08 July 2008

Birds of a Feather

Last night I attended the SHTP Weather & Tactics Seminar. It was very similar to many other weather seminars (there's a big high pressure zone in the Pacific and our job is to figure out what it's doing). But there was something a bit different about this one. There were some damned good sailors at this event.

It started with the presenters, Kame Richards and Stan Honey. These guys win races and understand aspects of sailing that I have only read about. They have tons of offshore miles and people tend to listen to what they say. I was duly impressed and not just by the fifty cent words (they said things like diurnal and synoptic and seaweed). This is the first presentation where I felt like I walked away with at least one or two strategies for the race.

Then, as apparently is the custom at the SHTP meetings, all of the singlehanders racing stood up and said their boat and a bit about themselves. The range of boats (from a Cal 20 to an Open 60) was astounding but really the amazing part was the calm confidence of the racers. These guys just reek of saltwater (in a good way).

I've always been incredibly impressed by my next-slip neighbor, probably the smartest and most interesting person I've met through sailing, and he just fit in perfectly with these guys. I was humbled to have a reason to be in the same room as these sailors and I'm saying this without the usual mirth and irony that I try to put into this blog. This was an impressive crew of sailors.

I still expect that we'll pass ALL of them even with their 3 day head start but I'm only saying that because we have one of them with us. Go SHTP and thanks for the seminar!

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