Winter has come and gone, ... and we are still here!
Out for a race day on Sunday we realized that we are upon a new season! YEAH!!! and HOLY Crap! Its hard to believe that we got thru a whole winter, again.
So we decided to enjoy one of the final winter races at Schooner Cover Yacht Club on a glorious sunny Sunday in February.
We jumped onboard FLIGHT for one of " the Hot Rum Series" races, they call it. --we get a Hot Rum after the race :) Flight is a CAL 9.9 all suited up for racing in most of the Vancouver Island races. She is fast and tender at the helm. We had a very good start with the 5 other boats in the series. Our boat Maxim stayed out of the winter races, because, well, she really is a cruiser, although I really WANT her to be a racer. Try as i might, she is not.
So FLIGHT left the dock with 8 onboard as crew. Did I mention that she is only 29 feet long? Yes 8 might seem like a lot for a boat of that size, but with the course of the day and the wind, the sail changes and the sunshine, it worked well. 8 IS NOT too many for a crew on Flight. Skipper Brian did a great job calling sail changes, course and tactics, the foredeck crew was on their toes, everyone knew their jobs well, and I got to helm most the race. In case any of you know the area, wind can be light or very strong, so the race has a provision for a short course in case of light wind, a medium race in case of nice wind, and a long course in case of very good wind! We got to sail the long course as the wind was 10-15 knots, which took us around Amelia Island three times, along with Yeo Island and the Ruth Island mark. While we were a bit behind at the middle of the race, we pushed forward; staysail up, then down, spinnaker up then down, a beam reach, and a beat then spinnaker up again, and down, then just one more rounding of Amelia and we were catching up!!!!!!......Foredeck crew got that colourful sail up one more time so efficiently , and by the end of the race... we had nipped in the front of the pack by a hair, and took the race under a spinnaker finish! The slowest boat wins again. ( Im thinking this is a theme for us, we always seem to be on the slowest boat, yet come out ahead!) Its hard to call Flight a slow boat, but compared to the others of the day, it was.
I have to admit that an error in navigation had been made by one of the other skippers,- on the blue boat- who shall not be named, as his permanent skipper was in Mexico at the time of this race as well as a couple tangled sails on other boats, and one that couldn't get the spinnaker down..... Mistakes happen and its all a part of sailing, and learning.
Really sailing, and racing-or winning at racing is just a matter of who makes the least amount of errors. A good crew, some knowledge of local waters and a great skipper makes for a great day on the water when racing or cruising.
I'm glad that winter is over, and that days now get longer, and we can get back to the things that we enjoy.
Moral of the story today? Making errors doesn't make you a looser, it makes you more knowledgeable, stronger, understanding of your capabilities. Unless you are racing boats,.. then it makes you the ... um... well.. the UN-winner. Life is short. Enjoy every day.