Friday Night in a Strait(s) Jacket
A lurch into the fringes of insanity isn’t all that uncommon for the type A’s that race sailboats is it? I mean we are going out there to bash each other up in all kinds of weather that would make anyone sane stay at home holding the couch down against the pull of anti-gravity. My wife, Julie, decides we need to do Southern Straits in our new daysailer. Not too sane – the medium course is 91 miles around the Strait of Georgia and there is still beau coup snow on the ski hills overlooking Vancouver and we get to stay outside for 24 hours in our rain gear. Yum. The only reason anyone does this Easter race is because the winds usually blow for it and most of the time in Puget Sound and the Straits of Georgia the wind doesn’t blow when it is warm enough to be tolerable. Ok, I agree to it and we enter the race. The Race Committee tells us that the only reason the Melges 32, Mischief, that won in 2008 was allowed to race was that they got a ‘variance’ from the RC for not having an interior. It seems that having a stove and a potty are some of the prerequisites to being able to race. Our Esse 850, Psycho Duck, is in that group – no stove, no pot, no bunks. A little bit of wagging and we get our variance, along with the Melges.
Big start in English Bay – all these big sleds from Seattle, ranging from an Andrews 77, an SC70 and the one local sled, Occam’s Razor an ILC 40, a TP52 and so on. They are the first start in no wind and a 2 knot tidal current trying to OCS the fleet. They go nowhere, except for Occam’s that has a seeker up and just leaves the area. We motor around the back of the line watching the heavy iron practicing drifting and suddenly realize the RC has started our sequence. Who would have expected the second start while the first still hasn’t cleared the line? We are to leeward of the whole damn fleet and drifting through the lee of every apartment building in the race. I hate it when I get stupid, but the upside is we are so small and they are so big that no one notices what an idiot I am. We foot through the lee of all these monsters and get to the far right and tack towards Seattle.