We like Dr. Laura. No not her politics, or her radio show, but the woman? She’s a delight who we have spent some quality time with and gotten to know fairly well. So when we heard she was racing her J/125 on the 600 mile newport to Cabo race, we had to ask her why. She explains…
Six or seven years ago when I bought my first sailboat (J/80 The Doc) I had no intentions to race. I just wanted the wind in my face and the quiet swoosh of a sailboat’s wake soothing my ears. I got dragged into racing by being told, "If you want to really learn to sail well – racing is the way to do it." And that was correct. It took two years for my heart to not race in total fear steering the starts with boats going every which way and me not even having a great sense of where the start line was. From that to steering in frequent 6-8 foot swells and gusts to 30 knots two weeks ago…and I only rounded up twice in several hours! I was so excited and proud of myself – as the first time I was in those conditions I relinquished the helm and cried all the way to Ventura Harbor – totally terrified.
I enjoy a challenge. I never considered myself an "inshore racer" – those are just the races that can be squeezed in on an afternoon or weekend and then back to the Yacht Club for wine and home for a shower. I saw the movie, Bucket List and decided (having just turned 63) that I didn’t want to have anything on mine. And the imagery of sailing the open sea with the stars above and critters below seems thrilling. When I mentioned Transpac to my crew and sailing buddies they all told me…"Yeah, on a bigger boat!" Well, I don’t have a bigger boat – so I went to a smaller race: Cabo.
As far as changes on the boat: we had to fulfill all the requirements so we have satellite radio/phone, water maker, etc. but I drew the line at the freeze dried dinner – tried it and my stomach threw up a protest flaq! I guess it is good I love hard-boiled eggs and peanut butter and jelly…
My crew: Kevin Miller, Kit Forbes Will (Remember the Disney movie ‘Morning Light’? …that Kit Will!), Paul Wolthausen, Sam Solhaug, Eric Bohman and me.
I am very excited about this…I am the only ocean racing newbie on the boat…I am sure I will have some rude awakenings…but I bet when we arrive in CABO I’ll be ready to do it again.
The main point is to have an adventure. I’ll let you all know how it went! Jump in the J/Boat Anarchy forum to comment.