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 25, 2012


I don't know where to start in dispatching tonight's fiasco. Is it that there are things I will never learn or things I will never remember? Or things my tired old brain cannot reasses in the present?

Let's take the start to tonight's race. Where should Das Boot have started? It should have really been very elementary. Is there a reader named Watson who can answer that question before the fold?
There were about 16-17 boats on the line. 18 knots were blowing with moderate rollers which is Das Boot's best conditions. It was a Five nautical miles (plus) triangular course. The port end of the line is favored by the wind but the right side of the water is favored by the tide.

What about it Watson?

Here's my only answer.

Given 18 knots and crew (A-Team) at full strength the answer is not to contend to "win" the start. The answer allows Das Boot to get up on her feet in clear water & air as soon as possible. 18 knots should be a slam dunk for her, so there's no need to be risky and be port-tacking the fleet. No, Das Boot should have been Boat 3: fast off the line, finding early holes to tack on to port and thread lines through starboard tackers. Instead, on this day of days, I sentenced Das Boot to a sub-sub-substandard start around where Boats 12 & 13 are struggling.

Then there are the old familiar shadows with a well-worn rubric. A good day of superbly favorable conditions foments a sense of entitlement in this skipper. A subsequent mediocre start introduces an impulse to atone for the error. That, in turn breeds desperation which increasingly erodes good old patience. Remember that virtue?

There were a number of extenuating exterior factors which were exciting distractions in this race:such as A-Class boats coming from behind our fleet and forcing some of us to tack where we did not want to; one boat in our fleet hooking on to a swim buoy and dragging it into a the narrow straits between the Sargasso Sea of kelp and shore; and a shark feasting on his freshly caught sea lion within a few feet of us.

But nothing but skipper impatience caused me to just knick the weather mark by one billionth of an inch. Having to do a penalty turn is what burned that race for us. Getting a mediocre start sometimes gets me into trouble; impatience always gets me into more trouble.

I need help.


  1. My name's not Watson, but I'd say you paid dearly for your errors. 8th out of 14? You do need help.

  2. Your main problem is that the boat is dry. You're too tight without that telltale beer in your hands. Loosen up, chill out and have a brew while you're sailin'! Be my advice. You asked.