Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Our club race last weekend was amazing. It looked to be a bit blustery and it was – by the time the preparatory flag was up, it was around 20 knots and higher in gusts.
I had a standard rig and thought it might not be so bad since I had slipped off my diet recently and put on a bit of weight. About 30 seconds before the starting signal I noticed a significant shift to the right and decided to go right immediately.
So, I took a risk and started at the pin end and hit the line going full speed – it worked and I managed to cross in front of all the starboard tackers. They all headed left and I continued on right. I went almost to the layline and got a nice lift. I tacked and came into the windward mark 3 boat lengths ahead of the others.
Although it was blustery, I managed a clean bear away and started sailing by the lee immediately, using the technique that Doug recommended in his recent post, and catching some awesome waves. I noticed a large gust coming from behind and got ready for it. Barely avoiding a death roll, I managed to catch the gust and surf into a 5 boat length lead.
Coming to the leeward mark, I noticed a bit of current swirling around it and took it wide, executed a flawless roll gybe, rounding up just inches from it. As I started up the next beat, I saw Robert Scheidt approaching the leeward mark, shaking his head, wondering how he was going to catch me. He was frantically adjusting every control and shifting his body weight everywhere, but to no avail. I was too much for him.
But the really sad thing was to see the dejected look on Tom Slingsby’s face as he trailed Scheidt. But at least he had the good grace to hail me just as I was sailing out of range “Good race – can you give me some tips sometime?”