Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pursuit Race

Friday is the traditional day for the weekly pursuit race at Minorca Sailing. A pursuit race is a handicap race where the slowest boats start first and the faster boats start at progressively later times depending on their handicaps.  About 9 or 10 boats entered on Friday. As it was gusting well more than 20 knots I chose to sail a Laser Radial. Hey, maybe I'm getting old but I'm really starting to appreciate the pleasures of Radial sailing in heavy air. I can actually control the beast in 25-30 knots which is more than I can say for a Standard Rig Laser these days.

The course was a big rectangle - reach, beat, reach, run. Round and round and round. Based on my scheduled start time I would need to sail for about 1 hour and 40 minutes. On the first lap I overtook a few of the slower boats who had started in front of me. Some of them seemed to have a lot of difficulty in the 25+knot winds on the first beat and ended up retiring. On my second lap past the starting area a couple of guys in an RS800 started just in front of me. They would need to lap me twice to beat me.

They capsized on the first beat and had to call over a rescue boat to help them. Race over for the 800.

On the third lap I passed the remaining slower boat that had started ahead of me. I was now in the lead.

An RS200 was also scheduled to race. I never saw it. I discovered later that they had retired early too. 

After about 4 or 5 laps I was pretty sure that there was only me and one other boat left in the race, and I had a healthy lead on it. Being a stubborn bastard I wasn't going to give up until it did.

Round and round we went. On the 7th or maybe 8th lap I capsized at the gybe mark.  A rescue boat came over to make sure I was OK. I gave the driver a thumbs up and a smile. "Hey, I just needed a rest!"

On the 8th or maybe 9th lap the race officer came over in a RIB and informed me that the race had finished.

I had won! 


I don't think I have ever raced a Laser in heavy air continuously for 100 minutes before.

I sailed back to the beach, had a shower, had a beer with my lunch, and took a nap all afternoon.

Napping is one of those skills that I am working on a lot these days.


Unknown said...

Nice going, Congratulations!

My wife has a saying "Every activity must be followed by a nap". I try to live by it. Actually Nature and old age makes sure that I live by it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like those naps and beer have been working for you.
Sail on

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Not bad for a young fella...!

Keep Reaching said...

Excellent - bravo!

I went out for practice today in 20 knots with a Standard rig and it was a real struggle. And I was only out for an hour, not racing.

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