The following are the ramblings of Luke Tupper
Whether it is sailing, cycling, running, photography or other activities that Luke is involved in this is the place to read about them.
For whatever reason Ubuntu doesn’t include a valid certificate chain for sites using RapidSSL certificates. If your server has read data from a site that uses RapidSSL then you have good chance that you will receive errors stating that the certificate is invalid. To solve this problem you need to perform the following steps:
1) Download the RapidSSL certificate:
2) Copy the certificate to the /usr/share/ca-certificates directory:
sudo cp RapidSSL_CA_bundle.pem /usr/share/ca-certificates/
3) Add the RapidSSL_CA_bundle.pm filename just after the last comment (#) in the /etc/ca-certificates.conf file
sudo nano /etc/ca-certificates.conf
4) Run the update-ca-certificates command. With any luck you will now be able download your
Not sure why the RapidSSL certificates are broken, but updating doesn’t seem to solve this problem. Hopefully ubuntu systems will fix this shortly.
I have been running on and off for a fair while and I was hoping to increase the distances that I was running. At the time I was running 6km two or three times and week and 12km once a week. My aim was to increase the distance I was running to a consistent 12km at least twice week. Unfortunately sore ankles, knees and shin splints would prevent me running much more than one 12km run each week. In November after trying to increase my distance I needed to take much of the month off from running so my ankles and shins could recover.
I did a bit of investigation and found the talk about barefoot running interesting and it could be a potential solution to my running problems. At the end of last year I bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Sprint running shoes.
Pretty much the first reaction of seeing these shoes are ‘boy they are ugly’ although often the f word is in that description. However I didn’t get these to win the fashion stakes but to running on a consistent basis.
Vibram makes a range of shoes, and I was looking at either the Sprint or the KSO, both shoes are designed to fit securely to the foot with straps that can cope with the stress of running. The decision of which to buy was made by the Sprint being the only one I could get locally in Australia. I bought these from Runner’s World in High St Kew (Victoria). I would definitely recommend trying these shoes on before purchase as the correct fit is quite important. Also depending on your foot shape some women end up with the men’s shoes and men with womens. Unfortunately the price in Australia is approximately double the price from the US.
As you can see from the above photo the shoes provide only basic protection the elements. There is no cushioning or support for your foot. The basic aim is that these shoes are aimed at protecting you from the gravel, glass, rocks, whatever else might get you if you were running barefoot.
The sole of the shoe has razor cuts in it much like deck shoes and provides a good level of grip. Only running fast around the tightest of corners and you can feel the shoes moving, and it is not the sole but your foot moving a little bit inside the shoe.
The shoes do get grubby, especially if it is wet or muddy on the run. However the shoes can be thrown straight into the wash, just remember to do up the velcro straps or you will find them attached to all of the washing in the machine. It is a good thing that they are easily washed, as running without socks on means that they get pretty sweaty and very stinky quite quickly.
Getting the shoes on is a little bit tricky. My deformed little toes don’t particularly like getting into these shoes and needs to be wrangled into the correct ‘finger’. While they look like these shoes simply slip on, it does require sitting down to get them on. Once on I find that I need to walk around a little bit before doing the straps up. Doing the straps up needs to be while standing, if you sit down you end up pushing your foot too far forward in the shoes and the straps will be a bit tight.
As I bought these shoes in the height of summer I had been walking a fair bit bare foot so I was hoping the transition to barefoot running would be a simple one. The first couple of runs went fairly well, except that I didn’t have the straps done up tight enough. The shoes rubbed quite a bit and I got some blisters on the sides of my feet, toes and heel. My first runs were around the 3~4km mark and felt really good, the sensation of feeling the surface I was running on is incredible, you feel much more connected to the environment you are running in.
After a couple of weeks of running one or two times in the Five Fingers I extended my run to 6km, and I could feel the muscles in my calves getting an extra work out. The theory is that you are using the muscles to stabilise your foot instead of relying on the cushioning of the shoes. Over summer I did a couple of longer 12km runs, with good breaks after each run. Part was let my feet and running style change and part to allow my fitness to increase as well.
One concern I have had with the Sprint was I was worried about gravel and sand getting into the shoes. Once or twice I have had a small piece of gravel in my shoe, but no major problems with stuff getting into the shoes. This includes running on a sandy tracks and along a beech without any issues. The only thing I have had a problem with is long grass can get caught between my toes. Mud is interesting to run through, depending on the thickness, a quick rinse under the tap at the end of the run removes any mud from the shoes.
The course I run is a mix of concrete footpaths (50%), asphalt (30%) and gravel/grass/mud (20%) and the shoes work well on all surfaces. Grip on asphalt is exceptional, and concrete is as good as my previous running shoes as long as it is clean. On gravel, grass and mud the ability for my toes to spread as they are in the individual fingers means you have fantastic grip, and the feedback from the shoes means you can respond if you haven’t got your foot firmly planted.
