[Public-List] Fall Regatta on Georgian Bay

Gordon Laco mainstay at csolve.net
Mon Sep 17 05:47:42 PDT 2012

Hello gang,

Had a great racing weekend, Saturday was the annual Fall Regatta at our
sailing club.  Four races in a row and the air built all day till the last
race was a real slog in heavy conditions.  My regular crew were all unable
to participate so I was breaking in three new members... Two had never
sailed before let alone raced a heavy yacht in a tight fleet and hard
weather.   We did well.  Nobody got hurt and we didn¹t break anything.

The start of the last race had to be the best I¹ve ever made.   We¹d had a
wild spinnaker take down at the end of the third race, and were still
clearing up the disorder when the start sequence for the fourth race began.
To make a long story short, we missed the first gun and lost track of the
count down.  I had to fall back on the old dodge of trying to time my start
by the movements of a rival who I reckoned had a stopwatch in the hands of
somebody who was paying attention.

At one point the mob was all away to starboard of the committee boat on port
tack, and we were charging along reaching after them.   Suddenly the whole
fleet ahead of us gybed onto starboard tack out past the committee boat and
started stampeding toward the committee boat and us (we were on port about
midway along the line heading toward them)   My son Peter said Œholy crap,
it looks like they¹re starting!¹.    We ducked under one stern after another
desperately trying to get by them while waiting for a chance to join the
herd.    Suddenly an opening appeared, and there was nobody between us and
the committee boat.  I said to my crew Πif the start is within ten seconds
we¹re going for it!¹  and called for sheets in and we jammed up into the
wind to go above the committee instead of below.  Just as I hardened up,
heart in my throat because I had no idea when the start was, the gun went
and we crossed the line first, in clear air, just skinning over the
committee boat¹s anchor cable and doing nearly seven knots on port tack with
the whole fleet going the other way all squabbling and messing each other
up.  One of the guys on the committee boat was jumping up and down yelling
ŒGo SURPRISE go!¹ as we slashed past, no doubt looking mighty heroic.
That¹s when I said to my crew Œnobody, none of us, must ever ever let anyone
know this was just a lucky accident!¹

Gord #426 SURPRISE

PS had a great sail Sunday aboard WINDWARD;  we¹re looking forward to a
rendezvous in a 2012 Misery Trip.

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