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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happiness is Not Seeing the Whites of their Eyes - Just the Bows of their Boats

News at Eleven...
For once the shrouded and constrained imagination of our esteemed fleet management lifted enough to allow for a departure from our monotonous triangle courses. We were assigned a windward-leeward course of decent length, on a decent day and with a decently steady wind. I even saw 19 knots once. The DDW leg offered every boat tactical challenges. As I am out of practice, having lost a sense of my own boat's polars, I found myself guessing most of the time. Apparently, I was guessing correctly on my gybes. A friend told me after the race that what works on any boat is to gybe on the angle of apparent wind. That's an idea I plan to test the next time I get another truly DDW course, (probably Christmas a year from now).

The beauty of not having a parade of boats as we have on triangle courses, is you are never sure of what your relative position vis-s-vis other boats are. There's that much separation. Not until you come to the leeward turning mark. That's where I thought we would find a lot of traffic. Mercilessly, there was very little: One boat asked for room, which we readily conceded. After rounding, however, we encountered a starboard tacker approaching the mark at a hot angle. At the helm, Trophywife responded instantly in a seamanlike manner by ducking. The wind was strong enough that we were able to recover quickly drive over the boat we had earlier conceded room. All was well. We were free to take a lot of photos and finished 4th out of 22 boats!