Mastering It, Part Two
Tropical storm Danny passed through last night, blew down the regatta tent and knocked out power at the yacht club. The site is a mess and everything is soaking wet, but the Lasers are OK (before leaving last night they advised us to turn our boats over and put the dollies on top). First start is at 1 pm but the race area is reported to be an hour’s sail away. The eager ones start leaving the beach at 11, and we beat out of French Village Harbour in bright sunshine and an 8-knot westerly. Then 5 knots. Then 2 knots. By the time we get to the standard rig start area, it’s 1:30 and the wind has evaporated completely. We drift around for another hour or so (I think I fell asleep for a while) before the RC spots a breeze line coming up the bay. Up goes the L flag and off goes the start boat (a 60-ft sloop) with 160 Lasers trailing along like a flock of ducklings. The new course is set and the first warning goes up for the apprentice fleet around 3:30. Show time, finally.
Make a long story short: all fleets got 2 races in the bank. Southwest breeze, low to mid teens, lumpy seas. In my fleet, Standard Grand Masters, Gerz came out of the blocks hot, scoring 2 bullets to Bethwaite’s 2 seconds. I managed to hang with the top group for about 7/8 of each race, fading on the final leg. These races are loooong; about 1 hour 20 minutes each, which is about 30 minutes beyond my attention span. Pushing a Laser through giant slop takes a lot of concentration.
Highlights from the other fleets: In standard rig Apprentices, the Greek Adonis Bougiouris jumped out in front of pre-regatta favorite Brett Beyer from Oz. Andy Pimental leads a Newport, RI, top heavy leaderboard in the Standard Masters. The invincible Peter Seidenberg dominated the Great Grand Masters with two bullets, as did Canadian Rob Koci in the Apprentice Radial fleet. The pecking order is starting to take shape.
It’s 7:30 and bone chilling cold by the time we straggle back to the beach. No time to socialize or hang out. Just pack up the boat, pray for hot water in the shower, find food (anything will do at this point), and a fall into bed. Zzzzzz. ……………