Sunday, March 23, 2008
08March22 - Rites Of Spring Racing with Stu
After some minor boat repairs - fixed the steaming lights half way up the mast had a great weekend sailing with Stu. We went out on Friday, for the afternoon, then anchored in Clipper cove, just north of the Bay Bridge on Treasure Island. Spotted a large loon last night motoring into our anchorage.
We started the racing on Saturday by crossing the start line third, but finished last overall. Our heads were fully into the race, starting easily an hour before start time, judging the wind, current, and our competition. We evaluated possible courses (they only tell you the course 5 minutes before the start) and were prepared for a handful. The stop watches count down, the guns are blaring, horns are blowing, and there is steady chatter on the radio from those racers with even less experience then us. Then all of a sudden it's down to 2 minutes and we are racing towards the start line, watching over our shoulders. All the boats in our class gel together and line up in turn stem to stern, trying for an advantage when crossing the line. We round the start line mark, tighten up the lines until they are singing like banjo strings and watch carefully to get the telltales streaming nicely behind the sail. GPS is re-calibrated marking off distance, and VMG (velocity made good) is monitored carefully - informing us when to turn and change course. For a while we are bunched together, then slowly over the first long leg towards Alcatraz, the fleet spreads out - each boat feeling its legs and stepping out in the brisk and building wind. One mark after another we criss cross the Bay, back to Berkeley, back to Angel Island, back to Berkeley, then around the end of the Berkeley pier and down to the Bay Bridge for a finish behind Treasure Island. Panting between very exhausting tacks I am done in after 3 hours of hard grinding. We sailed over 30 miles in glorious 20 knots of wind. We put the boat right where it needed to be...problem was, every one else in the class got there ahead of us. (You can double-click on any picture to enlarge it)