Improvements from last week:
- We made it to the start line only about 30 seconds late
- we completed the entire race
- we didn't break anything
- we had one and a half hours of sailing fun
I had a complete blast. On a daysail, there is no way in h*ll I would have kept pounding into those waves with that kind of wind...I would have shot off to Richmond on a reach and shot back to Berkeley on the other reach.
But since we were racing, we continued to beat into 20 knots of wind with 3-5 foot chop for what seemed like an eternity. The distance from marker D to E felt like 20 miles. But once we turned that corner towards X all was right on the Bay. Of course it helped that the division behind us had finally passed and we didn't have to worry about all but their stragglers but the boat was flying, we saw a bit of clear sky and we weren't being drenched in saltwater every 14 seconds.
KG (foredeck) had the best line of the night right as we rounded E...as she realized that she was no longer being soaked she looked back to the cockpit and said, "what happened?"...as the relief spread over me, I simply said, "blessed downwind, we're running". The second best line was the race committee as he read the results, noticing that half the fleet was in division 1, "the wind picks up, the small boats come out, and the big boats cower in the marina". I know it's been mentioned before on this blog, but we're badasses.
Regular readers of this blog have noticed that I've been a confirmed daysailor but this racing business is quite good too. Racing will never replace the joy of a Saturday afternoon sailing around the Bay aimlessly but there is a great sense of accomplishment making your way around a racecourse. It's a ton more exciting and the adrenaline is incredible. I was so giddy when I heard the whistle at the finish line that I think I did a Tom Cruise fistpump thing at the Race Committee. I'm hoping it was covered up by my grin though.
The best part is that the crew seems to still want to go out again despite the crazy conditions. As I was laying foul weather gear, cushions, hats, gloves, and a headsail out to dry this morning, I realized we had about an extra 20-30 pounds of saltwater soaked into our gear. If we could only find a way to stay dry, I bet we could pick up 20 seconds on the guys in front of us.
Next week: second to last?!?