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Walk the Walk

katie q

Walk the Walk

While slickly produced, Quantum’s daily videos from the MedCup have been intensely boring, and we’re still waiting for the kind of interesting, exciting multimdedia that we know Live The Dream contest winner Katie Burns is capable of.  We certainly hope that the video producers don’t fall into the same trap that Disney’s Morning Light did when they thought that TP52 racing was interesting enough on its own to hold lots of the sailing public’s attention.  Guess what?  It doesn’t.  And you’ve got a young, sexy, ex-war veteran to do the work for you, so Quantum – SPICE IT UP! In the meanwhile, here’s a short, also boring piece on Katie from MedCup, and here’s Katie’s latest update:

Hey everyone –

Well, the last 2 days have been spent watching for breeze; we went out to the shore to look for it, we went up the rig to look for it, we took the power boat out to look for it. Basically, we sat on the edge of our seats waiting for any little inclination of just enough wind to get some good practice. While we waited for wind, we did sail work, boat work, cleaning, and I waited patiently for my combat-veteran laptop (I’m not the only combat veteran out here, you know) to pick up the highly anticipated wireless internet so I can send all of you updates. So here goes:

Yesterday, we went out in the late afternoon to get some quick practice starts in and hoist some sails. The wind was slight, but we at least had a chance to do some starts and I at least had the opportunity to get me more acclimated to the boat. It’s so funny that I keep talking about “getting acclimated to the boat”, but I really don’t have any other way to express myself. In the Army, I was always getting acclimated to a new environment, a new unit, a new rank, a new situation, a new tactical procedure, a new element, a new manual, a new vehicle, a new regulation, a new uniform … even a new chain of command required acclimation. So, when I step onto a new boat, I have to at least think of things in terms of getting acclimated. It really doesn’t take me as long as I talk about it; simply, halyards here, sheets there, backstay whatnot, don’t jump over the tiller, watch the grinders, the spin sheets run fast, and don’t get in the way of the instruments. Other than that, I can’t mess up as long as I listen carefully for crew weight and don’t get my fingers caught up in any blocks. Simple enough. There is a lot of room on the boat to move around and not get in each other’s way too much, so that is good.

Today, Monday, we went out in the late afternoon to do some practice races with the other teams. Our official practice race is tomorrow, but it never hurts to set up some friendly matches. I loved our set-up; we would do 3 practice starts, and on our 3rd start we would all race to a windward mark about 2 miles up, and then come back down for a finish. We did this program 3 times, and it worked well because we got some repetitive practice with one of the trickiest parts of sailboat racing: the start. You can never go wrong with practicing starts.

So now we have a collective 12 practice starts and 4 practice races, some time raising various sails and figuring out which ones will work best for us out here, and some good team-building (and a lot of figuring out where I fit best); we are set to go out for our practice race tomorrow and see what racing in Portugal really has to offer. I hear that the breeze is supposed to come in nicely for us on Wednesday, which will be great since that is the 1st day of actual racing. Personally, I am hoping for at least 1 day of good, strong wind so I can really see what the boat has to offer, but so far I have absolutely zero complaints; even in what wind we have had, it has been a lot of fun. Oh, and the rail is pretty sweet; I could hang off it all day. Why aren’t there more boats out there like this one?!