20 November 2006

All Girl Racing Crew

My racing crew is not only getting better, but better-looking as well. I've found that none of my so-called friends want to sail but their wives do. My crew is now mostly female; I have women on tactics, jib trim, foredeck and mast. I steer and my father-in-law trims main. And this is working, in yesterday's race we were 13th out of 16 across the line and 13th out of 16 corrected (but the 3 boats behind us in each list were different).

I guess I could give a race recap since it was the first time ever that Lady Bug mixed it up with other boats in the middle of the race (we pwned the starboard layline at G). But then I'd have to give out the story of our amazing rush off to the left side of the course and how we were the only ones out there with the strategic insight to sail directly toward the mark. Of course once we realized that we were the Smartest Sailors on the Bay (SSotB), we looked back at the committee boat to realize that either they had flipped the flags or that we should be doing course 41 not 14.

But I'm going to focus on the crew since that was the best part of yesterday. We're starting to get familiarity with the boat and each other, bringing the same people back each week. Kathy and Bob are trimming on their own, starting to get not only the hang of the telltales but also realizing that they can help steer the boat through tacks and that there's a difference between trimming for speed and trimming for point. Hell, we used the traveller yesterday, just like Buddy Melges says to! Next stop: outhaul.

My lovely wife Heidi joined Suzanne up on the rail for the first time. And, we gave some jobs to foredeck -- we tried to use the whisker pole. Of course, it was a disaster through no fault of their own. I had jury-rigged my old pole to work on the new sail but had never double-checked that it could actually clip to the ring on the mast...oops, too small. Heidi and Suzanne did a great job trying to get it to work and we really didn't lose too many boat-lengths doing it. Best line from the foredeck...on the first upwind leg, my wife yells out, "you'd better tack now" and sure enough the helm yells out, "ready-about" immediately. Was it great tactics, coincidence or marital harmony, you decide.

I haven't mentioned my favorite crewmate, Camille. And for good reason, her tooth is loose. I'm sure every sailor is aware that you don't want to lose a tooth while sailing, what if it falls overboard, or you don't notice it's out and swallow it? How the heck will the Tooth Fairy know that you lost it? So, Camille felt that she had to hold onto her tooth with one hand and the backstay line with the other, leaving the balance bar, course list, and GPS without a hand. She finally decided that it wasn't worth the risk to lose her tooth overboard and went below to keep track of the tooth's progress. I'll keep you updated.

I'll have some stories from yesterday's incredible 13th place finish soon. We had one boat quote the Simpsons at us mid-tack and had a memorable and dramatic finish against a Tartan 37. Neither would have happened without my superstar crew.


Anonymous said...

Uhhh....as the SA braintrust says:

Pictures or it didn't happen.

EVK4 said...

At least you didn't ask what they rate....

Anonymous said...

That's only because I forgot. That joke just never gets old. Amazing.

Zen said...

I'm reading backwards... again the Tartan 37... the cliff hanger

yeah, what about the pictures?