Carrie Howe is having too much fun…
The joke was that the John and I were coming to a “Caribbean event” which means relaxed, slow schedule and more dancing than hard core sailing. The organizers mentioned probably 5 races for 4 days. What was not mentioned was that the average race took 4 hours and not because it was light. It didn’t really phase us while rigging at 8:30 am. Getting dressed, preparing, it felt like we were leaving for a short race but then right before launching you received the map of the island with a line showing the course, in between the island pain de sucre, beouf de boulogne, around mark 12 in front of la torte, (many more turns like this) and then round Ile de cocaine to starboard and then finish flying a hull towards the ships with the party ladies.
We all went out on a limb and decided to come to St. Barths and I can tell you it was a good decision. How spoiled are we?
I will go through a specific race for John Casey and I (race 4). There was a normal start line set up between a large catamaran and a pin. Up in the cove was a red buoy tucked up into the rocks. This leg was short and shifty but awarding for the boats who could transition well and find the pressure. It was a 4 or 5 tack beat and then round the top mark and set kites towards the opening between two large islands almost on a tight reach. The breeze turned right which meant that we would need to do many jibes to make it through the gate between the islands. From here we were sent on a long run and to be honest the zig zags after this I forget. The most important moments that I remember were deciding to go close to cliffs if there was breeze, jibing in shifts (way more than I could handle), and preparing for the next shift so setting up for the long haul.
John Casey has done an excellent job training me in the catamarans. I have been quite lucky learning this game. From John and my boyfriend Mischa, I have been able to join a whole new World. What a great world of people, competitive racing and a social atmosphere. Salsa dancing, fire party, and today . . . As I leave to derig my boat to go back to work. . . The rest of the group is having a final day sailing to the beautiful paradise island of Pinel for a lunch and natural pool party. I will be back on those planes . . .
What a sport!