[Public-List] Raced last night

Gordon Laco via Public-List public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Thu Jul 14 05:36:43 PDT 2016

Hello gang,

Well it being Wednesday yesterday, SURPRISE went racing.  What a night.  Got
down to the boat early with the intention of tidying up but as usual ended
up talking with neighbors at the club till it was time to go out to the
start.  Our crew was short due to my son Pete being over in Denmark doing
Atlantic Challenge and Clint being detained by a project at work.  So Steve
and I were ready to go on our own till I scraped up a wharf rat to join us.
Well not exactly a rat, it was our friend Doug who was out of action due to
a broken spreader base in his Express 30¹s rig.

So away we went motoring out to the start...  We noted that X (name
withheld), who had missed the past few races due to being put on a time-out
due to inappropriatly aggressive behavoiur on the course was back.  We hoped
he was prepared to play nice.  But he¹s in A Fleet, we¹re in B, so his
troubles aren¹t ours (thank heavens).

The wind was very light from the north, so the committee set things up...
Then with minutes to go there was a 100 degree wind shift and the air went
up to about 15kts.  It was like someone switched on the fan.  The committee
had to scramble to set up a new start line while 18 boats milled about; then
the fan got turned off again so things slowed down.

A Fleet got away with much shouting and jamming (yes, X was in the middle of
it trying to do a port tack start...)  We were shaping up to do our start
five minutes later, gliding along toward the line with all our foes nicely
placed disavatageously (for them) when the wind came up again.  We shot from
1.5kts to 5.5 and found that despite easing the main we were going to be
early.  The whole ravenous pack was behind us so we couldn¹t slow down
enough without being forced up over the line, so we circled behind them all
and started cleanly on port.  Dead last.  Then the wind dropped again.

We trudged up to the windward pin, popped the chute and followed the fleet
back down to the leeward mark.  Did a clean douse and started up on the last
lap, still dead stinking last.  I was apologizing to the crew.

Rather than just follow them up, I split tacks hoping for a miracle.  We got

Crossing the fleet (on port) we found we¹d caught three boats.  On the next
cross, one more.  We rounded the windward mark with lighter hearts and
started back down the course to the finish.

Up went the chute, and I carved away to starboard hoping to get a little
apparent wind boost rather than going straight down with the herd... We got

To make this long story short, we passed boat after boat, at an agonizing
0.8 knots, coming up astern of each, asphixiating them with our wind shadow
then gliding over to windward.  We finished first by a wide margin.
Unbelievable.  And as usual I said to my crew...¹imagine where we¹d have
been if we hadn¹t had to spend the first have of the race in last place?¹

I love yacht racing.

Gord #426 Surprise

PS  Mike Connolly, who is active on the list, is here visiting.  He¹s bought
a lovely Herreshoff sloop which is parked on it¹s trailer outside our house
at the moment.  We¹re going to visit TOUCH WOOD, have a squint at SURPRISE,
then I¹ll go back to work and he¹ll get back on the road returning to
Michigan.  It¹s great to see someone I normally only exchange emails with...

More information about the Public-List mailing list