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 31, 2013

It Gets Better!

A Week short of a year ago, I wrote that it "Dudn't Get Much Better than This". But tonight, it did. The wind came, topping out at 21 knots, apparent. My son and his father-in-law came along. And, creme de la creme, two of my grand kids, ages 5 & 7. They came on board.

At the dock, I was more alarmed than shocked. Am I being irresponsible? My Crew of Irregulars taking my pride & joy to sea? But these two tykes were veteran white-water rafters, and did they know how to follow orders from their dad! Nevertheless, I was major league distracted.

Very distracted, in fact. At the start, I pushed the habitual bargers up a little only to find that I maybe had 30 seconds of time left with only 15 seconds of water between me and the pin. Plus, Das Boot herself, was being pushed up. I started early, over the other boat and dipped down, finding just a teeniest bit of water to do so. Not enough, I was thinking at the time. Just short of fouling leeward boats, I turned back to the line and put the pedal to the floor. "Was I over early?" I was asking over and over.

The Race Committee displayed the Code X (Individual Recall) flag, but we could not hear anything on our VHF. Then we saw the Hunter turn back to the line. The crew wouldn't let me think about doing the same. "Go for it, Dammit!"

Sometimes you just have to say, W.T.F. We never looked back. At least I never did. We were second or third to the weather mark. We had an unbelievable fine spinnaker set after a brief delay. People who had sailed before on Das Boot, but never together, worked with unbelievable teamwork. I felt the pressure of the Hunter's pressure close astern on the last leg. But relaxed when they tacked off from our bad air. The only flaw -- a small one -- is we didn't hear the audible as we crossed the finish line. But at that point we didn't care much if we weren't accorded an official start or a finish. It had been that fine of a day.

In the bar, we checked the board. We had corrected out to first place out of 17.

It was fine. Ever so fine.

12 comments:

  1. We were there. We saw your dip start. Can't believe you got away with it!

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  2. As long as you didn't rub railings you passed the test. Congrats.

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    1. Good to see you again, Contiq! When/if we sell our boat, I'll see you again in Virtual Regatta. Right now, it's too much. So practice up. (Not that you need it!)

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  3. Well done!

    Speaking personally, scoring a win like that is all the more satisfying because it happens so rarely (for me.)

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    1. Tillerman, when my people sail a just little more together they will be smooth as silk, turning Das Boot into the 38ft Laser she was last year. Self-tacking and self-gybing. We won't be able to roll tack, however.

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    2. John Rousmaniere wrote, The Goal is not to sail the boat but rather to help the boat sail herself.

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    3. Especially so with Das Boot. She's not a complicated boat. Just like a Laser. Simple & user-friendly. Often I tell people crewing not to touch certain lines, like the mainsheet. We tack with the traveler. Watch your weight, maybe. Some tweaking off the wind, maybe. But loosen the reins: let the horse run.

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  4. As a famous sailor once said "Dudn't Get Much Better than This". Congratulations. Wallow in it. :)

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  5. A win!
    Congrats - makes a good sail all the more memorable!

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