Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Qualified for Twilight Racing!

It was a good race: Dazzler finally qualified for H-Fleet.

The chilly breeze was above my expectations. The presence of the Princess (if that is her name) Cruiser encouraged the Race Committee to assign us a windward-leeward course instead of the boring triangle. That was a big plus because there are more passing lanes. Dazzler did creditably well (finishing 3rd out of a dozen) except that pesky Ranger-33 passed us yet again.

Lots of crew intensity and mark rounding drama. Fun race.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Memorable Tax Day

What was most special about today?
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers, in honor of Jackie Robinson, were not blacked out on local TV? [Check]
  • Dazz got out on the water again and recorded her 2nd qualifying finish for 2015 Wet Wednesdays? [Check][Check]
  • 100 miles to the south and east of us, my son raced his Harbor-20 for the first time in YEARS, placing 1st among 10 starters (elapsed & corrected times) and did so single-handedly? [Check][Check][Check]
Checking out with extreme pride and gratitude.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Light Air Pursuit Race

Just under 4nm. Congestion at the start. Two boats were over early, spoiling Dazz' perfectly timed start. But in 4 knots of wind, both of them effectively took themselves out of the race. Passed a number of boats on the way to the weather mark. On the reaching leg we caught the rest of them except for Dazz's sister Wyliecat with her brand new square top mainsail.

At the turning mark, Wyliecats were 1st & 2nd! On the 3rd leg we were caught by a slew of large boats with spinnakers and had to round the leeward mark on their outside. I haven't seen the posted results yet, but I think we held our position against the boats we love to beat. We won a 7th place glass, but the other Wyliecat took a bullet, maybe.

That hurts!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One More Time, Maybe....

It was a royal blast to get out on Dazz for the first Wet Wednesday of the year that counts in a series. Except, for us, it didn't count! We have to race two more times before we qualify for a handicap.

Nevertheless, my youngest son came up from Marina Del Ray to sail Dazz for the first time. He, in fact, hogged the helm from start to finish. There was little room for argument: in his hands Dazz crossed the finish line 3rd out our fleet of dozen boats.

Sunny, warm and maybe 14 knots of wind for this 4.5nm course. A good time was had by all aboard as well as family & friends watching from the bar.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Is There Life After Sailing?

I have to take a moment to record and acknowledge an unpleasant development. This moment is about as good as any other.

On the 4th of January, a day after the first race of the new year, I had to be hospitalized. Last week I was again hospitalized and underwent a couple of surgeries. In the middle of this depressing experience, I realized that my time-on-the-water had been terminated by medical exigencies much earlier than I had thought possible. I could not complete a final year campaigning the best boat I ever owned. My disappointment was deep and profound.

My doctors agreed. So, I have placed my bucket boat, the ultimate Laser-for-the-geriatric-set, on the market.

It has been a wonderful life, pursuing performance in Corinthian sailing, the best individual and team sports out there. Where else can deeper friendships be forged among fellow competitors? Where else can you find your level playing field uniquely disheveled, from one day to the next, by the forces of nature? With your wife by your side every day for 45 years?

I never thought I could live without it, apart from it. But I'm going to try.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hot Rum #2

We were really sad to miss out on this year's second race.

But I was able to stop by after the start long enough to record that all competitors were obeying posted traffic signs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Celebrating the Past Year of Sailing Together

But it will also be the last year. I barely made it to the party!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

On Getting Caught

This was a pursuit race and we were having fun being pursued until we were caught by every boat that finished!

In class, ninth out of nine. In five knots of wind, what are you going to do?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Closing the Year 2014 with Its Opening Race Today

I didn't venture out for this year's Opening Day. I cancelled crew a day ahead because I didn't want to risk my engine in the Harbor's Sargasso Sea. The next day, the Club cancelled it anyways. But it had to be re-sailed because it figures into our Fleet's championship tally.

Today was the day. 5 knots of wind. 14 boats sailed a 4.7nm course. Biggest challenge in the light winds was keeping under-powered boats moving through post storm chop bouncing off the breakwater.

Had a great start. Immediately luffed a boat up to clear our air, and the race was on.

By the end of the 3rd leg, all of the boats behind us were on the horizon. Finished 6th on corrected time and I think that was our elapsed time finish too. 

Very satisfying.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Progress Report to the Previous Owner

This is the date I wanted to present you Dazz's first 1st-Place glass.

Sadly, I can't do so today. But We came close. In 12 knots and a 14-boat fleet, we were in 2nd place on the second of four legs. Bam! We hit a string of kelp that stopped us cold. Five boats passed us before we were free of its tenticles. The third leg was a spinnaker run and #28259 regained her position, but she could not claim #1.

Here we are fighting off a sister Wyliecat-30 for a 2nd place glass.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunset Cruises Are Over-Rated

Raced the course assigned to us, to circumnavigate Oil Platform C. Maximum wind was 7 knots and the average was well below that. For this 11.4nm race, Dazz was on the water a little under 5 hours. She was among the ten boats in the 19-boat fleet which did not finish. Yes, we quit at sundown. But only because I was outnumbered 3:1 in a incipient mutiny. So, the Dazz had been worked hard and had to be put away wet.

In the dark.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To Hell With (Just) Sailing!

I'm going to have to concede that I don't like sailing for the sake of sailing. I haven't wanted to admit that. It's come to me that the logistics are such that it's not worth it to me to go out on the water without the lure of a race.

If I could dial 1-800 how-am-I-sailing from my cell phone, maybe that would make a difference. But without other boats being out there, sailing the same course, I don't really know how I'm doing. And I need that. I need that competitive event. I need that company of boats. Their presence some how validates my efforts and measures my performance.

Otherwise, it's just too much effort. Too much logistics.