Saturday, August 14, 2010

Isn’t It Ironic!

And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

I’m sure Alanis Morissette won’t mind me borrowing a few lines from her song Ironic to describe our first official sailing season.

Several years ago (20 or more…I’ve lost track), after attempting a self rescue during windsurfing race that went horribly bad, I drifted 5 nautical miles off shore on my 12 foot BIC Rock board for over 7 hours. At the risk of being dramatic, it was in May and the water temperatures were…cool, at best.

I eventually washed up on the shores of Amet Island, off the northern coast of Nova Scotia. Fortunately the tide was at an extreme low and I hit a long gravel bar on the lower side, otherwise my next stop was Prince Edward Island, another 30 nm to the north east. Obviously the story has a happy ending and I was rescued by a local fisherman after Jude discovered I was missing (another long story...).

Events like this change you. In my case, I never “enjoyed” windsurfing the same way again, but my love of sailing and being on the water never left me. Dingy sailing just didn’t have the same appeal, although there are days I miss the “Board Alternative” (appreciate the double meaning and the symbolism of the name?) our Laser II, which got unceremoniously beaten on the rocks in freak summer storm.

Where’s the irony in this?

Well, over 2 decades later, we bought “Exploits” and in August, won the cruising class race around…wait for it…AMET ISLAND!  Had I never drifted out to sea so many years ago, who knows, I still might be windsurfing and we won’t have our first race flag!

Isn’t it ironic?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Redwings Finish First and Second

July 31st, 2010.

OK, so I'll qualify this post right up front by saying 3 of the fastest boats in our Club were off racing in Pictou this past weekend.  That said...OMG....we finished second!  Finishing last all year sucked.  On July 31th we finally got it all together, sailed a beautiful race, did everything right, had a blast and.....finished SECOND!

The winning boat was our sister boat, "Wings", hull number 127.  The third place boat was "Abigale" a Redline 25, a cousin to the Redwings.  So, technology might change, but there is something to be said about "classic old boats"!

There were two keys points in the race.  The first came at the first mark, when all the boats ahead of us tacked around UD4 towards BHYC2.  When they realized they would have to go way down wind to reach the second mark, most made a quick adjustment.  Seeing this, we stayed on our line and avoided the extra tacks.

The second key factor was our ability to point up wind.  Most of the boats had to fall so far off the wind, while "Wings" and "Exploits" seemed to be able to drive straight into it.  By the time we hit BHYC2, I was getting badgered not to hit "Bella Rosa" and "Fly-Bye-Wire", 2 C&C 30's that we battled with the whole way around.  It was such a rush to FINALLY feel like we were actually in a race.

We finished just behind he C&C's.  "Wings" figured we came in second, altho they didn't seem to be as excited as I would have thought.  Turns out they were worried we might have beaten them on corrected time.  As it turns out we were only 1:30 minutes behind, which I suppose explains the concern.

The team was great.  Judy kept the rookies on the sheets all race long.  Mark has been on the boat a lot, but he pointed out, it was his first race.  Mark's buddy Joey did a great job adjusting the sails and keeping us entertained the entire time.  I think we were more excited to finish second than "Wings" were to win.  Then again, it must start to feel old to them, considering their record!

It was a great team effort!