Well I came home today to find a lovely present from the family by way of the Rooster coop. A box of new gear. Very excited to try it out: it will give a nice morale boost to Clare and me for the 2000 Nationals at Exe Sailing Club starting on Sunday. So what did we go for - let's start with the no brainers:
Matt - Replacement Rooster pro hikers. My last pair had seen lots of service in the 300 and the 2000. I've also done a lot of walking in them. We live within walking distance of the sailing club and change at home, so that increases the mileage. We also stayed at a long walk from the Nationals venue a couple of times. So let's just say I had definitely needed a pair of trunks underneath them for the last month or so, where they had rubbed at the top of the leg. There was also a much happier problem: I had lost a good amount of weight training for the Three Peaks Yacht Race, and the size 6s were just starting to get a little loose. Unfortunately I'm not that tall but have large thighs and calves (awaits comments about belly from fellow 300 sailors!....), so had previously been on the margin between 5 and 6. Definitely looks like size 5 is the right call now.
Clare - Replacement PolyPro socks. These are an all year thing for Clare.....and they suffer similarly with mileage...they're more like pop socks they've been worn so much and thus have lost a bit of warmth! Terrific for layering up with hot socks and wetsocks, and Clare's looking forward to toasty toes.
Matt - Rooster semi-dry top. This is another great bit of kit for me. And the new one looks lovely....in fact it's only comparing old and new now that makes me realise how old the old one was. In fact it was still completely waterproof and breathable. The only problem was the way the velcro had lost it's power to hold, which had begun to mean a cold back and neck at times (but illustrates nicely how good the set up is and how it helps keep you warm.
And to the new:
Clare - Thermaflex longjohn. All good things come to an end eventually. We worked out this evening from some photos that Clare had worn her Rooster Race Skin as sun and spray protection on a Wildwind holiday before the kids came along. Gwen will be nine this Autumn so it's done pretty well to look like this:
In fact it's only really t
ailed off this season because of the amount of time spent on hungry rotomoulded boats with angry non-slip. That and the area where her Rooster shinpads rub from the inside out....required due to the way the helm treats her apparently. Anyway we've clearly bypassed a couple of product developments since this is the new version of the thermaflex, designed to be a bit tougher (we're asked to destruction test - the combination of racing and family sailing should achieve that!). It looks great. Impressed with the soft lining on the knees and seat, and the general construction. And the shinpads integrate nicely. Clare's not too sure what to do with the velcro opening at the crotch, but I'm sure I'll find a use when I get mine.
Finally, Matt- Tacktile Gloves. I admired these at the Dinghy Show when Steve talked me through the latest option. I've been using his old pair (Eagle comic fans should see http://www.roostersailing.com/blog/?p=4685 for discussion of the effects), but another intense season meant it was time for new ones. A long time ago when I was trimming kite on a J24 I told Steve that his new gloves were too grippy. He was a bit non-plussed until I explained that they gave me superb control, but that given the amount of sheet through my hand they just weren't lasting long enough....and were leaving black Amara marks on our yellow sheets. The longevity has improved, and I've been really happy with my Rooster gloves, but I really liked the emphasis on stretch and flex on the Tacktiles, especially as I often take the kite sheet on the 2000....every bit of dexterity helps when you don't have a mainsheet cleat.
Can't wait to try it all out in anger. Stand by for our experiences at the Nationals.