At least for the moment life feels content. I reached my financial goal. In my checking account, from which I pay those nagging monthly bills, and in my daily spending account from which I buy boat things, grocerieis, widgets for the boat, clothes, registration fees for sailing events, maid service, boat cleaners, starbuck's, sailing gloves, dunkin' donuts, new sailing shoes, and well, you get the idea.
My sailing team, SPRAY's SASSY SAILORS had another bloopie race day last Saturday. It is interesting in our teamwork which carries a heavy dose of a good sense of humor. In the last three races on a J-24 we observed the following. In the first race the helmsman had a difficult time staying on course. The foredeck crew was mediocre at best. With a novice pole dancer (you know the one who has to set and jibe the pole, as well as drop and stow it as we are sheeting in the jib for the return upwind leg), and a returning spinnaker trimmer, there was a lot to be desired. Our cockpit crew was flawless despite an arrangement of the winches and sheets different from the previous two boats we raced on. Then, there was the helmsman whose excuse was that this boat was tuned so well and response that oversteering was a perpetual error.
In the second race, the foredeck showed quick thinking when setting the pole. When jibing, there was minimal miscommunication with the helmsman. The trimmer kept forgetting to look at the whole spinnaker. Fifty percent of the time the foot was so tight it nearly tore from being stretched against the bow pulpit. Again, our cockpit crew was nearly flawless despite the inability to figure out how to cleat the jib sheet when on s/b tack. Having to hold it tight for two long upwind legs takes a physically fit gal, of whom we are proud to have on board. That darn helmsman, though continued to oversteer on what should have been easy sailing. Upwind the gentle lifts glide the boat into its best position, except of course when the helmsman starts acting like the tactician, looking around the course, and trouble shooting the rest of the crews problems.
For the 3rd race we were psyched to win. The helmsman made two beautiful controlled starts, windward of the fleet, with a bit of speed. What more could you ask for. We were 2nd around the mark less than a boat length behind the first boat. The spinnaker went up nicely. The trimmer kept the foot loose, but not too loose. The pole dancer jibed perfectly in synch with the helm. But by the second upwind leg, the cockpit went to poopeyville. Every tack was an effort. Even when the helmsman held the boat into the wind until the jib could be sheeted in most of the way, there was a mess up.
Going to the finish the jib winch had an override so tight the helmsman had to jibe the boat around to get it undone. That wasn't the only override of the day. So, again we go home with a DFL..
Thankfully, this after race sail home was embellished with a bottle of 'Sweet Magnolia" wine from the Secret Garden Winery in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In retrospect, our foredeck has learned their jobs well. The helmsman is better attuned to the steerage. Our once flawless cockpit crew, will solve whatever problems she had. So, look at women of the East Coast Sailing Association. From a forgetful foredeck in the first race, an inattentive helmsman in the second and a cocky cockpit crew we will all be in our best form when our tactician has us lead the pack around the course.
If after 62 years I can get my budget in order, certainly I can bring our team to victory!
Stay tuned . . . .