Well, dear readers, my apologies for such a delay in posting. I returned from Regatta and promptly took ill – too much hugging and lots of people around in that busy week, I suppose! It’s still got its clutches in me a bit, but I’m feeling mostly fine and going about business as usual.
I’ve also delayed because I just didn’t know what or how to write about this particular race series.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .
It certainly was the epoch of incredulity!
I won’t attempt to describe the entire week in detail, but here are the highlights:
- It was a delightful time with friends and seeing folks from other islands and all over the world.
- Weather was gorgeous all week.
- Our two local boats looked great and were sailing well.
- The boat that Beau captains easily took first place in the stand-alone Cup Race the first day – yippee!
- The next day was the first day of the three-day series race in which points accumulate to determine the overall winner. At the start line, another boat tangled itself up with Beau’s boat. Argh. Beau had to drop sail and start over. They still managed the incredible feat of passing other sailboats to come from dead last to place 5th that day.
- Prowess was in evidence the next day as Beau’s boat placed 1st. Overall, this meant they were tied for first place and poised to win the national championship. Yippee again!
- Final day, right off the start line, Beau’s boat was sailing great. But then, coming around the first buoy, another boat hit them! Speculation is rampant about how that could have occurred (thus the epoch of incredulity). No matter. The national championship was immediately lost as the other contender passed them by. By the time they untangled themselves from the other boat, any decent rankings were long gone.
- A very sad way to end the series. It’s one thing to lose when you’re doing you’re best. It’s another to lose when something is done to you! But hey, that’s racing. These things happen…
- We rallied for the awards ceremony on the last night. In addition to the racing awards, they also honor several outstanding sailors who have contributed to the sport. It meant a great deal to our community and its legacy of great sailing that Beau was an honoree this year.
So, there you have it!
Chase Boat Crew
During the races, I was in my favorite place: riding along in the chase boat with “my other Captain.” With numerous regattas under my belt now, I’ve earned my way up from take-the-Captain’s-girlfriend-with-you to enthusiastic spectator to crew that can actually help. This past Regatta, it was often just me and the Chase Boat Captain in the 17 foot Boston Whaler.
Our job is to “chase” our sailboat in case they have any issues. For example, as our sailboat takes some practice laps before each race, we usually speed back and forth across the harbor to switch out jibs or sails, depending on the winds. This year, the wooden pry split during a practice and we raced to find a replacement before missing the start deadline. At the start line, we’re also responsible for picking up the crutch (that supports the boom when the sails are down) if it gets knocked overboard. We also throw and secure the tow rope to pull the massive sailboat to and from its anchorage. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Of course, we’re there for any safety concerns as well. However, we cannot pick up anyone who falls overboard (unless an emergency). Race rules dictate that sailboats must finish with the same crew they started with – and no help from other boats. If a crew member falls overboard, the sailboat must turn around to pick them up, which usually costs a great deal of time and is detrimental to their race.
I returned home from Regatta with bruises all over and sore muscles from all of that behind-the-scenes work on the chase boat (sails and pry boards are HEAVY!), but I delight in being part of the action and up close to it all. Being on the water is fantastic – without the pressure of actually crewing on the race boat where I would risk falling off or distracting the Captain!
A Taste of the Action
Because I usually had my camera put away during the intense moments on the chase boat, I didn’t take photos every day or during all of the race phases. Nonetheless, I still managed to amass more than 400 photos during the week! Below are just a few to give you a little flavor. (As you might surmise, the most frequently pictured sloop, #16, is the one that Beau captains.)
In no particular order…
I hope you’ve been enjoying your Better Life in recent weeks, and I’m glad to be reconnecting with you all!