Over summer I worked towards running a consistent 12km course, and I am now able to comfortably running a 12km course 5 days a week. There was no chance that I could have come close to this distance without considerable pain in the past.
For anyone who runs on a regular basis I would recommend that you give barefoot running a try. Vibram FiveFingers aren’t the only choice, Nike have a number of shoes in their Nike Free range which simulate barefoot running and are probably a gentler way to get into it.
- Simulate barefoot runing
- Fewer injuries while running
- Get stinky
- Takes a bit of time to get them on
- Expensive in Australia
Racing the week before was spoilt by breaking the outhaul. This week I replaced most of the control lines to avoid a repeat of the incident. Of all of the lines which has made the biggest difference was replacing the elastic that holds the centerboard into the boat. This made going downwind a lot easier as the board stays exactly where I left it.
George has kindly organised a bunch of Tack Tracker GPS units to record the fleets progress. They can be seen on the tack tracker site. I will be referring to the Laser Race 5 and the practice race at the end.
The first lap l got a good start, ducking behind Rod and Ken a number of times. I generally won’t call starboard on other competitors unless I am guaranteed that they will tack well behind me. You can see a number of times I duck behind Rod, and Rod eventually (3:15 into the race) forced me to tack onto starboard just in front of him, forcing him to sail lower once he was in my dirty air and eventually tack. Jonathan P. from the other club took me out towards Carousel, and away from the centre of the course that was favoured the rest of the race.
Watching the first reaching and downwind leg it is obvious that Rod and I are reasonably evenly matched, although we do manage to break away from the rest of the fleet. I am guessing that Rod, Ken and I had better wind at this stage, and fewer boats around us. At the gybe (D) mark I wrapped the mainsheet around the end of the boom and lost a bit of ground.
On the second beat I was able to take the preferred line up the course, eeking out just in front of the pacer fleet who started as we crossed in front of the start line. The guys in the group behind us had to sail through all these boats. If you watch my line near the end of the beat I didn’t commit to any of the lay lines until right at the end.
The next downwind leg was a play for the inside position. You can see that at the mark rounding I got in front of Rod. Unfortunately unseen on the tracking system was that Ken was in front of both of us.
Clear air and clear space to tack allowed me sail an optimal course looking mostly for pressure, taking shifts to get to the gusts of breeze on the course. However I didn’t venture to far from the centre of the course.
On the windward return I followed Ken (who I suspect was following Jonathan) and we went round the D mark. We didn’t lose to much ground as Rod also followed, but it did mean that we missed the shadow of the island. Looking at the VMG data (click on legs tab on left hand panel of tack tracker) George and my speed wasn’t to different and it was the same as Keith. Do note that if you watch Russell and James they both lose out going closer to the island compared to Keith and George who are much wider. A reminder that the shortest line isn’t the fastest.
4th upwind leg I was again looking to sail up the centre of the course, as going towards either the rowing sheds or the island wasn’t paying any dividends. I note that Rod and George who were quite close had roughly the same VMG while George was much quicker on the leg. Sailing a bit of the breeze and keeping the speed up doesn’t necessarily mean a slow over all. Missing a shift near the top mark let Rod catch back up a bit.
Again on the downwind leg it was a balance of taking a wide course and avoiding other boats versus getting the inside running at the gybe mark. I went in earlier to establish the inside position at the mark round (around pacers), you can see that Rod gets taken much wider.
On the last beat the centre of the course seemed to be the best option again. Shifts were really important. If you look at the data for the leg you can see I had the 2nd highest VMG, with the 2nd slowest (out of 6) boats. Keith was the only person faster than me up the leg with a VMG 0.03 of a knot faster but he had an average speed 0.3 of a knot faster. People trying the ‘tack off the point, hit the island’ tactic which works in SW breeze was not working today.
On the last downwind leg I was hoping just to keep up with Ken (not shown on tack tracker). Heeling to windward and riding the boat down allowed me to keep up. The elastic on the centreboard also helped.
Closed in on Ken by tacking out to the island before sailing to the gate mark. Mainly done as Rod was fair enough behind and there was no hope of catching Ken if I simply followed him home. Ken sailed towards the clubhouse end of the line and I headed toward the pin end, again simply because it was a different line to Ken. Luckily for me a slight puff of breeze took me over the line just before Ken. I don’t put this down to good tactics, but simple good luck and taking the alternate line.
On the practice race I was the bunny which means that everyone should have sailed behind me at the start. I forgot that the bunny is suppose to start by gybing onto starboard, so did a gybe spin a bit later on to compensate.
Everyone was very close on the first lap. At this stage I aimed for clear air, and learning from the first race keeping a clear tactical position so I could tack when I needed. The wind had built slightly which allowed mean to push hard out of tack and keep up or push in front of boats nearby. Able to keep a clear racing line meant I tacked first around the top mark.
On the 2nd beat I played the shifts, as I had all day avoiding the ‘corners’ of the course. Usually this doesn’t pay off with people tacking in from the island getting a lift to the top mark. I suspect that some Grand Prix grandstands might have ‘fixed’ that advantage.
