Trey Brown re-learns how frustrating charters can be some times. Title music = Five Finger Death Punch and it pays to listen while you read this one.
At least “WAR,” the Nacra 20 catamaran we chartered for the 2012 St. Thomas International Rolex Regatta, wasn’t the answer, though by the time it was all over, we’d forgotten the question. As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men…” and so went my time with crew Colin Page at the Rolex this year.
We flew in with all the right gear to go crush a beach cat event in the beautiful Caribbean: Fresh sails, good rigging, nearly new running rigging, and all the other little things that you want (and probably need) to put on a boat that’s not yours. We thought for sure, this would be our year to wrangle the podium away from the dominant Puerto Ricans…yeah right! With all the planning in the world, we could not have prevented the stress fracture in our mast from occurring.
Day 1 of racing went well and we looked forward to buoy races in day 2. Portsmouth doesn’t favor the Nacra 20 so much on distance races, especially against a throng of Hobie 16’s on a reach, so we needed a solid day of buoy races to bump us up the ranks. As we were rigging the boat Saturday morning, I could see the grim look on Colin’s face as he called me over to point out the fracture emanating from the mast rotation control bar. No words needed to be said. It’s like that feeling you get in your gut when you realize there’ no right answer, and the only thing you can do is drown your sorrows with a bottle of rum (Mount Gay Rum to be exact). If we sailed, the mast might break. If we didn’t, we spent all the time and resources to get here in vain. What’s the right answer? Aside from running the other way when the dreaded word “charter” is next uttered, that is.
At any rate, we spent the next 2 days providing moral support for the other racers and doing our fair share of work at the rum tent. Sporting the Sailing Anarchy and Zhik flags from the beach, we made sure to have fresh drinks for the other beach cat sailors as the came in.
Next year, I’m shipping my own boat down, and we’ll be sporting the Anarchy colors once again. The Anarchy/Zhik Cat Racing Team’s new slogan: Make love, not war!