Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pictures from Spring Series 1

Yes, there was somebody on the committee boat taking pictures. It just took a while to get the pics.

The first day of racing, Saturday, was a drifter, and we didn't get any pictures of the one excruciatingly slow race that was run. However, on Sunday, the wind was up -- and early in the day, it was up enough that the race committee chair considered calling off the racing. Fortunately, he didn't.

The winds were stiff at the marina as I considered whether to sail or not to sail. I finally decided not to sail, as all I had for crew was Pat plus one extremely novice sailor, and the conditions were really too rough for such a crew. Applegal, however, had very experienced crew, Appleguy and Penzance, and so she set sail.

The winds continued to howl, but not to the point where a highly experienced crew would give up, so I was surprised to see Applegal and her boat coming into port under jib only. Turns out, she hadn't chickened out, but her main halyard had broken.

Opportunity knocked, and I opened the door. I asked Appplegal, Appleguy, and Penzance if they would be willing to be crew for me on Black Magic. After some deliberation, they took me up on the offer, and we got out to the race course, ducked the line, and officially started the first race about a half hour after the rest of the fleet had gotten underway.

We managed to pass all of the B fleet and a couple of boats of the A fleet. The photographer on the committee boat got this picture of us on the downwind leg. If you look closely, you can see the jib halyard that was called upon to do duty as a spinnaker pole topping lift, as we haven't yet installed a new topping lift to replace the one that broke. Since the only other Etchells on the course at this point was Zorro in Constellation, we came in second in the Etchells fleet in that race.

By the end of the race, we weren't all that far behind Constellation. The wind was gradually abating, and the skies were clearing, and the photographer on the committee boat got this picture of some really awesome looking clouds. That's Zorro on Constellation in the center of the picture, and Black Magic near the right edge.

In the second race, we managed to stick fairly close to Constellation, although we did have some tactical miscues, such as not tacking when we should have, or tacking when we should not have. We managed to stay fairly close on Zorro's tail throughout the race, but we just couldn't get past him.
The third race was Black Magic's charm. It was a shorter race, with a downwind finish. Yes, we beat Zorro, even though he was potentially committing some Rule 42 violations by pumping the spinnaker at the end.

After the Etchells finished that last race, there was a really stiff competiton among the J boats. In the foreground, from left to right, the J/24s Wild Thing, Kachina, and Oso compete for the winning position, while the J/22 Sirocco's Song is not far behind.

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Blogger Carol Anne said...

Allow me also to add big thanks to Applegal, whose sportsmanship outweighed her self-interest. Because she and her crew came on board Black Magic with me, I scored two seconds and a first, while she racked up three DNSes. She could have chosen not to sail for me, giving me the same three DNSes. But she didn't.

Tue Apr 01, 12:38:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Gerald said...

That's cool. The pics look great! My first time seeing your blog from my computer! It looks nice on this glossy little screen.

Thu Apr 03, 09:29:00 PM MDT  

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