Fast Is Always Fun
The Hip tells it like it is from the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon….
Finally, our plan seems to be working out. It is very easy to loose faith when you are last or next to last but we had our view of how all this would be playing out and it seems to be doing what we planned for. We are not alone down here and in front of us are the Criminal Mischief, the coolest boat around, with one of the best navigator/tacticians aboard with an incredibly talented crew and of course that pesky ID 35, Relentless with some funny looking kid sailing the piss out of it double handed. They will be hard to catch boat for boat but with the 72 hour head start they took and us owing only 19 hours to them I only have to be close at the finish. And believe me I want to beat my kid!
Today the breeze has been increasing all day and we are now in solid 20+. We changed from the 2A to our 4A early this morning when the first 26 kt puff hit and the 4A is much more forgiving to drive to. With the daisy staysail tucked underneath our speed rarely drops below 12 and the current high speed is 20.7 kts. I’ve been plotting our class and the leaders of the other class from the Thursday start, 3 times daily and being able to receive that information from the Tracker thru SailMail (thanks Stan Honey) was one of the better ideas to come out of TranPac in a very long time. Now if they would get rid of those ridiculous celestial sights, tighten up the starting dates (72 hours is too great a time, try handicap deltas) the race could move into the 21 century. And I’d bitch much less.
Life onboard has melted into routine. The shifts seem to go fast, we have 3 on, 3 off during night time and day light is broken into 6 hour stints. Each crew has an opposite and a new man comes up each hour. That keeps the continuity together and also helps from the ‘my watch is better’ crap. This is about my 4th Pacific race aboard a Santa Cruz 50, and another half a dozen deliveries home with the boats. I love the boats. A more perfect boat for the ocean is hard to find, simple and fast. And for the price, well a 3rd of a smaller J-Boat…and when have you heard of any Santa Cruz boat falling apart…ever. Like our crew shirts say "Fast is still fun".
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