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 25, 2012

Even Before Tonight's Rain We Had a Washout

I've reproduced a chart of tonight's twilight race. It's very amateurish -- my first attempt at down-loading from a GPS. In any event, if it works or doesn't, it's not going to be a picture worth a thousand words.

The chart does:
  • not reveal anything about the prevailing weather conditions. Weather was what you would expect in advance of a rainstorm; it was warm, cloudy and windy.
  • not reveal that the race committee was indecisive (and ultimately incompetent) in selecting the course to be sailed: after the warning signal, they took down a course number that would have worked and replaced it with one that couldn't work.
  • not depict the fact that the entire fleet of about a dozen yachts elected a conservative start in the winds gusting to 20 knots: they all sought out empty space between boats and started late [Fp].
  • not reveal that Das Boot rounded the weather [Dp] mark in fourth place.
  • not reveal that crew had a 'learning experience' in sail handling. Muffing in the spinnaker set is that kind of experience which must come to each boat in its turn and tonight it was our turn.
  • not reveal that we went seriously off course to the starboard side of the DDW leg, while the spinnaker drammar was resolving its self. I just could not find the nerve in 15 knots to gibe with the 90% of the onboard talent forward of the mast.
  • not reveal that we eventually gibed in time to fetch the downwind gate [Xs], thereafter managing to retain our 4th place as we continued, wing-on-wing fashion.
  • not reveal that the boats in front, one by one, reported via VHS, that the leeward mark [Cp] was not in place and that the race, alas, would have to be abandoned.
Finally, this track cannot reveal how indifferent I have become to victory or defeat after two wonderful decades of sailing & racing Das Boot against lighter and faster boats and increasingly younger and smarter sailors.


  1. Just looked at the website: RC exonerates itself by granting redress to all boats that started with ties in a 9th place finish. That puts you in 2nd place for the series!

  2. Trying to spark me up and re-ignite me old competitive juices?

    Well, the one thing that would have saved the day's pointlessness for me would have been to engage the Hunter in a tacking duel up the first leg. For once it was a good wind and we had the drop on him and the horse power on board. But we broke off after two goes at it because I didn't think I could motivate the crew. That's how far I have fallen from my previous self. In one year. Exactly. It's not that much fun any more.