Monday, April 24, 2006

Best of Times, Worst of Times

Sunday was an awful day for sailing if ...

You hate driving eighty miles to the yacht club in pouring rain over flooded roads.

You hate racing in torrential rain that seems to get stronger and stronger as the afternoon progresses and that pelts you in the face when you look upwind and splatters all over your glasses so you can't see where you are going.

You hate racing in poor visibility so that you can't even see where the race committee boat is when you leave the shore even though you know it can't be more than half a mile away and at times you can't see the windward mark from the start line.

You hate enduring general recall after general recall in the rain as a bunch of aggressive Laser sailors keep pushing the line in a tide running upwind.

Sunday was an awesome day for sailing if ...

Your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon is racing against some of the best sailors in the area who stretch you to sail at your best.

You delight in sailing in 18 knot winds, hiking as hard as you can to drive the boat up and over the waves upwind, then working furiously to catch waves to surf downwind.

You enjoy the fact that the racing is so close that there are places to be gained or lost at every mark rounding and that wherever you are in the fleet there are always at least a couple of boats close enough to compete against right up to the finish line.

You relish riding huge waves that are the best you've ever seen in this location because the wind was blowing at 25 to 35 knots from the east all night long building up waves from the whole length of the sound in the perfect direction for rolling into our inlet.

You just love it when the race committee is expecting to have to call a general recall but, in the last couple of seconds before the start, the line clears with the majority of the fleet over the line and the race officer signals an individual recall and hails that everyone is over except two sail numbers - and you are one of those two boats.

You appreciate the irony in the fact that the rain stops as soon as you arrive back at the shore after racing.

Your idea of a perfect end to a day's sailing is that after you put the boat away and sit around in the clubhouse with your buddies the TV is showing the Yankees game in the Bronx and there the sun is shining and the Yankees are winning 7-1 and Giambi hits two home runs and Randy Johnson would have pitched a no-hitter if it weren't for Tejada getting the Orioles' only hits.


Litoralis said...

What was your result in the race where you where one of the only two boats with a clean start?

Tillerman said...

4 boats heard the OCS hail and restarted. I was 2nd in that race (best ever result in 5 years of frostbiting here as I've never yet won a race). Out of 19 boats racing I was one of only 4 with a score in every race (not OCS or DNS in at least one race).

Anonymous said...

sometimes its just better to venture into the wilderness for a change of scenery!

but we torment ourselves and always go back for more because there is nothing quite like a face full of salty water.

Fred said...

>>4 boats heard the OCS hail and restarted. I was 2nd in that race (best ever result in 5 years of frostbiting here as I've never yet won a race).<<

Interesting reading Tillerman. You definitely have to work your mind to be able to score a first. It is just a mindgame. Do not put yourself into the "backseat" when you look up the list of competitors. You can DO IT! You have the potential. I have to work this very same problem with me and one competitor in the Dinghy-class I am sailing. I was leading a couple races last season but always came only second or third due to silly mistakes which I shouldn´t have done. Which I normally don´t do.. E.g. a very anoying one: Strong wind, me leading at the weathermark with 10 boatlength, around the buoy on to a blast reach. I start fiddling the centerboard and uuuuhps, you bet: I capsize. One should really keep the board down as Speed is King. And wait for the moment to get the board up before the jibe. Smooth sailing. Jim.

Tillerman said...

Jim - you are so right - I've been close to scoring that elusive first on a number of occasions and have usually blown it through some kind of mental error.

Anonymous said...

A bad day sailing beats a good day in a lot of other places...

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