Yesterday evening was a gorgeous evening in the way that makes gorgeous Seattle evenings the best anywhere. Unfortunately I have no photos to share – I was too busy racing. It was a great night for another installment of the Downtown Sailing Series. As you may recall, my last venture ended up with us in 3rd place out of about 45 boats. We had a great start and a good crew, and we were near the front most of the way, getting to the clubhouse before there were even any lineups for hot dogs and beer.
Not so last night. The winds were 8-12 knots from the NW, so we had a broad reaching start. I decided we should fly the gennaker, but since we had never done this before in “racing” situation, and since half the crew had never done it before at all, and since the last time I did this, we had a really violent round up, I wanted to do a practice run. We were running short of time, but we did it anyway. All went well setting and snuffing the sail, but I had a hard time getting back to the starting line in time, and as a result we started about 50th in a class of 54.
As we crossed the start, we set the chute, and we started making up for lost time. By the time we got to the first mark, we’d passed several boats, and passed even more on the next leg, a run downwind. At the next mark, we snuffed the chute, and settled in for a long upwind leg. Rinpoche sails really well to wind, so once we got the sails trimmed properly, we started picking off boats like they were standing still. We passed a few more on the last leg, and ended up 11th out of 54!
By my reckoning we passed about 40 boats, including a few “friends” who said “bye-bye” to us at the start. Very satisfying indeed. Great thanks to my ace crew of Roger, Rainer, and Lee.