Monday, December 2, 2013
Oman Race Day 2
Another great day here in Oman.
The AP was up for a couple of hours during which I had nice chat with Doug of Improper Course. Finally the wind filled in a bit and we got in 2 races. Relatively light wind but some swells that made it interesting. I am not used to swells since our club in Abu Dhabi sails in a bay protected from the ocean.
In both Great Grand Master Standard races, I came in the same place as yesterday but today it was last place since the fellow I beat yesterday was not sailing. But it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
In the first race, I had a mediocre start and then I pulled a really stupid stunt that made me instantly remember Jay Livingston's excellent post yesterday Why Race if You're Losing Badly? In my concentration I rounded the first mark and headed off downwind, completely forgetting there was an offset mark about 50 meters away from the top mark. I didn't even realise I had missed it until the same fellow who has luffed me up yesterday was kind enough to ask me near the downwind mark if I rounded both top marks. I immediately said yes, but as I thought more about it I realised I didn't. So, even though I was in last place I informed the finish boat that I was DNF, having missed the second mark.
In the second race I got a very good start and went left with Mark Bethwaite and others. All day I was trying to use the technique he had told me about sheeting in and out with the waves and while I certainly need a lot more practice, I did feel several times what I think it is supposed to feel like - it keeps the boat moving smoothly and dampens the slamming of the waves. I think one thing to keep in mind is to keep the heading constant and play the sheet - sometimes I was tending to round up and bear off a bit with the waves, but I realised that if I kept the heading steady it felt much more smooth.