The wind around Albert Park Lake was blowing 10-15 knots from the South-South West. With the tents and grandstands being built at the southern end of the lake for the Grand Prix the wind was light and very fluky down the narrows and rowing basin.
The race went well with the winds allow me to take advantage of the shifts coming down the lake, and getting into an easy lead of the rest of the fleet. With two smaller triangles still to be sailed the rope holding the outhaul on the boat broke. This was easily fixable, with a simple not being retied to fix the problem, however it took longer than expected:
- Tipped the boat over, but in the process hit the boom and pulled it out from the mast.
- First time retying the outhaul, I had tied mainsheet into the outhaul.
- Then retied the outhaul again, then getting on with the race
Unlike training for a penalty turn situations, it is a bit harder to train for breaking things on the boat. But it does remind me that I should have stayed calm in the situation and not rushed to repair the boat. The boom and tying the mainsheet into the outhaul easily cost me 30~60 seconds. At the end of the day I lost the race by about that margin.
The boat breaking was a good reminder that I probably should replace the ropes on the boat. The race went well otherwise and I had maintained a good lead. The biggest thing I saw against other competitors was that as the wind strength increased, people were less likely to tack on knocks and shifts as they sail up the course. This is especially noticeable near the top mark that was closer to the grandstands and tents being put up around the lake.
Boat handling – keeping the boat flat upwind.
Taking advantage of shifts/knocks.
Boat breaking – need to replace ropes on the boat.
Nice steady spring breeze rolled in to Albert Park Lake just before the race. With a Starboard course the question of how to tackle the island/entrance to the narrows is a tricky one. It seems that there was better wind towards the island rather than out near the entrance to the narrows.
At present the weed is growing near the powerhouse retarding basin, which gives you even more reason to stay out in the middle of the narrows than hugging the wall.
Still trying to get the hang of setting the sail on the impulse, especially downwind. I suspect I have to be more aggressive with the boat to compensate for the weight difference.
Caught a bunch of Photos of Shauna (#84) racing in the Honda Hybrid Womens 3 Day tour.
Yesterday was an extremely windy day, with the wind was consistently over 25 knots, with the weather station at Royal Melbourne recording gusts at 47 knots (87 kmh) during our race. An idea of how windy this is, there was spray being blown off the surface of Albert Park Lake, and the boat got tipped over from just the wind getting under the hull of the boat. This is with me hiking out fully on the side of the boat.
So myself and 7 other foolish fellows took off and tried to sail in these conditions. The number one thing was to keep the boat moving and try to avoid being knocked over too many times. Nobody on the course managed to keep it upright all the time, but each capsize took a bit more out of you, and dulled your reaction times that little bit, making it more likely that you were going to capsize.
I noticed that as I got tired I was more likely to tip over, and every capsize takes a fair bit out of you. The final nail in the coffin was having my mainsheet coming undone at the bottom mark. Jumping in the water to retie this and then get back on the course was just to much. This was also the point that the 47 knot gusts started coming through.
From there it was just a battle to get back to shore. I wasn’t going to repeat the mistake of a few weeks ago and doing some high speed reaching at the end only to break my boat (Impulse that time). Through the strongest gusts it was sometimes prudent to just hold on, avoid capsizing without moving upwind.
I would definitely say that the day showed up my dropped level of fitness. So the next couple of weeks/months will be trying to bring that back up to scratch. As for boat handling, I was relatively happy with that, there isn’t to much you can do when the boat is being blown off the water. Of course more heavy weather sailing will always touch up the skills of handling the boat in these conditions.
Strong northly breezes provided challenging racing this week. This was the first decent breeze that I had the boat out in. The biggest news is that I didn’t break anything on the boat and everything pretty much held together.
The first couple of laps I took it relatively easy and made sure the boat was going to hold together. Once I was confident that the boat was working well I then hiked hard and worked the boat upwind. Surprisingly the boat worked well and nothing went wrong.
By the time I was pushing the boat hard I was well back in the fleet. In the last couple of laps I got a number of places and was able to keep the boat upright throughout the rest of the race.
While I hadn’t broken anything a shackle that I replaced in the morning was a bit bent out of shape:
Photos from our recent trip to the US. Headed up the Empire State building around 10:00am one morning.
While I have put a number of photos of rebuilding and repairing Dad’s boat, I haven’t put any photos up of the finished boat. Unfortunately it would probably have been better to take these photos before breaking the mast and punching a hole in the deck.
I took a liberty with name of the boat. Dad originally had called it ‘Prince Toad’, with a view of naming his next boat ‘King Toad’ or some such. I simplified on just ‘The Toad’.
The toad logo was from Dad’s business. I vectorised the logo and the guys from Graphic Effects made the logo. They did the work on the back of the boat as well.
The cockpit was painted due to the amount of damage that had been sustained over the years, plus the new foam floor, didn’t lend itself well to varnish.
The signage and logo on the sail were done by Dad.