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 9, 2014

On Keeping Calm and Sailing On

Another perfect start in 18 knots for the last race of the Summer Series of twilights. I am at the top of my game on the starts, generally. From then on, my performance as skipper degenerates. Today it was progressive physical fatigue. Trophy Wife saw it developing. She saved me time and again from missing details.

Miscue from mainsheet cleating led to a momentary heave-to recover trim. That cost us boats. To compensate*, I tried a desperate effort to fetch the weather mark against tide and waves and a shitload of other starboard boats. In the first time in living memory, I not only hit the mark but slid along the wrong side of it. That forced us to re-round it as opposed to merely a penalty turn.

After that, there was no hope except for a relaxing and uneventful final three legs. Nice rollers on the spinnaker reach gave us a top speed of 9 knots. Rookie was back on board to trim the chute and he cried for relief!

Miraculously, we corrected out to 12th out of 16. Try as I might, I cannot completely defeat Das Boot when she has her breeze.


  1. * I have learned, but frequently forget in these recent days, that you cannot compensate for errors & mistakes in yacht racing. The effects of errors are cumulative during the course of a race. Every desperate effort to compensate just insures additional miscues and a greater accumulation of losses. The only compensation you can hope for comes from the errors of others.

  2. Raming a docked boat one day and crashing a mark the next. I think I can see where this is going.

    1. Where this is going is that I feel like I am trending to a status, physically and mentally, where I can only continue my sailing if I restrict my status to that of a passenger. I might like that. But in order to enjoy that kind of sailing, I hardly need to remain a yacht owner.

  3. I make lots of such mistakes while sailing, but they don't cost us a race since we aren't racing. That said, it does matter to avoid endangering other vessels and putting ourselves at risk. Happily it hasn't come to that yet.