At the J/24 Worlds, Moose McClintock reveals that he digs Loverboy. Who knew?
Our bowman extraordinaire, Gordy, does the bottom every day. He leaves around 6:30 and gets back around an hour later. As I sat with my cup of coffee and checked e-mail, I could hear the @%T#$)*^%@!) as Gordy walked back to the house, pouring rain, saying he’d never come back. He got out of the water after doing the bottom to be greeted by a downpour. His comment was he was psyched to get into a shower because it was dryer. That’s what’s going on here.
As for the racing, well, that was a story in itself. I’m not sure if anyone remembers, but Kenny Read once named his last J-24 Mookie. Since we were all die-hard Red Sox fans ( and screw all you Yankees fans. (we think he means the World Champion Yankees – Ed), Kenny had named the boat Mookie after Mookie Wilson, who hit the dribbler that went thru Buckners legs and cost the Sox the ’86 World Series. Kenny’s choice was a comment on Wilson being the luckiest guy in the world, and he wanted the boat to be lucky. It was, and still is, one of the fastest J-24’s in the world. The point is, to win anything, you have to have a certain amount of luck.
I would guess that this preamble describes our day: luck like this has never been seen. In the first race, we had an average start and struggled up the first beat, getting shot out the back and forced to the unfavored right side, something we had said we did not want to do pre-start. We did get a little bit of a shift to get us back to top 15 at the weather mark, where we had some questionable port tackers try to get under us at the mark, but whatever. The weird thing was the wind did a major shift left, we were able to do a good rounding at the right gate and head left, most boats went to the left gate and headed to the right, and the boats that rounded ahead us all tacked right. The mark had been shifted left and we had a clear runway, with a quick left shift we were back in the game, a little bit of luck at the top and suddenly we’re first at the mark. How it happened, I’m not sure. That it did happen, that’s a good thing. We were able to hold off the group downwind for the win, truly not expected or deserved but not something we were going to give back.
Between races, of course, it rained and got shifty, the RC held off and waited for the wind to settle and then sent us off, the breeze did a huge right turn, we were on the left but managed to round top 15, a quick gybe put us over 7-8 boats and we rolled a few more, psyched to be 5th at the gates where the race was abandoned. Actually, it was abandoned half way up the first beat but no one got the word, at least we felt smart.
Next start, we want to get left from the right end of the line, this didn’t work out as we had another average start, got shot right and watched the left crush us. We got a little back at the weather mark but lost another couple downwind, forced to the wrong gate around 15th and headed right into bad current and at the time less air, though lifted. This is the time of Mookie, and liking rain. We saw a huge cell coming from the right on the first beat, and had wondered if it would fill. It didn’t fill on the first beat but now we went for it in a big way with a German boat. With a mark change leaving us wondering where the mark was, we went to where we thought it should be on layline. And a little further. Then BANG! Breeze goes 25 right, auto tack, we reach to the weather mark and round just behind Santa Cruz, who had literally been a quarter mile ahead. Of course, it rained.
We were able to hold on for a 2nd, two races that had nothing to do with ability but were pure luck. Lots of people looking at us sideways on shore. I don’t know, it worked. And now, we have a couple points on Tony Parker for first (they’re sailing great, they also did a great job of coming back from a bad start), we have 4 races to go and we have to do a better job if we expect to win, there are way too many good people here think anything else. Hope it goes well tomorrow, we’re off to dinner (crap, it’s raining again), another wet day expected for tomorrow, hope it goes well.