Saturday, September 22, 2012

Race Mathematics - First Place

I sort of wrote off this year's race season given that we were going to be in the Bras D'Or Lake for 2 weeks and had a number of other events that meant we were going to miss a number of races.  However, as luck would have it, cancellations and an adjustment to the Wednesday night handicaps resulting in us winning the Wednesday night series on the strength of 2 first place finishes.


Our success in Forshner was also a surprise.  All and all, our best season racing yet!  Not bad for a year we'd written off.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Amet Island 2012

Sail #35: 15/09/12 - 24.6 nm

THE most special race of the season is this weekend and it's shaping up to be beautiful. Thankfully my BHYC buddies rescheduled the annual trek around Amet Island, which was originally scheduled when we were in the Bras D'Ors. To most this is one long MF'er of a race.  For me, it's a reminder that I am still kickin', and survived "that day" in May.

For the 2 people in my life, who I have never told the story to, let me take yah back to when Mark Gee and Daniel Grant were babies and Allison Grant was still a dream...

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.

Enter "Exploits Sailboat"......

So, today, my best friend and anyone else who like to join us, are gonna sail around Amet...and back! How we finish is not important....finishing IS important! I am a very lucky man. I watched 3 kids grow up and graduate and grow into amazing people....and I have experienced 30 of the most amazing years with the most brilliant and capable women I know...Saturday is reminder of that.

I am excited!

Allison arranged a crew of 5 from the REM Masters Program Dalhousie to do the race around Amet.  They were warned that it was a long, tough grind.  Boy, were we wrong!

We had fantastic winds and finished in 4.5 hours.  The boat worked beautifully and we hit our lines perfectly.  We came close to hitting the mark off Cape John, while Fly-Bye-Wire and Abigale struggled to get around it, which likely was the difference for us.

Of course at the end of the race we had our customary shot of Screech in honor of Exploits.

While I really didn't care how we finished we managed to finish second overall, 44 seconds out of first on corrected time.  The REM students were a real delight to have aboard.  They are a great bunch of young men and women.  Any or all are welcomed back any time.

Alan with the backside of Amet in the distance

Our second place crew from Dalhousie

Another successful race
 (l to r, Lou, Allison, Andrew,Jody, Fiona, Judy and Alan)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day

Sail #34: 03/09/12 - 12.5 nm

We had been spending alot of time on the boat lately, but Labour Day Monday was just too nice to pass up.  We decided to call Kim Harris, my Executive Assistant and her husband Neil to go out on the boat.  We've talked about it for 3 years, so I figured it was time.

The wind earlier in the day was discouraging, but by the time we left, it was a perfect sailing day.  We really couldn't have planned a better day.  Sometimes things just work the way they are supposed to!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Forshner Race #2

Sail #33: 02/09/12 - 11.1 nm

We had a quick turn around for Race #2.  Fortunately the winds improved from the morning and so we had a lengthened course out to the Malagash pin marker and back.

We did well on the windward leg, as always, but struggled with the downwind leg.  Some of the other boats opted to take a reach and minimize the run portion of the leg, which proved to be the best course.  However we still managed to finish 6th overall and 2nd in cruise.

Our overall performance was good enough for 5th overall in the club championship (our best finish to date) and first in the cruise class.

Another successful racing season for exploits and her crew!

The Yacht (one of them) that coffee and donuts paid for

Struggling wing on wing

Forshner Race #1

Sail #32: 02/09/12 - 2.1 nm

Strong winds on Saturday forced a rescheduling of the first rave in the Forshner Race Series to Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, there was little or no wind on Sunday morning, which usually spells disaster for us in a race.

However, we got off to a good start and decided to stay close to shore and take advantage of a minimal  breeze coming off the shore.  We were well off UD4, the first mark when the race captain announced that the race would be shortened to UD4 and back.  Fortunately we were able to work our way up and around the mark to claim third place overall and first in cruise.