With our winter haul out scheduled for Friday morning, I spent one more night aboard Le Saberage this past Thursday. Lake Ogelton rewarded me with another breathtaking sunset while I removed our mooring pennant and reviewed the boat’s documentation for sling and block locations.
Slap, slap slap…
It’s 4 a.m. this past Saturday, and Lisa and I are asleep in the forward cabin of the Sabre, which lies on a mooring in front of Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford, Maryland. Actually, Lisa is sleeping but I have been drifting in and out for a while now. The wind is howling through the rig. Since arriving Saturday afternoon we’ve had a sustained 15 knots with frequent gusts into the lower 20s right here in the anchorage. Each gust makes the ominous noise cheap B-movie film makers like to dub over footage of the haunted house on the hilltop in the dead of night:
I’m not one of those racers who can remember every leg of every race in his/her career. In fact I remember very little of any of them, but I remember this Annapolis Nood race and this beat in particular. We made the right call by choosing the genoa instead of the #3 (it was a borderline call). We substantially outpointed Huster for the entire first leg of the beat on starboard tack and had a big lead when….a massive lefty filled in. They tacked over and crossed us by a significant margin and beat us to the mark.
That’s yacht racing. Sometimes you can make all the right decisions and still come up short! Still this was only a slight negative in a regatta full of positives that resulted in a podium finish. Best of all was the sailing itself – just look at the J/29 going upwind with a full rail of crew and a nice, flat, 150% heavy genoa. The J/29 in its prime.
Tonight I needed to stop by the Sabre to check on her and retrieve a couple of items I’d left on board Sunday. This is the scene I was met with.
- Stab self in the eye with a fork
- Get a root canal
- Prepare own income tax return, then write check to the IRS for the balance due plus interest and penalties
File all of the above under the heading of “I’d rather [fill in one of the above] than …” Racing sailors have at least one more item to add to this list: trying to sail downwind on cruising boats that aren’t rigged with spinnakers. Apart from being painfully slow, cruising boats (and even race boats for that matter) often roll miserably when sailing deep angles under main and jib & main alone. Ugh. This weekend I got a great surprise: our Sabre’s centerboard underbody means she isn’t a dullard going downwind without a chute. Actually, she runs dead downwind like a champ.