October 14, 2006-Fun Race
I know we’re going to get hammered in the rating department after this weekend.
You win big under a performance system like we have at Raffles Marina in Singapore, and you can expect a big correction. Fair enough. Saturday we won big. It was a bit of a strange race though.
We had to start from the Yacht Club lawn, race on foot down to the boat, untie, and get out onto the water and then sail around the course. The slowest boats start first (run across lawn first) and the fast boats last. You have to finish before the faster boats behind can catch up. And finishing means you tie up the boat, run back up to the Yacht Club lawn, and down a beer and then they score you for finishing. Actually, everyone on the boat has to down a beer. We had nine crew. That means nine empty beer cans on the table before they gave us the finishing horn.
Still, we won, there were nine empties on the table (I’m not saying how many were mine) at least three minutes before the second place boat’s crew came running across the lawn. And we had a great time winning. Perfect start, fast upwind leg, good set and spinnaker run, two of them in fact, takedowns no problems, etc. The course didn’t hurt either; we had fetches for the upwind beats; some of the boats were tacking while we just pointed up to the mark. The down wind legs required no jibing, our weak spot. Lucky us.
Mark it up to a rapidly improving crew which filled out at the last minute and made things work nearly perfectly, a bit of luck, and a great rating.
So next time we race we know they are going to change our rating.
We’ve now had two flights at the new Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. It is turning into a stunning facility, open, airy, and efficient, at least from our experience. The art work is captivating. Check out the sculptures and the live music performance.
Click here for a short video clip of Suvarnabhumi Airport
Thailand has had a lot of rain lately, and you might have seen the video clips of flooding on the telly. Much of that water comes down the river to Bangkok and so we’ve had a bit of flooding too. One afternoon last week the sky got particularly dark and then the heavens let go. Within a few minutes the streets were flooded and the water was rising fast. Judy was out, in a taxi, and the water was coming in under the doors. She got home, barely. After that the water got to be knee deep in places and traffic came to halt. I left work at 5:30, and although the rain had stopped, nothing was moving. Donncha and Sridhar and I went into the Italian restaurant, had dinner and a couple of bottles of red wine, and stumbled out at 8:30 hoping that the streets were dry. They weren’t. But I found a dry spot to stand and convinced a motorbike driver that if we got a running start from there we could make it. With my legs up and my computer over my shoulder we revved up and hit the flood. No problems. Ten minutes later I was home, dry and safe. Donncha walked a round-about route and got within 100 meters of his place and then was stuck. So he bribed a cabbie with 100 baht ($3.00) so the guy would take him that last bit to the steps of his building. Sridhar rode a motorbike 3 miles and got home too, but soaked to his knees. The next day the sun was out and the city looked normal.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore
We benefited this week by the addition of father and son team of Bryan and David from Cavalier, cruising friends from the Philippines. I’ve been looking for a main trimmer and another forward hand. Bryan and David filled the bill perfectly. Genoa trimming ace Marco was present as expected and even Tessa was there, having just flown in from Ache the night before. Euan, our primary foredeck hand couldn’t get his flight out, so he didn’t leave town, great news for us. And Ana, turning into a star pit operator, was at her job as usual. This week we also added Pierre, who took to his new job on the winches like an old pro. In fact the crew was so complete and so good that Judy was able to focus on overseeing the whole operation instead of being head down on the foredeck like last week.