Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

CHARIAD and her great crew won its first official race of the 2020 sailing season.

The race was sponsored by the Jubilee YC of Beverly, MA. The course was in Salem Bay. The start was in the Bay towards Beverly with the 1st leg to the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. Then over to Baker’s Island and back to the start – an upside-down triangle. The wind was from the East. Upwind 1st leg. Close reach to Baker’s and spin run to the start. They then sent us back to Baker’s and back to the starting line for the finish.

We finished over the four boats in Class B and would have beaten the two boats in Class A if they had scored us in that class.

CHARIAD has strong finish for Class B and Class A

This was our first outing directly competing against other boats. Without hesitation, I will say that we made lots of mistakes. I made mistakes. The reason we won is that the team on board raced at full intensity for the entire race. When we made mistakes, we adjusted and kept on going.

CHARIAD crew wins first offical race of 2020 season

The race felt like a 1st of the season race even though this is August. CHARIAD is a complicated boat to sail. The crew must work the boat with largely autonomous team like the sections of the Boston Symphony. The skipper is much like the conductor keeping the tempo. The crew races the boat not the skipper.

As we were coming back to the starting line after the triangle legs, the race committee was positioned as though we were finishing. We were the first boat in our class. We had the spin up but had not set up to put the jib back up. I asked the committee if we were finishing. They signaled two more legs. While we were getting the spin down and the jib back up (below the turning mark) two of our competitors got ahead of us. This was my big mistake of the day discussed at the debrief. We played catch up for the last two legs. We passed one of the two boats that got past us and finished close behind the other.

We did a debrief after the race. We just did not know how we had finished. Our mistakes were clear in our minds. I thought we might have corrected over the boat in front, but there was no consensus on where we had finished. On corrected time, we finish five minutes ahead of the boat finishing before us.

CHARIAD crew member Chris Hardy takes a swim

The race is over. We are back on our mooring. We have talked about what we learned and what we can do better.

Chris Hardy is ready for a swim. You can see why I try to get next to Chris when Allison has her camera.

The state has lifted the prohibition on sailboat races, but they prohibit “tournaments.” That is being interpreted as prohibiting “regattas.” One day races are now permitted but not two or three day races. No on shore social activities unless it is a protest. There is no logic to any of this, but that is the game being played.

I read an article on what Olympic athletes are doing with the Olympics cancelled for this year – perhaps next year. The question was whether these world class athletes are despondent and giving up now that the event they have trained for much of their lives is not happening. Being the best swimmer, runner, or sailor is who you are. You live your life to be the best. If the Olympics happens next year, these guys and gals will be there prepared to compete. That is who they are.

I look at this sailing season with that mind set. If we want to be champions, we must live our lives as champions every day. The world we live in today is different. We must define who we are by how we live our lives everyday in the world as it exists.

I am honored to be part of the CHARIAD team that drives to success. That is my two cents.

Be well.