December 27, 2015-Racing Blast Off
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Approaching the Finish
Going up the shoreline, playing the beach hard, was clearly paying off. By mid point in the race the other boats had all been overtaken and they were fading. Local knowledge said to stay in and that’s what we were doing, but it was nerve wracking. We sailed almost into the surf line. The swells rose up, the tops blew off like a mullah’s beard, and the combers started their shoreward march just to leeward of us. The rocky points jutted out ahead and were awash in white water. There was no small talk on the boat; we were all alert. Everyone’s eyes were on the depth sounder. When we got in to 20 feet and it seemed like we could touch the shore with our toes we took a tack out but the tacks out were short. We were committed.
No other boats were working the beach like that and we watched as they fell away. One by one they tacked out, looking for breeze or deeper water, or I don’t know what, but when they did they immediately began to lose ground. I don’t know why they couldn’t see what it was doing to them but they kept doing it. They became distant on the horizon. The final big gain for us came in the last few miles before Punta de Mita, when the wind inshore turned North West and lifted us in to towards the finish line. The boats outside didn’t get the lift and by the time we finished the race, in first place, we couldn’t even see them.
The realization that Wings had performed a “horizon job” on the fleet came on us gradually and when it sunk in we savored the feeling. You don’t get then like that very often.
The Banderas Bay Blast was three races. We got a first and two seconds. It added up to first overall.
And that was after two Wednesday Beer Cans where we also finished well up. The season is getting off to a great start but we are not letting it get to our heads; the racing will be tough this year and we’ll have to work hard to keep it up.
We intend to try.
Click here for another photo and the sail bag project photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huanacaxtle