JFest Day 1 was quite exciting – Race 1 – we led to the first mark both times, but lost at the finish because we went toward the wrong side of the RC and only realized it when it was at 315° or less off the bow and 200 m away. Crash jibe and lost the kite (started the race in 8kts but it was blowing a steady 20 then) and lost 3 boats. We would have won. New crew – 4 new folks on-board so it was a pretty understandable mistake. We were beating boats that did not take last year off in Taiwan and the guy we were dicin’ with has a professional on board, and we had on the old sails, very old (saving the good sails until we have more experience as a crew), so I am pretty pleased with our speed and boat handling. She’s a fast boat!
At the start of Race 2 we had put up the jib and headed for the pin end for a very conservative start as we were so underweight by then (blowing 25 w/ gusts to 30+) that my goal was survival and to stay clear of everybody. I have only once sailed in a stronger breeze on the Bay – it was nukin’. There was a very strong ebb (all the snow melt in the Sierra) with some of the weirdest currents I have ever seen. A new boat to the fleet decided to try a port-tack start and apparently did not see us. I hailed starboard 3 times very loud, but they could not hear us. At the last moment I switched from "Starboard" to "Fuck fuck fuck fuck…. BOOM". I pondered heading down, but in hind-sight that would have likely been especially catastrophic as it would have likely been a very high-speed bow-to-bow and rigs might have come down and hull-deck-joins destroyed. I went up and we got hit in the port stern as my boat was rolling over to port in the avoidance tack. The 3 bow guys got ejected under the lifelines (I did not see or know about it until later – they all hung on and got back on board quickly (without me knowing anything). We flipped over to port to get the hole up off the water, dropped the jib and then called the RC. We told them that we needed a tow as the starboard tack back the St Francis YC would have sunk us. We got towed in and taped up the hole and covered it with the Rolex sticker. I feel like I should have thrown a handful of Vicoden into the keel sump for the old girl.
I was especially kind to the dude who hit me – explaining that I did the same thing once. I told him that my main concern was that he would not come out again, and that "it’s racing! If you don’t want to get hit, then stay home". Take a look at our temporary patch! Tomorrow we will motor back to Richmond and to the yard that fixed the hole I got when I T-boned another boat a few years back (Karma?). The guy I hit was a total ass though.
So, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? It was a good day, and we’ll get out there next time and mix it up. Unfortunately now I have to deal with all the crap involved with insurance, etc. Not looking forward to it. – Photos thanks to Sergei Savarin. Anarchist Lou Scannon .