon dust and mast scrambling for me while finishing up the track. Then we motor over to Svendsens boatyard where I have sweet-talked Chris Evanoff to stay late and help us raise Rage’s huge mast and replace a pad under the base. I am moving the rig more forward for optimum downwind speed. Mast forward is slow upwind, but fast downwind and it’s downwind to Hawaii. Good thing too. That’s why we race there, and not back!
6-28: Adro, Tim Danford, & Me. Adrien & Tim take turns matching wits with the work of Bill Gates henchmen. I get the mast repositioned with as much prebend as I can, then seal up the partners (where the mast goes thru the deck) so I can pour in the “Spartite”. This is a pourable urethane hard plastic that forms a strong seal and locks the mast in position. In the morning I have a conference call with Joan, and the AMD people. Worked out the details on their official supplier sponsorship. A real “corporate” name! It’s not a big dollar deal but we are delighted to have them aboard. Our association with them could lead to something big. Besides, they make great PC chips, and are supplying us our computers! Stay tuned for a press release and soon as the paperwork is finished. By the way, we survive completely on donations until we land a major sponsor. I’m putting all of our resources into this Pac Cup in a bet that we will do well and generate some PR that will magically attract some $. Hope the donations pick up steam again, it’s going to be really tight after the Pac Cup. Actually it’s really tight now. But if we continue to get help from new and old supporters, somehow it will all work out.
6-29: Eureka! Adrien gets the Mini-M working, and we actually sort of surf the net at a staggering 9600-baud. This is really slow, but it pretty cool to be able to hook up almost anywhere in the world, totally wireless. Of course the unit costs a fortune, and the 7 minutes we were on cost about 21 bucks! It’s going to cost a bundle to send out the pictures while racing, they will take forever at this transfer rate. But this is what we do for fame and lack of fortune. I pour more spartite (ran out yesterday). (This goo costs a bunch too, got them low down, no good, goin broke blues!) On another positive note, Tom Wylie has offered to pitch in a bit towards some hardware for the Pac Cup on Rage. He is very excited that I’m aboard for this trip and feels that there is a lot more speed we can crank out of the old girl. Without Tom, I never would have gotten this far. Here he should be getting paid for consulting with me on this stuff, and instead he’s pitching in his time & money. I’d feel guilty if I weren’t so glad he’s as excited as I am.
6-30/am: This a.m. was a bit stressful. Jeanie was upset that I wasn’t going with her on her long planned 4th of July visit to Tahoe with some friends. I need to make some money before the race so I can pay our bills when I get back from Hawaii. With working on Rage, sailing to Hawaii, and then in Hawaii for a week, I have no income for a month. Much of the expenses for Rage come out of my pocket (credit card) until Made in America gets enough donations to reimburse me. I haven’t spent much time with Jeanie lately, but didn’t know what else to do.
6-30/pm: Feeling a bit better now. One of my supporters gave me a pep talk about priorities (as in: Jeanie). Then I ran into early supporter Eric Jungeman, who made another donation on the spot! That will help Made in America reimburse me for the continuous expenses, and it’s tax deductible for him! (hint, hint) So I’ll work like hell tomorrow, then head to the hills with Jeanie for a couple of days. I was dyin for a mountain bike ride anyway. Besides, I’ll get more done with a clear head when we get back. Also, I have a tendency to come up with brilliant boatspeed ideas while careening down steep singletrack. Don’t ask me why.
Talk to later!
Ragin Wocketeerin mountain bikin Bruce