Desert Classic conclusion
Not much to say about Sunday, the second day of the Desert Classic Regatta. While Saturday was characterized by extremely light winds, Sunday started out breezy, escalated to blustery, and then went on to howling. We got two races off before conditions deteriorated to the point that it got dangerous – and the race committee boat, which had to stick around to see that everybody got off the course safely, got caught in conditions that led to a broken tiller and a really challenging voyage back to the boat ramp.
Pat, Penzance, and I all picked up our share of bruises, and I’m feeling a lot of aches and pains, especially in my legs, from all of the exertions involved in keeping a racing boat going in stiff conditions. We chose not to attempt to fly the spinnaker; that was probably a good choice for us, since far more experienced sailors were having major problems downwind in those conditions. We had our share of equipment failures, most significantly a broken boom vang, and flying the chute would have complicated that problem.
Upwind, our performance could have been better. Pat was concentrating on depowering during the gusts, and he wasn’t all that quick about sheeting in or pulling the traveler up or letting off the backstay once the gust was over. He has trouble getting rid of old data that’s no longer relevant; I no longer have problems with occasionally dipping the chainplates in the water, and I certainly don’t want all weather helm eliminated. I need to learn that when the helm starts feeling mushy, I should tell him, “Give me POWER!”