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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September 28, 2005-Racing The Years Away-Part 2

Fragrant Harbor image

Racing The Years Away-Part 2

Oh, there were a few exciting moments on the second reach as we were totally overpowered with the big sail, with boats in close company, and a bit of wave action, but everyone did their jobs, and the rudder retained its grip. Even though we flagged the main a lot, we kept our composure, finally dropping the kite to get up to the mark in the shifting wind.

Things got a lot easier after that, or maybe we just got used to it. Actually the conditions eased some, and the wind continued to shift to the right turning the upwind legs into lopsided starboard tack beats, and the race into a parade.

After three hours of tough ocean racing we crossed the line and let out a huge sigh of relief: we’d survived, and more than that, we finished first.

I made a cock-up of the time keeping and after taking time of the next two boats, and figuring that they both beat us, we got depressed, and turned for home, feeling a little let down, to be honest, that we didn’t win. The exhausted crew crashed on deck and warmed up a little in the finally appearing late afternoon sun.

We found out two days later that we had won, and that made my day, probably made the day for everyone on the crew actually, when I sent out the email. Needless to say, we made arrangements to get to the awards ceremony Friday night to pick up the trophy. Judy and I bought drinks for everyone who could make it. We awarded the trophy to Andy, our hardworking and talented Kiwi foredeck hand, though everyone on the boat deserved a trophy. From the bow to mast to the cockpit to the runners, we had great crew, who did a great job. Though it was our first race together, and each person was way out of their comfort zone, we pushed a hard-to-handle boat flawlessly through tough conditions. We came home bruised and tired, but winners, and that’s nice.

Our Crew: Andy Kung (bow), Andrea Nowosad (mast), Linsay Pickles (halyards), Neale Nowosad, Andy Pickles, Jason Chan, (trimmers), John Phillips (main), Nita Kung (runners), Judy Jensen (co-captain), & Fred Roswold (check writer)

That hasn’t been the only race in which we’ve done well. We’ve had a string of modest successes, mostly luck I guess, and a rating which is quite fair, but we’ve had good crew throughout our stay in Hong Kong, which has definitely helped. All in all, it gives us a very good feeling. For myself, I know I can still put together a decent program and I can still drive. Judy, too, has been amazing. She scrambles all over the boat when needed, helping everyone, even in the roughest conditions, and still keeps track of the boats around us, the weather, my steering, and does her regular job on the runners. And who takes over steering when I need a break or have to do some navigating? Judy, of course.

So, for a couple of grandparents on a twenty five year old liveaboard boat, we’re doing all right. I think the racing is keeping us young.

And you know what? We haven’t been thinking much about work on the weekends.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Hong Kong

Fun Crew

Click here for more photos: Slow Going
Tsing Ma Crew
Cheung Chau Crew

Click Here for all the Hong Kong photos

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