From our fiends on Ragtime. If only we could go back and correct that one big thing….
Overall, the race was great, with a strong departure past Catalina, generally good breeze, and a modest sailing workload. Ragtime finishes most distance races in the dark; this race was no exception, with a finish in the wee hours.
While 8th in a fleet of 48 is respectable for Ragtime, we were gunning for more and there are a few lessons for all in our mistakes. The biggest single error was mine – I failed to recognize that the "Tahiti" main was too far gone to do another race, while we had a near new main rolled up in the storage unit. The stored IRC/"Hobart" main is flatter, slightly smaller, and built heavier, and the change would have left us rated with the bigger main and using the smaller because it was too late to adjust our rating for the different sail.
Sleep deprived from work, the efforts to get the main bulkhead replaced and the boat measured in the days leading up to the start, I just didn’t see the weaknesses in the sail that I should have. Also, the magnitude of the bulkhead replacement meant virtually no sailing before departure; I’m pretty sure the weakness in the main would have showed up during practice, had we had the chance.