Thursday, September 01, 2005

Full of Woe

I went to race with the Sunfish fleet on Wednesday evening. I hadn't been in a Sunfish for a couple of months so I was looking forward to a relaxing evening of laid-back racing. Wow - did I get a surprise.

A couple of the more experienced kids have been sailing lots of regattas and had both done well at the Sunfish Junior North Americans. The father of one of these kids told me that his son was so pleased I was there because he hadn't had a chance to test himself against me for a few months. Already I'm a marked man.

In the first race I was meandering down the start line towards the pin end when the other kid, obviously in a testosterone induced mania, started screaming, "Leeward, leeward" at me. I pretended to be deaf but quickly got further down the line and out of his way.

I was second boat to the windward mark in the first race. Not too shabby. But on the second reach kid #1 who was just behind me went higher and higher trying to take my wind. I luffed to protect and when we were about 5 miles to windward of the rhumb line I gently pointed out to him that if we didn't go down soon we might get passed by one or boats to leeward of us. He got the message.

I held on for second place in that race but after that the wind got lighter and my results went downhill. In the second race the boat end of the line was favored but I was too far down the line when I realized it. So I sailed above the line, gybed round the committee boat and came in for a perfect start at the right hand end of the line. Except I was about 15 seconds early and way too fast and there were two boats already luffing in "my" place. I saw a gap and thought I would barge into it. Bad idea. Totally out of control I fouled two boats before the race had even started. I sailed the race anyway and afterwards told the RC to disqualify me. One of the guys who had been luffing at the boat was laughing at me, "So that was your plan?"

I am definitely out of practice. My timing is all off and mentally I'm really out of it. Need to do some work before the big Laser Master regattas in September and October.

Clearly I have far to go.

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