Sunday, May 17, 2009

Not a Bene"slow" this time!

Yesterday was the SCC Spring Regatta. I was fortunate to be crewing on a Beneteau that was fast. Or at least we did an awesome job. The wind was a steady 17-19 knots which was perfect this boat & the tactician really had a great feel for the course, the flood tide, & the wind. We flew!

There were two races & we were up against a few Js which can always prove hazardous. The first race was particularly exciting because one of the Js almost plowed into us. They didn't even see we had the right of way & didn't give way even after our helmsman screamed "STARBOARD!" about a million times. We had to switch course to avoid collision & then & ONLY then, he saw us--we lost about 5 boat lengths on the leader & we were never able to gain it back after that fiasco. Our protest flag went up right after that & then at the conclusion of the first race, the tactician called in the formal protest to the committee boat. Very much an adrenalin rush. Great fun.

The second race really couldn't have been too much better--if the first race was a practice for the crew, this one was excellent. We made very few mistakes--I was in the pit again so I'm getting used to the spinnaker now. I used to race non-spin class so the spinnaker is pretty new to me--but there is nothing more beautiful than watching a perfectly flown kite....

As it happened, we took second for both races so the skipper was quite pleased with us.

Crewing on all these boats has been incredibly interesting. Sailing people really are a motley crew--no pun intended--really! Usually a bunch of guys, & maybe a few women. At least one of the men is old & has been out in the elements forever--raced for thousands of years--heavy smoker & drinker, but you can't ask for a better crew member with this guy--put him anywhere, he knows what to do. Always a bunch of young bucks just out of college getting ready to do offshore stuff, some married guys who are escaping, & the owners--married--the only other female on board. And then there's me--there aren't a lot of me's out there--kinda like the marrieds but not, & kinda like the young bucks but not entirely because I have much more responsibility in my life than they do... It is much harder to crew on a boat when you're the only female--I'm finding I like when there's at least one other woman on with me; it makes it easier to relax. I always feel like I'm being judged way differently when I'm out with a bunch of men. Everyone I've crewed with so far has been incredibly nice though & I've really enjoyed meeting all these sailing folk.

I would like to find a boat to call home though...I guess that will happen eventually--yesterday was very odd because BOTH of the other boats I crew on raced too. One was in our class & we beat the pants off 'em & the other was in another class but I saw them a few times while we were getting ready to start. I'm beginning to get to know the other boats out there--at least by name. I look forward to meeting the other crews too.

I love all this racing I'm doing, but my shoulders, knees & butt are killing me....moving on the tack is hell on the knees & butt; especially with the Beneteau dots on the deck--OWIE!!

Did pick up a decent Musto jacket at Annapolis Performance Sailing before racing--& it really came in handy early on. Now I gotta get the pants so my knees will be saved.

Looking forward to my next opportunity to get out there--hope to crew somewhere for the Miles River next weekend....

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