Monday, June 06, 2005


One of the guys making the most noise about how he is going to take the Commodore's Cup away from me is one of the fastest sailors in the Force 5 Fleet. He is the master of the one-liner put-down remark and quite a character. In line with my practice of giving my fellow sailors nicknames, let's call him Flash.

Before racing on Sunday, Flash was telling me how he was going to beat me next Saturday. I adopted an attitude of mock apathy.

"I hope you do win, Flash. I'm tired of seeing that ugly cup in my home. And I'm fed up of having to polish it. Worst of all, every time I win it I have to fork out twenty bucks to get my name engraved on it. I can't afford to win it again. You can have it. In fact, come by my house before Saturday and pick it up."

Round one to me.

On Sunday the Force 5's and Lasers started together. According to the handicaps, the Force 5 is about 4% slower than a Laser. So if a Force 5 sailor beats a Laser sailor he feels he has achieved something; that's why they like to have a combined start. I like it because it makes for more interesting racing to have more boats on the start line, even though the two fleets are being scored separately.

In the first race, the wind was very light. Before the start, Flash was trying to match race me, force me over the line early, make me foul him, playing games with my head. I escaped him and worked out to the right side of the course and saw a wind line even further right. I sailed towards it and could feel the wind getting progressively stronger. The only other boat on the right dug back in to the center of the course. Everyone else was way over on the left of the course for reasons I could not fathom. As I sailed further into the new wind I was headed some and the wind was getting even stronger. I sailed as far as the layline, tacked and rounded the windward mark a hundred yards ahead of the pack. Flash was nowhere to be seen.

After the race Flash sailed over to me. "Well, a Laser won but it wasn't you."

I was puzzled. What did he mean? Was this some obscure put-down? Whatever his point was, I didn't get it.

A few minutes later he sailed by again. "So who was that guy who won? Is there some ringer in your fleet?"

"It was me, Flash."

"Nooooo? I thought it was somebody handsome!"

I just can't win with this guy. But wait until Saturday.

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