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, August 1, 2012

Day-Sailing Can Be Fun, but . . .

A dozen boats started tonight's twilight opening to the Fall Series in 19 knots. Predictably five or so of us elected to duel it out in the narrow channel between beach and kelp on the right side of the windward leg. Why not? That's what brings us together, right? That's what helps us recall what it was like racing those one-design center boarders of our youth! Well, everything was going grrrreat guns for Das Boot until it came time to duck a couple of starboard tackers. Which she couldn't do in time because she could get her mainsheet eased in a timely manner. So, she had to tack below the infamous Ranger 33 which deliberately ran us straight into the middle of the Sargasso Sea. As soon as Das Boot could, she tacked back on to port, going maybe 2 knots. But bless her heart, she was instantly back on her feet and returnng to the chase with the day's only reversal behind her. Rounding in seventh place, we benefitted from a flawless set and excellent sail-handing for the rest of the race and caught four boats.

Surfing along, I forced myself to reflect on how much this mattered to me. Would this sail be as fun if it weren't a race? It's a good question for many people. For myself, as important it is to get out on the water as often as I can, racing undeniably takes sailing to a higher level of refinement. Why else would we as crews work so hard and focus so intently to extract optimal performance from our boats? If not for the race, would we even have ventured between sand & seaweed tonight?

Day sails are okay. But whenever I do them, I avoid taking the helm. Instead I grab a cushion and a portion of the sunny side of the deck, and catch a nap. Best environs I can think of for a day time snooze. But . . . .


  1. How come you didn't stick around long enough to pick up your 5th place glass? Some guy with white hair collected it for you!

    1. Ex-Mainsheet Trimmer picked it up. We drank two rounds waiting for the results. Some protests held up the proceedings. I had to get home to Trophy Wife....

  2. On day-sailing, it was Seneca who wrote,

    "If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable."