Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Refresher

31052010 J24 racing spin profile

I had the opportunity to go sailing this past weekend, and although normally I would have put off making a decision until I could no longer go (because that's how I roll), I actually threw up my hands and declared a decision made. I bought some trail mix, made some oat cakes, and bought a bus ticket to Toronto. I set my alarm to wake myself early, and packed my bags the night before.

31052010 J24 racing1
In between races (I think)

A fellow student in my program has a J24 at a club in Toronto, and past this weekend was their opener. There were 17 boats racing in the J24 fleet. Considering single design racing was brand new to me, it was pretty impressive and a different type of racing from Halifax, where we have a couple million fewer people to draw on and not as many boats of a single design.

Although I crew on a J30s during the summer, I was not prepared for how easy it is to sail a J24. In a breeze, tacking a genoa over happens in a split second and spinnaker jybes are like a dream. At the start line, everyone crowds in tight and close calls seem to happen every 10 seconds. It was great. And at the end of the day, you lift the boat out of the water and sit it on a trailer in the yard until the next race. What clean hulls!

31052010 J24 racing red spins
Downwind leg, spinnakers and Toronto skyline in the distance.

Sailing on Lake Ontario is odd. I have forgiven the lake for being a lake (the other few times I saw it, I admit I felt a little queasy that all that water belonged to an inland sea - unnatural!) and I think it's kind of cool. I like how the waves are choppy and can disappear in minutes if the wind drops. There's something to be said for sailing on a flat inland sea with a hard, burning blue sky over you. In the end, though, while I am glad to discover an appreciation for Lake Ontario sailing, my heart still yearns for the salt air and grey-green Atlantic swells. Even if it comes, occasionally, with the odd bout of seasickness.

31052010 J24 racing TO
Blue, blue day on the water.

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