The View from the Back..
Charleston Race Week – A tale from the back.
Not everyone who races can be the winner. It is a simple fact everyone who races anything must face. None of us particularly like it, but it just is the way it is. This year at CRW though, the crew of the SR25 Ruckus were winners. OK, so we didn’t win a race. We didn’t get a trophy or a prize. But we did get to sail with some great sailors in a big and important (to sailors) regatta. We sailed every single race we could safely sail and we finished every one that counted. You often hear about the event from the winners (of races) point of view, but here is ours.
The tale should really start months before April 16th even got here. The planning. The dreaming. We even grabbed at the chance to sail at Fort Pierce as “practice” for Charleston. As it turned out, it was the only practice we got this year. We also did learn how easy it is to rig and de-rig the boat for the highway. The trip up Thursday was an easy five hours, being around so many boats once we were there was impressive and so was the how organized the event was. Kudos to those registration people for all the hard and long hours put in behind the scenes to make it look so easy to us at the event.
We started off Friday mornings race talking ourselves out of reefing the main. No one else does it, we told ourselves, it isn’t that bad out there. So once we made it out to the starting area for circle four, we put up that full main and then put it back down to pull in that reef. As we finished that up, the boat dropped down, heeled over and Gloria did this perfect elevator drop right between the deck and the life lines. As I watched, she let out this stream of cuss words that would make any sailor proud as her hands grabbed then slipped off the life line. We actually can be proud as we as a crew did an excellence job getting her back aboard very quickly. We could have ended our day right here, but she wanted to go on. We watched her closely and as she seemed to be doing OK, sailed for the start. We managed to make it within the five minute time limit, only about 3 ½ to four minutes late I believe.