[Public-List] Second last Wednesday Race of the Season...
Gordon Laco via Public-List
public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Thu Sep 21 13:55:57 PDT 2017
Back in Folkboat days, my friend Barry and I used to call doing things like sail into the club under spinnaker ‘sea scourging’.
It’s good to be a sea scourge, but only if one is extremely careful not to fail. The line between being a sea scourge and being an idiot is thin.
One time many years ago, for some reason I was alone aboard TOUCH WOOD anchored off Toronto’s Gibraltar Point watching the CNE’s air show. After the show was over, I decided to sail off the anchor... so up went the main. I went forward as nonchalantly as I could to hoist the anchor... and discovered that as soon as it was off the bottom, the boat began sailing (surprised? Shouldn’t have been) Now I was scrambling to get the hook up, but I realized I wasn’t going to make it before TW sailed herself over and up against another yacht still at anchor to our port. I cleated the anchor line with about 30’ still hanging down to the hook and scrambled back to the tiller. We were bearing down on the other yacht, who as one can imagine, was now watching us with great interest. I started trying to bear away to go round his stern, but with the main alone up, TW didn’t much want to bear away. So over went the helm the other way... in came the mainsheet, and we began climbing to windward to go over his bow.
We’d have made it with plenty to spare, if not for the anchor hanging down. It caught the other guy’s anchor line, snubbed us smartly, and spun TW’s bow down wind. In no time we were alongside nose to tail, fending each other off.
Was the other guy pissed off? I was starting to apologize but he just said ‘that would have been a neat move if your boat had taken a slant the other way instead of toward me.’ And he smiled. I realized he was a sea scourge too.
From: Dominic Amann <dominic.amann at gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM
To: Gordon Laco <mainstay at csolve.net>, George Dinwiddie via Public-List <public-list at lists.alberg30.org>
Subject: Re: [Public-List] Second last Wednesday Race of the Season...
Nice work, Gordon. I love to come in under sail myself.
On 20 September 2017 at 20:46, Gordon Laco via Public-List <public-list at lists.alberg30.org> wrote:
It’s over, the second last Wednesday race of the year.
Caroline and I had lunch aboard SURPRISE... a very pleasant indungence we enjoy during the season. The wind was snapping from the southeast... the very northernmost swipe of the terrible hurricanes south of us. Oh boy, I thought, 15-18 knots of wind on a wednseday at last... great.
Well as usual, by 1730, when I hustled down to the club from my office, the wind had softened to 8-10. Out we went to the start... on the way the wind softened further to the point where it was only 5-8knots by the time we were in the cut and thrust of the prestart. When the time was down to 3 minutes to go, the wind got lighter yet, and veered so the line was badly skewed.
I resolved to charge onto the start area on starboard... brush aside all the hopeful port starters then tack onto port at the last moment. It worked perfectly and we had a good start.
We split tacks with SUNDANCE and MAID MARION, our arch rivals who are both faster than us upwind in light air. I figured there was no percentage in chasing (or trying to keep ahead of) boats we knew are faster... so we rolled the dice. It paid off. We reached the windward mark gliding in on starboard with all our foes coming up on port... oh the satisfaction. I think I was chuckling, I hope nobody heard.
So, round we went... up went the ‘chute. We began stretching out our lead, actually overtaking some A fleet boats who’d overtaken us during the beat.
And then someone turned off the fan. We were still gliding along at .8 knots (that’s point eight) and holding our position. However I was dreading the next beat during which I was certain we’d be left behind by the whole herd.
Then... what did he say? LOOK AT THE COMMITTEE BOAT! Oh yes... the committee had shortened the course... the first leeward mark was the finish. We were spared the misery of watching everyone climb over us on the upcoming beat. We were fourth in B fleet over the finish... third on PHRF. Not bad.
We eased the pole to near the forestay and reached back to the club in a refreshed breeze, whispering along at a joyous 2.7 knots. Nearing the Club’s breakwater, an idea began to form. Bear in mind I was pretty chipper; we’d finished well, it was a lovely evening tonight, and well it was really nice.
I decided we’d sail right into the club under our spinnaker. Crazy. At the end of the spit we bore away to run down the channel between the sterns of the boats. We carried the ‘chute half way down, doused it lickety-split and turned to port up into our slip, backing the main to slow us down. No problem.
I was almost disappointed that nobody complained about our bravado...
What a wonderful evening.
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