Dear Friend of CHARIAD:
I have had so much going on that I have not been able to keep you up to date with a very exciting sailing year for CHARIAD and the CHARIAD team. Here is a quick update.
Headline: CHARIAD finishes Last in 1st Race & 2nd in 2nd Race.
When a casual friend learns that I competed in a sailboat race, the next statement is “Oh, did you win the race?” I cringe when I hear the question because the person asking does not understand the whole point of sailboat racing and misses the point of being part of the adventure and wonder. While I hate to bring up “golf” in an elevated conversation about sailing, I am sure the golfer would have the same reaction to that question.
CHARIAD is very fortunate to have a couple of new crew members this year including several truly talented woman crew members. We have been very purposeful about committing several full days to practicing and building our skills as individuals and as a team.
We have run numerous spinnaker drills in the high winds of spring. If you look at these images, you will see that we are flying at over 8 knots. Jibe, jibe, spin up, spin down, tack, tack.
The first race of the season was sponsored by the Eastern Yacht Club. They posted a very confusing course that went near the Bakers Island out of bounds area. In light/moderate wind, CHARIAD was sailed fast and smart upwind and we were the first board around the 1st two marks. All of the other boats owed CHARIAD time meaning that if all of us were sailing at the speed predicted by our handicap, we would have rounded last.
Our crack navigating team, including one PhD, thought that one of the out of bounds markers was a mark of the course and took us around that mark. We were flying down wind under spinnaker when we realized the mistake. Spin down, tack back up wind and re-round the mark, re-set the spin. When all of this was completed, we were at the back of the fleet.
CHARIAD finishes Last in 1st. A true statement but hardly the “truth.”
Our second race this past Sunday, was in similar light conditions. We were fast both upwind and downwind for two races. We finished 2nd overall in very tight racing. The boat that won is very optimized for light wind.
In the debrief after the races, we agreed that I need to allow more time for the final spin take down at the leeward mark. On our last take down, we had to sail for a short time without the jib up. We also agreed that we need to work on our transitions from spin to jib and jibe to jib. We are taking too long to get fully back in the groove after we make a significant sail change.
John Bishop and I agreed that we will work hard on our transition when we get to P’town on the Beringer race.
Block Island Race Week
This coming Saturday, we are taking CHARIAD from Marblehead to Block Island for the BI Race Week. This will be the first time CHARIAD has done Block. This is the 50th anniversary BI Race Week and will be a huge event. About 200 boats are registered from all over the East Coast. We will be racing against the best fleet we will see this season. We will come back a stronger and more experienced crew that will have had a lot of fun on the way.
If you want to follow the regatta, go to http://www.blockislandraceweek.com/
After we come back from Block Island, I hope you will come out for a social sail. This is the time of year that is so wonderful on the water in New England. Remember that we do a big raft up for the Marblehead July 4th fireworks. And the Halifax Race leaves from Marblehead on Sunday July 5th.
Whatever engages you, do your part really well, do your part with joy and wonder at the world around you.My best,