Monday, March 20, 2006

Changes in Attitudes

When I arrived at the yacht club for sailing on Sunday it looked as if the weather forecast was wrong. As we rigged the boats, the wind was less than 10 knots with some light snow flurries. But, after we launched, the wind built and built throughout the afternoon until by the last couple of races - and for the long beat back to the club after racing - it was blowing a good 25 knots in the gusts.

As the wind strengthened my mental attitude changed ...

Huh - stupid weather forecast - this isn't going to be all that much fun.

Slow, slow, slow - might not even get to the start on time in this wind.

Whoah - that's a nice gust.

Geeze - I'm out of touch - can't get the boat going in this stuff.

OK - next race I need to start in a place where I have freedom to tack in these shifty winds.

Hah - big lefty and I'm the first on to port tack after the start - clear air, going fast - here's a righty, tack back - looking good - nice to be able to play the shifts without worrying about boat traffic - holy shit I'm first to the windward mark.

Wow - these gusts are getting stronger and lasting longer.

Yeah baby - this is where my height and weight (including the extra 7 lbs I gained over the winter) and the time I spent on the hiking bench are really really paying off - hike from the toes - grind 'em down.

Hmmm - we're only half way through the afternoon and I'm already getting tired.

Yikes - that's a big gust.

Great - some triangle courses after those windward leewards - now for some fun on the reaches.

Ohmigod - I'm out of control - this thing is going so fast I have no idea if it's ever going to stop planing - here comes the gybe mark - go for it - wow - how did I survive that?

Oh no - this reach is even more out of control than the one in the last race - there's all kinds of carnage at the gybe mark - let's go for it - aargh - didn't make it that time.

All these capsize recoveries are really starting to wear me down.

Just hang in there. You can do it. Looks like at least a third of the fleet have already called it a day. You don't need to hike hard - just keep the boat upright and you'll get some more top ten finishes.

No more gybes - just tack around - I'm not the only one - there's centerboards pointing at the sky all over the place - whooah watch that guy - he's lost his boat and is swimming for it.

Just when you think the wind can't get any stronger, it does.

OK, this should be the last race - I know you're tired but just hang in for one more lap - final reach - bear away more - oh no, death roll - it's getting harder every time to do the recovery and climb back in the boat - get your breath back there's still boats behind you - bear away again - another death roll - another recovery - OK, that's it - call it a day - the DNF can be my throwout.

Holy mackerel it's a long way back to the club. A really really long way.

What a great day.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had fun. I hope you weren't writing that while trying to hang onto the sheet.

Anonymous said...

rough day...having a nice time out sailing...

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