Last Saturday, I skippered Rinpoche in what could be considered a “real” race. At least it was real in that the winners names weren’t drawn out of a hat.
The race was relatively short, two laps around the Meadow Point buoy and West Point buoy, starting and finishing at the Hamburger buoy at Shilshole. The winds were decent enough, at 8-12 knots from the north, that I thought Rinpoche could do OK. There were only five boats in our class, but the boat I really wanted to beat was Blue Fin, a Catalina 42. On paper Rinpoche is faster than Blue Fin, but Blue Fin’s skipper has a whole lot more experience than I do. My crew, consisting of Tim, Rainer, Lee, and Brad, was pretty good, so I thought we might be in contention.
We had a good start, just a boat length behind Blue Fin, but he was already going full speed across the start line, and I had some accelerating to do. I didn’t do a very good job at it, and as is my tendency, I pinched into the wind too much, losing some time. When we rounded the upwind mark, I was a half-dozen boat lengths behind, but slowly gaining. Blue Fin gibed to the mark far earlier than I thought was right, but I went too far and over-stood the mark. He was right and I was wrong. Try as I might, I never really got close to him again.
We didn’t make any catastrophic mistakes but still ended up way behind. Good enough for second, but not good enough for my ego. Obviously, I’ve got a lot to learn.
Ps. Pretty good looking crew, eh?