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, July 22, 2012

Other Peoples' Boats (OPB)

Caught a ride for the second day of the Fiesta Cup. What did I learn?

First there was the Owner's error. My friend gave me the tiller for the first race.

I had a perfect start at the starboard pin. I thought I did. Tacked on to port right away and headed toward the beach, to take the Sargasso Sea (of kelp we are afflicted with) to port. I was too focused on boat speed to look over my shoulder to observe where other boats were starting. Obviously, up the line somewhat, but where? I know there is an optimal angle each day for the first starboard tack, but I didn't work it out. Ahead of time. Too much going on, getting used to the feel of the boat.

When we did tack back on to starboard, we did cross some boats, but slowly fell back in the tacking duels up the narrow straits between kelp and shore. I just couldn't get the boat moving fast enough. Fun flying the chute down wind. But we ended the first race DFL.

For the 2nd race, Owner corrected his original error and fired me as helm. In this heat, we were in the fight all of the way up. Rounded the weather mark last, but close. Owner decided not to fly the chute, probably because I was green crew and there wasn't time to switch positions, (although he was gracious not to say so). In any rate, on some course legs & conditions it is still debatable in this fleet as to how much a chute helps.

We caught a boat with our inside overlap at the leeward mark and sailed fast on the last leg to finish 6th out of nine boats in 18 knots of wind. I recalled how nice it was four decades ago to have Trophy Wife on the trapeze wire in similar conditions.

What did I learn? (1) The competition in this class is top notch. (2) It's fun sailing as crew on OPB's. (3) I can do it. (4) I have to go back to school.