Tempting the Wind Gods...
Ben and I traveled to the Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga last weekend to participate in their District Championships. Two boats from that club came to our districts/Glow this year and this was an opportunity to reciprocate. Plus, it's just a really friendly club and one we get to every year, though usually in the spring. Anyway, the wind was strong both days. Probably about 18 mph, but the race committee did say one gust on Saturday measured 23.5. So, it was hard work.
We got a good start the first race and, to our utter amazement, were leading by almost a full leg by the second or third leg. Then about 10 boat lengths from the finish, Ben blurted out "I can't believe we're doing a horizon job on those guys!" Can you believe he did that?! Talk about tempting the wind gods.
And, sure enough, it couldn't have been more than three seconds later when a puff from an entirely different direction auto tacked our boat and Plop! Ben fell in the water!! I also got a nasty rope burn by my eye from the vang, but never mind that, we had to get Ben back in the boat. Luckily he managed to scramble back in the boat with a little help from me and, after some futzing around, trying to get out of irons and calm ourselves down a bit, we finished the race, still in first place. Phew!!
We had another first-place finish the second race, but we had been in third place the whole race and only with some crafty strategizing we were able to nip the other two boats by just a nose. Usually the shoe is on the other foot and we're being overtaken right at the finish, so we really enjoyed that! A third place finish in the third race and then two fourth-place finishes on Sunday dropped us to third place overall but we felt great about our performance. We very very rarely beat Rob Fowler and Scot Cline, the first place boat, or Ed Craig, the second place boat, so that was a real accomplishment.
The drive home was long, but worth it after a weekend of such great sailing!