Ben Lobaugh Online

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Pink Boat Regatta 2016

This weekend Zippey and I participated in the Pink Boat Regatta. The Pink Boat Regatta is a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and a fun way to get people out on their boats raising money to save lives.

I have participated as crew for the Pink Boat in the past, however this year Zippey and I wanted a more active role. We entered late but still managed to raise $850. Thank you to all who sponsored!  Altogether the boats raised $60,592!

Weather the day of the race was fantastic…for sunbathers. The race took place on Lake Union in Seattle. There was little to no wind. For crew I had racers AJ and Shane onboard. It was the first time I had sailed on Lake Union, and AJ and Shane had limited experience also. Sailing in the lake is challenging. The wind conditions are ever changing with the hills and buildings around the lake. In a photo below you will notice my sails on port side while the boat directly in front of me was on starboard, and we were both moving forward on the same angle!

Zippey was in the first start. We started pretty well. Zippey is a small boat and slower than most of the boats in her class but she held her own well as we went around the first mark in 3rd place.

As we came up to the second mark the wind died out. It took 15 minutes to get the few boat lengths we needed to round the mark. While we were coming up to the mark the 3 of us had looked around to determine the best tactic for the next leg. It seemed that what wind was available was in the middle of the lake. As we painfully slowly worked our way out there we watched as the entire fleet got close to the second mark and parked. A few of the boats even had to fend each other off with boat hooks because they were simply drifting without wind. It turned into a big party with cheers and singing.

After we had worked our way out to the wind in the middle of the lake it magically disappeared and filled in along the edges. We watched as most of the fleet slowly sailed passed Zippey. The next time around we determined to follow the racers we knew sailed in Lake Union often and went around the edge…the wind died on the edge and filled in the middle!

Zippey had a hard fought battle to get around her 5 buoys but she did it with grace and style. Shane, AJ, and I had a great time out on the lake and were grateful for the opportunity to help out in our small way those suffering from cancer.

I cannot wait until next year and am already starting to plan on how I can dress Zippey up in more Pink!

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Colorful sunset

database

MySQL: Count number of tables in database

If you need to count the number of tables that exist in a MySQL database you can do so with the following query. Just remember to swap out the database name!

SELECT count(*) 
FROM information_schema.tables 
WHERE table_schema = 'YOUR_DB_NAME'
files

Bash script to automatically convert git submodules to regular files

Git submodules drive me batty! They are a great idea in theory however in practical application they are a pain in the butt to work with.

I have a project that has accumulated over a dozen submodules over the past couple years. Switching branches and merging anything has become excruciating. This morning was the last straw. I WANT THEM GONE! Removing dozens of submodules by hand is time consuming so I tossed together this quick Bash script. I hope it is helpful to anyone else out there struggling with git submodules.

#!/bin/bash

# Get a list of all the submodules
submodules=($(git config --file .gitmodules --get-regexp path | awk '{ print $2 }'))

# Loop over submodules and convert to regular files
for submodule in "${submodules[@]}"
do  
   echo "Removing $submodule"
   git rm --cached $submodule # Delete references to submodule HEAD
   rm -rf $submodule/.git* # Remove submodule .git references to prevent confusion from main repo
   git add $submodule # Add the left over files from the submodule to the main repo
   git commit -m "Converting submodule $submodule to regular files" # Commit the new regular files!
done

# Finally remove the submodule mapping
git rm .gitmodules
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July 28, 2016 Race Results for the Downtown Sailing Series

Tonight’s race was much better than last week! We started well and almost ended well. I am getting to know the course better. Shane and I tweaked and dialed Zippey’s settings, and added some new things.

We wound up in 45th place out of 49 boats. Not as good as last week, however we were able to sail the entire time this race!

I have crewed on race boats for two seasons and being in the skipper seat on your own boat is significantly different. I have to give a big props and thanks to Joe Bozick for his great teaching and deep technical understanding of all things sailing. He has made me a much more competent sailor and race winner hopeful!

Quick Notes

What we did well

  • Paid attention to the wind shadows of other boats. As one of the smallest boats out there everyone steals your wind!
  • Wind was puffy. We played into it as well as we could given Zippey’s current sail inventory.
  • We set up iRegatta to track our speed. That helped us as we tinkered with Zippey’s settings to find the fastest.
  • Shane put a cunningham on the main. That gave the main a significantly better shape, and it was easier to read the main.
  • Shane had some extra tale tales that he stuck on the headsail.

What we could have done better

  • I misjudged our speed to the start and we were a couple minutes late over the line. We should stay closer next time.
  • Getting away from the breakwater as early as possible would be a fantastic idea.
  • We stayed in close to shore on the second leg. The wind seems better further out. Next time we tack over after rounding the first mark.
  • Replace the broken slugs on the head of the mainsail.
  • Put the slug on the back foot of the mainsail into the end of the boom.
  • Have more lines available of varying lengths to rig up impromptu things.
  • Had a traveler system set up.

Race Overview

The start is along the Elliot Bay Marina breakwater and for a small boat like mine the start is tough. The start is downwind and the breakwater blocks a lot of wind from my tiny sails. This gives the larger boats a significant advantage.

As soon as Zippey pulled away from the breakwater she hit a channel between the marina and the cruise ship dock. That area seems to always have a good strong breeze coming down it. Zippey loves riding that. The wind shadow fills in a bit going towards the first mark. On the way to the mark Zippey did magnificent. Only one boat passed us. We caught a couple, including an older Pearson race boat, Dynamite. Zippey made a good consistent 4.4 knots to the mark on a broad reach.

After rounding the first mark is was a downwind slog. Zippey tooled along at about 3.9 knots. Last week winds were really light and the boats that tacked out made it to the second mark quickly. Tonight with the stronger breeze we thought we would make it fine, however as the shore approached the wind strength retreated. Shane was running the headsail and we popped onto wing-on-wing (manually, no whisker pole) and slowly scooted away from the other boats near us. We watched boats start to park in front of us and tried to skirt around them but got becalmed briefly also. Our momentum was able to carry us to the mark, which Zippey proudly rounded in front of a C&C 29. The C&C 29 has a PHRF of around 171 whereas Zippey is a North American Spirit 23 with a rating around 240 (Yet to be officially rated). That means the C&C 29 should have charged ahead of us by 69 seconds per mile! Overall she should have beat us by around 550 seconds. She did take off after rounding the mark and smoked us to the finish. Skipper made a tactical error early on that allowed us to pass.

The drive back to the finish is loooooong. Wind strength further away from the shore was better but still oscillated. Zippey’s centerboard is stuck up in the keel which prevented us from being able to point high. Tacks were huge degrees! We managed to keep Zippey in the 4 knot range most of the time. Shane rigged up a cunningham to pull down the front of the main and we experimented with the vang tension. All the little tweaks helped both Zippey’s speed and pointing ability.

We sailed well right up to the finish. When we were about 150 feet off the finish the wind died on our side. We watched at least 20 boats correct for the wind and sail right passed us. Bummer.

Overall great race! We learned a ton about Zippey and how to make her go faster. With some more tweaks I think she will have great potential with her current sail inventory.

Photos

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