|Hull 729, Baggy Wrinkles, a Cape Dory Typhoon...|
Wind was great that day. There were 4 of us boats, an Express 27, an Ensign, a San Juan 24, and us, little Baggy Wrinkles. If you know what you're reading, here you know how it turned out. I should have known better than to join this run windward/leeward.
Well I think our Commodore urged me to join, "it'd be great," he said. Yes it might with 15 to 20kts of wind, I thought to myself, foolishly persuading myself we might have an advantage of some sort.
So, the 1st Mate suggested it'd be a great sailing day, so why not? Ok, if she's in it, then I'll suffer through. After all, why do something that is going to cause you pain and suffering, loss of sleep at night, and the urge to spend money on a fast boat? So many club members own 3 boats!
At the race start we were spot-on to start, then a Flying Scot passing across while waiting for his race start, got in our way, delaying my crossing the start line by 30 seconds, ahh then we got across and there were the sterns of the Express and the Ensign, a mere 100 feet away! Good wind, perhaps I can stay on their sterns and chase a bit, mused I did, in my sailor's dreamy mind. But after a run this way, then that way, the sterns became more distant, the San Juan's skipper, new to his boat, was catching the same tacks as the 2 leaders.... It would not be long, I thought to myself, that this fleet of 3 would be long gone when at the windward rounding, we'd be lost off the charts and the race committee would be looking at their watches wondering where was the Cape Dory, sail number 729?
We were actually very close to the San Juan at the windward rounding. We pushed the Dory as close to the wind as we could and tacked near to shore, pinching every bit of angle advantage we could when the San Juan slipped into its downwind run, a bit off course to the Southeast, while we ran straight downwind thinking we had them easy! We set the whisker pole to port, let the main to starboard, wing on wing and off she went, happily gulping the 15 to 20 kts with joy. Baggy Wrinkles was like a puppy in the waves laughing ignorantly at the race. What uninformed hubris it was! But for a few moments on deck we were like kids in a fantasy story.
The club radio clocked the Express, again, across the finish line. Well, he always wins the races anyway, it's a fast boat! Then the Ensign followed close behind. We figured that. And then we watched in horror as the San Juan finally got his whisker up after 10 minutes and began to creep faster away toward the committee boat. It was over. We knew it was. We crossed the line last at 2 hours and 13 minutes. Did anyone remember that? Did they figure our PHRF? Distance was about 10 miles or so. That put us at about 4.4 kts for over the ground speed. It was not enough. We lost another race.
When will we learn? Baggy Wrinkles looked sad as we passed the committee boat. She could see the San Juan off to port, now easily sliding toward the cove and home. She wasn't far behind, close enough to think she might catch the San Juan, and far enough to lose. Nobody photographed her, nobody cared, it was a Cape Dory. Everyone tends to tell her how cute she is, and what a darling classic, but she wants to win a race once in a while too. I guess when we get older we all want to win a race once in a while just to prove we've still got the stuff?
1st Mate and me sailed on into our cove, flaked the sails, hauled her out and put Baggy Wrinkles to bed. She smiled coyly as we assured her that one day we'd get her to play in the water with some Cape Dories again. She liked that idea. She closed her portholes as we tied her cover on and headed for home. Just another day. But we won't subject her to such disappointment by racing such fast hulls again!
But we said that before....
|Always remember Baggy Wrinkles..., objects appear further than they really are!|