Sunday, September 6, 2009

Passing to Weather

(In the distance--the big boats of Annapolis Race Week)

This weekend was a wild ride on so many levels. But since the most important of the rides was of course the race I'm gonna talk about that right now.

I didn't catch a ride for Annapolis Race Week but I must say that I certainly didn't miss it! I have learned so much this summer & this particular race was I think where I've learned the most because I had to do it all--from taking the tiller to being on the mast, to flying the kite. There was only the skipper, me & my son to race the boat so being able to observe & learn went right out with the dirty air.

At the beginning of the season I essentially knew nothing about racing aside from my experiences with my grandfather 20 plus years ago sailing non-spin class in a Wednesday night series near Pasadena, MD. He had an Ericson 35 which was a pretty fast boat & we won a lot of races with her. I had been sailing all of my life but felt my skills had stagnated & racing again was a way to get out on the water & learn more about a sport I loved. So stepping out on that J for the first time way back in April was pretty scary--at least I knew a little more than the spinnaker was the really big sail with all the pretty colors--but not too much more.....

This weekend widened the gap considerably--I got to be foredeck & get ready for the spin set, I was on the mast raising & dowsing the sails, & I flew the kite in very light air & a ton of chop from asshole powerboaters & even though this boat is used to winning most of the time, I managed to help us to a 2nd. After all this is quite new to me, and even though I have some guilt over not getting the 1st, but at least as inexperienced as I am, we did get 2nd--I think that says something.....

The race was down in St. Michael's on the Miles which is a beautiful area especially during the sunset & the full moon rising--more on that later. It was very tough--as I said--all the chop & the light air made flying the kite quite challenging. But the best part of the race was at the end--5 or so fast tacks towards the Miles River Yacht Club. We came about 10 feet off of the docks & we could hear the folks on the end, watching saying things like, "they're too close, they won't make it, they're gonna hit us...", & then we tack, narrowly missing--felt like our shrouds could have brushed the pilings....exciting! Try that 5 times in very short duration to the finish....god I love racing!

1 comment:

Incognito said...

Congrats on a great sail; I would love to see you and your son tearing around in that boat! 2nd is very good; kudos to you!