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, July 20, 2011

Non Zero-Sum

Some days Yacht Racing is a non-zero sum game.

Some days, you're just glad to get back to your slip with the same number of souls aboard as you left with. Other days, you are just so happy to have escaped this side of the grass as they say, and gotten your deck shoes on a deck. And everyday you grab a few hours to get out and take in the air and the lighting that floats over you and the sea, the better off you are. Your life is not expended, but extended.

Today was such a day. Go figure:

  • Our Most Valuable Player was in NYC
  • The world's best Mainsheet Trimmer was in Oregon.
  • Our indispensable Spinnakerman had a dodgy back.
  • I was fouled by an arrogant Melges before the start.
  • I was fouled by an arrogant competitor on the start.
  • It was the last event in a series in which our standing has been screwed by an RC who called me a liar (and "un-Corinthian" -- which is worse!)
  • WTF!!!?

In 15-20 knots, I decided not to deploy the spinnaker and risk its non-recovery. Make it a learning experience, I said: let's take the full measure of our teeny chute's importance to our performance. Today's lesson was totally informative: we were passed off-the-wind by every one and his uncle, brothers and sisters. Usually, no one passes us on a free leg.

To keep what crew I had left from lapsing into boredom, I handed Reddog the camera and Spinnakerman the wheel. Both of them did good!

Out of 15 boats, ask not how we finished!


  1. If you think about it, I think you will admit that yot racing is always a non-zero-sum game. Nature is always a participant, if not a major adversary.