Welcome to the Dark Side
I found a place in the crew of the Corsair 28CC Trevelyan as bowman through the Sailing Anarchy forums and joined skipper Richard Stephens, trimmer Peter Walsh, and tactician Todd Hudgins on the 2009 Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. I had never sailed a large multi-hull and was looking forward to the race.
At the start we positioned ourselves as close to the pin as possible and a few boat lengths above the line on starboard. 15 seconds before the gun we hoisted our running kite and put the bows down for speed. We hit the line perfectly, and being the inside boat, had the first opportunity to gybe onto port and head away from the beach in search of more breeze. As we headed out we found more pressure, but had to balance the increased boat speed with a reduced speed over ground due to the edge of Gulf Stream being so close inshore. However, the adverse current helped build the wave height and we could easily surf fast enough to keep the SOG higher than sailing deep angles in the light inshore breeze. Once the SOG dropped to around 9 knots we would gybe inshore, the SOG would increase and we would hold the gybe until the SOG decreased again due to the lighter winds. Sailing under full main, running spinnaker and jib, we would rip past the mono-hulls rolling along dead down wind, but even with the extra distance sailed we continued to slowly pick them off with each crossing gybe.