Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bet I'm less competitive than you are

I'm not a competitive person. Really, I'm not. But boy, does this feel good. If you can't make that picture out, maybe this will help:

We won a race! Now, last year we might not have been so pleased about finishing first - happy, yes, but not still smiling about it a day later - except the boat hasn't been performing so well this year. I say the boat, because as a crew we are doing quite well. Last night was special because it was only the second or third race we have won this season, and because we had a few issues to overcome.

Long story short: Wednesday night we had light winds, which was a good thing, since Mom broke her finger while racing Saturday and it was just Andrew, Mom and I on Windseeker. A full crew would be 6 people, we had two and a half (Mom was the one-armed sailor last night. Too bad she didn't have an eye patch, too. What a buccaneer!). About a quarter into the race, I took the tiller so Andrew could launch the spinnaker, and I drove for the rest of the race. We (I?) luffed Windspirit into McNab's Island (that means we used a racing/sailing rule about who has right-of-way to force George to sail towards the shore), where he ended up in a hole (no wind), and he had to jybe (put the tiller over and change direction) to get out of it. We had time to make up some ground, were only stuck in a hole for a few minutes, and because we hadn't jybed, had a clear line to our next mark.

Can I just say how much fun it was to be so close to another boat, absolutely have the right-of-way, and force them to change their course? Naturally, I wouldn't have attempted it if Andrew hadn't told me to. But I would like to take the teeniest bit of credit for actually moving the rudder. There's a kind of puckish glee in willfully throwing someone off their course, and leaving them in bad winds. But don't think I can't handle what I dish out - goodness knows we have had our fair share of luffings and tactical mishaps. George is a great tactician. Which is why last night's win was so sweet! Sometimes the winds just align. As do the mixed metaphors, apparently.

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