Saturday, January 7, 2017
After several days of thick fog lasting until late morning - yes we get that in Abu Dhabi - it was a clear day on Friday, with winds predicted at close to 20 knots. They didn't get quite that high, but it was a good breeze. A nice day for the first race of the New Year.
The race started well - I had a good spot midline and relatively clear air. I worked hard the first couple of minutes and found an opportunity to tack away. Then, I realized our top Kiwi sailor was not ahead of me - how was that possible? After the race he said he thought he was OCS and so had gone back. Oh well, during the race, I was happy to indulge in the fantasy I was just sailing well. I was first around the windward mark and had lengthened my lead to at least 5 or 6 boat-lengths at the gybe mark.
Then my luck ran out. Concentrating on a smooth rounding with a gybe, I did a great job until my boom gently kissed the mark. I thought I still had time to do a quick 360 before the others rounded the mark. I tacked and the others were just at the mark, I started to gybe when the first one was rounding the mark and I realized I would have to complete the gybe very quickly or I would be interfering with him. Haste then quickly made waste - or, more accurately, a swim.
And that was it - I capsized to windward, so that meant a second capsize to leeward (no California roll). A good part of the fleet passed me and I managed to catch several boats but it was all over. Just spent the rest of the race practicing.