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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

October 31, 2005-Not Cruising, Still Racing!

Point Mode
DBYC Image

A nice thing about cruising is that we don’t have to stick to any plan.

Last newsletter we said we were leaving Hong Kong.

Well, we didn’t.

We still plan to leave, but now it might be mid December.

Meanwhile, we have been doing more racing:

Yesterday’s Results

Place Boat Results Points
1 Wings 1-1-2-2-1-1 7
2 Wizard 4-3-1-1-3-3 14.5
3 Authority 3-2-3-4-5-2 19
4 Lorien 2-4-4-5-2-6 23
5 Shockwave 7-7-6-7-4-5 36
6 Rosemary 8-5-8-3-6-7 37
6 Sabi Star 5-8-7-6-7-4 37
8 Thea 6-6-5-8-8-D 42

It’s seven o’ clock on Monday morning.

As Judy goes off to work I stick my head out the hatch to look around at Wings; to see what damage is left over from Sunday. The dodger is off, there are piles of coiled sheets on the foredeck, and there are empty beer cans and water bottles hidden in cracks and crannies around the boat; the detritus left after a long day of racing.

Yesterday our local yacht club, Discovery Bay Yacht Club, held a race training day consisting of six short races, which we called “drag races”. Mostly for starting practice, five were just a start and a 2 mile beat, finishing at a weather mark. The last race was a triangle and finish to windward. We won 4 of the six, and got two 2nds. It was a long day. The race briefing was at 08:45, and we didn’t get back to the dock until 17:30. After folding sails we all just headed for the bar, hence the sad state of Wings this morning. I'll clean up, wash it off, and tidy up everything today.

But it was a fun day. There were five 40+ footers racing, and our main competition was Wizard, an IMX38 and our main rival here. We are both dedicated to beating the other in every race. On Sunday day we consistently out pointed them but they footed faster. As we converged at the top mark it was always close. After four races the score was 2 to 2. In the fifth race they sneaked in over the top of us at the start but we got them on a wind shift and won, making it 3 – 2. One more race to go, we were ahead, but could still lose.

Alone on the Line

So, going into the last race, and determined to win, we hunted Wizard before the start. We came at them out to the right side of the line and tacked below and ahead. Then we could herd them around, and finally hold them up at the boat end of the start line. As I slowly sailed higher and higher, and Wizard responded equally, there was not a sound on either boat. No shouting "come up, come up" was needed, we both knew the game, and he knew I had him. It was the two of us skippers watching each other eye to eye to see who blinked. He did. Meanwhile the race committee's eyes were growing wider as these two race boats approached closer and closer, both heading straight towards their gleaming topsides. When would we break it off? Judy was cautioning me that there was a dingy hanging off the stern of the committee boat, and I was telling the main trimmer to be prepared to dump the main in case I couldn't bear off when the time came. But, no problem; we bore off and missed the dingy's outboard by inches, cleared the inner distance mark by the same margin, and looked behind us to see Wizard following us through. From there we covered them all the way around and finished just ahead. Good outcome for the end of a great day.

DBYC Image

DBYC Image

I got an email from Wizard’s skipper, “Well done Fred - an excellent result for Wings… the results will be passed to the Handicapping Committee for possible adjustments before the [next race].”

Seems like things might get evened up a bit next time.

As much as we like racing, I don't know how many more we will do here. The wear and tear on the boat, as well as the cost, may just force us to limit our participation.

What will eventually call an end to our racing will not be our own advancing age, but the age of our racing sails. I wanted to buy new sails while we were here in Hong Kong, but it didn't work out.

Well guys, I've just managed to burn about an hour playing on the computer instead of getting to work on my day's projects, so I better sign off here.

Click Here for all the Hong Kong photos

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Hong Kong

Click here to read the offical DBYC event report.

Click here to read the observations made from ashore, interesting!

Click here to visit Discovery Bay Yacht Club web site

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