Monday, October 22, 2012

Boca Ciega Yacht Club race night

All is quiet before race day

Sunday morning was race day at Boca Ciega Yacht club. I was a bit nervous showing up Sunday morning.  Wondering if I would get a spot on a boat, would I get yelled at for doing newbie things, would I be the cause of a poor performance - all of the above? :)   So with some minor trepidation I walked into the club house, and was greeted warmly by the club members.    The boat captains were on  one side of the room, the rail meat on the other side.   6 boats just waiting for people.   I volunteered to be rail meat on one of the boats.  I figured it would be a good way to learn and cause the least amount of havoc.

Boat owner  and our raceday boat !

Lawson the captain, and his mother (probably a spry 70+) the owner of the boat, gave us a brief rundown on what they wanted from us.   Fat guy up front - you move from high side to high side when we tack or jibe.  A job I can handle!!

Out we go, and with a great deal of patience Lawson instructs his entirely green crew (other then his mother) on our duties.  We practice tacking and I must say with a great deal of pride - I can move from side to side very well :)

The first race we got a late start. Although to be honest I have no idea how I'm going to figure the start out when I get my own boat.  It's confusing!    But off we go.  Needless to say we are getting beat by everybody.  Even a couple of the 16.5' Catalina's are beating us, and we're in a 30' European made boat (sorry - didn't get the manufacturer).

A downwind leg gives me a chance to see wing-on-wing for the first time, and we might have been hitting all of 4 knots.  But it felt good.   The end of the first race found us second to last, only beating a 22 footer.

For the second race, Ruth Anne (the 70+ yr old owner) decided she had enough of manning the jib sheet winch.  After taking over for her I am now amazed at her.  It takes some effort to pull the sheet in, and then crank the winch.  I had some issues getting some tangles on the winch, by pulling the sheet a little too quickly, and we lost some ground.  By the end of the 2nd race though I had it down, and was feeling pretty good.  Racing definitely is a great way to hone your sailing skills (if you don't mind a little loud suggesting from your captain on how to do it better! ).

Back to the club for some well deserved adult beverages.

I'm just sorry those races are only once a month.   It's time to start seriously shopping for a boat so I can sail!!  In the meantime the club 16'5 Catalinas will do  :)


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